'American Idol' eliminates Janelle Arthur and determines season's Top 4 finalists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/19/2013
American Idol eliminated Janelle Arthur during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 4 finalists.
Janelle, a 23-year-old from Oliver Springs, TN, became the sixth finalist sent home fromAmerican Idol's twelfth season after she received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 5 female finalists each performing two songs -- one of which was a favorite from the year she was born and the other being a tribute to any female diva.
"Music is just my calling. It's who I am. I love to perform. I love to be onstage. Coming from such a small town, it's so different being here with all the glitz and the glamour. Pretty much what you see is what you get with me," Janelle said following her ouster.
Janelle's elimination became official after Idol judge Randy Jackson announced the show's judges were not going to prevent her departure by using "The Judges' Save," which Randy and fellow judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban can use once during the finals to prevent the elimination of a finalist who receives the lowest number of votes from the fans during a weekly performance round.
The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save.
After discussing Janelle's fate during her survival performance of "You Keep Me Hangin' On," Randy revealed the panel's decision toAmerican Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
"This has been the toughest debate, Ryan. It's two for [the save], two not for. So, unfortunately [Janelle] baby, it's not unanimous. We're not going to use it. We love you though. We love, love you. Thank you!" Randy announced.
Janelle received solid reviews for both of her songs during Wednesday night's performance show, however, it became increasingly obvious she was struggling to compete against some truly outstanding talent. Her first song of the night was "When I Call Your Name," and all the judges loved it except for Keith.
"I feel like when you have your guitar, you're so much more comfortable. You don't even have to move onstage. It's kind of like you're allowing us into your world... I kind of feel like when you don't have your guitar, you feel the need to overcompensate by doing things that make it seem a little bit not authentic. But I thought your vocals sounded so pretty and angelic tonight. I love the key that you chose for the song. It was like you were at your own concert. You didn't care about anyone's approval. Congratulations," Nicki told Janelle.
"I feel like this song kind of brought you back a little bit for me... I think you did a really great job. And I think the comfort that you were sitting in [up] there, dude that's your world. Janelle's back where she belongs. I mean, you could do other stuff, but that's what you truly, truly love... That was beautiful. I loved it," Randy said.
"I believed you... You were singing with your whole heart for us tonight, and whether we wanted to pick apart little sections of vocals, it was so raw and real... Don't let any of the negativity penetrate who you are because you know who you are and nobody can take that away from you," Mariah explained.
"I'm going to be the lone guy on this panel who apparently heard a different song... That song for me is not so much about melody as it's about emotion... I agree with Nicki that your voice is angelic and beautiful, and as far as hitting all the notes tonight, it was perfect. But I didn't feel it," Keith explained.
"I feel like you were spending so much time thinking about getting all the notes right and the little runs in between, you didn't need to... I actually think you could've done that without the guitar tonight. I think you could've sat or stood still and just let me feel the heartbreak of that song."
"Maybe it's a girl thing, but you brought me to tears!" Mariah interjected.
Janelle also got fairly good feedback for her rendition of "Dumb Blonde" by Dolly Parton although she was the only finalist in the competition who did not receive a standing ovation Wednesday night.
"I thought this was a fun song for you. I thought vocally it didn't really show anything different, but it was like a fun performance number for you. I felt like there was more performing than there really was a vocal-kind of thing," Randy suggested.
"It was very 'Pow' because I felt you were connected to the song. I love the whole dumb blonde-thing. I just thought it was cute! I did. And you've always got that fiery Janelle thing," Mariah told Janelle.
"I just think your voice is so good. You have a thing that none of the other girls have. And I think when you work to those strengths, Janelle, that's when we go, 'Oh my goodness. That's why you're in the Top 5,'" Keith said.
"I just want to be very careful with everything I say to the Top 5, because this Top 5 to me, have superpowers and they need to be told that. You need to know that you are great. So having said that, I do think you're in jeopardy of going home tomorrow," Nicki explained.
"But the fact that you've gotten this far and you've kept that smile and that light inside of you, is why I will always love Janelle no matter what. You're very, very lovable. So yeah, there are some very dynamic girls here, but I don't think that has anything to do with how far you can go in the real world."
Prior to Janelle's elimination, Kree Harrison, a 22-year-old from Nashville, TN, was revealed to be the other member of this week's bottom two vote-getters.