Ninety minutes, 10 "victory songs," and one Mariah Carey/Oz the Great and Powerful plug later, we have our season 12 finalists! Ten kiddies get to continue living out their lifelong fantasies in Mimi Boob Land. No wild cards this time around -- but! The sixth-most-voted guy and the sixth-most-voted girl from this week will compete in a sing-off for a spot on the 2013 summer tour. Huh?! That's absurd; nobody cares.
Tonight's extremely anticlimactic Top 10 reveal adopted a new awkward format that involved Ryan Seacrest shuttling back and forth from the stage to the Bullpen of Hope and Despair. I love to watch Ryan challenge himself in any way possible, and trotting away from the camera while attempting to maintain eye contact with it is no exception. Seacrest wins MVP again (of men only) for the night. My guess would be that the more intimate, closed-off area -- let's just call it Despairea -- was a safeguard against another possible Charlie Askew meltdown onstage. But man, did this get repetitive. It was all very public access.
The dramatic opening of the giant doors to reveal each contestant was probably very compelling for the hundreds of people in the live audience, but what about the 12 million viewers at home? When do we get a moment? I'M LOOKING FOR MOMENTS, RYAN. Sorry, there goes my love affair with Randy again.
Anyway, the "victory songs" were good trial runs on the new Hollywood stage for the Top 10, but most of them were boring and/or shaky -- and could you really blame them? There was nothing at stake. No suspense. And most of all, some of them were on the verge of tears or, in Amber Holcomb's case, about to pass out. Lazaro Arbos didn't even know the last notes of his song! It didn't really seem like he knew any of the other notes, either. How disappointing after his competent delivery of "Feeling Good" Wednesday night!
NEXT: The Top 10 are....