As the much anticipated live show began, the sixteen contestants performed “Stuck in the Middle with You” and, with the exception of a few more seasoned performers, their nerves got the best of them and the number was flat and boring. Their respective talent, or lack thereof, showed through in this performance. After the opening song finally ended, the show progressed to the revelation of the top twelve. With almost 37 million votes being cast, the occupants of the coveted final twelve seats were soon to be revealed.
After a recap of the previous two nights, it was time for Ryan Seacrest to announce the finalists. First to be called to center stage was LaKisha Jones and Blake Lewis. No surprise here – they both made it into the final twelve and deservedly so. Chris Sligh was next and he also advanced to the top twelve. Next up was Jordin Sparks who also learned she was to continue on in the competition. Phil Stacey nervously took center stage next and found out that he too had advanced.
Jared shook his head in disbelief as he learned that he had been eliminated from the competition. Though he doesn’t stand out as a singer, he probably would go far as a model.
The two former back up singers, Melinda Doolittle and Brandon Rogers were called to center stage and informed that they were both through to the finals. Following them into the final twelve were Chris Richardson and Gina Glocksen.
Antonella Barba and Stephanie Edwards were next to learn their fate as Antonella was eliminated and Stephanie advanced into the top twelve. Antonella was visibly upset but showed her lack of talent in her final song confirming what the audience vote had determined.
Haley Scarnato and Sabrina Sloan were next with Sabrina’s unexpected and undeserved elimination coming as the first surprise result of the night. Next up and probably the biggest shock of the night was the elimination of Sundance and the inclusion of Sanjaya in the final twelve. Sundance is one of the most talented men in the competition and should have definitely been in the top twelve. All I can say is there must be a high school full of kids voting their little hearts out to keep Sanjaya in the contest this long. He certainly is not advancing based on the quality of his vocal talent.
Now that the field has been reduced to the top twelve, it is painfully obvious that this competition has become more of a popularity contest than a singing contest. With the elimination of Sundance and Sabrina, it is clear to this viewer that factors other than vocal ability have already come into play this season. The most talented contestants by far in this competition are LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle and regardless of the outcome of this contest, both women will go on to have great singing careers. One of these ladies should be the eventual winner of this competition but, as we have already seen, anything may happen.