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Curtis Finch shockingly cut as 'American Idol' judges can't agree on save

"American Idol" - Curtis Finch, Jr. sings R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" for survival. The vote to save him in not unanimous, so he is eliminated from the competition. (March 14, 2013) Credit: Fox

Lazaro Arbos and Angela Miller are next up on "American Idol" to learn their fates -- and, as expected, Miller joins Candice Glover and Kree Harrison in the top three. It's the same top three as when I ranked the performances last night.

It is then revealed that Arbos finished fourth overall and is safe. In fifth place is Amber Holcomb, who definitely deserves to stay. In sixth place, it's Janelle Arthur, who definitely does not deserve to stay. I had her ranked dead last based on her performance.

Burnell Taylor is in seventh place and is also safe; he deserves to be safe. In eighth place is Paul Jolley, who I thought should go home in this group. Bottom two, then, are Devin Velez and Curtis Finch Jr.

Nicki Minaj is upset that Finch might get cut, and she flat-out says, "If you go home, then I go home." I agree that he shouldn't be in the bottom two, but given that this is a popularity contest, I'm not surprised. Singers like him rarely build up a fan base and have to be stellar every week to move on, and he was merely not the worst last night.

And indeed, Finch has the lowest number of votes and has to sing to stay on. Minaj starts to get up to leave, but then sits back down so he can sing. Obviously, they're going to have to use their save on him after her big speech, right?!

He's singing "I Believe I Can Fly," and even though I like him a lot based on the season as a whole, it's not amazing. He does hit the high note, sending a jolt through the audience. Some of his fellow competitors are in tears, and he comes up with an amazing finish.

This is going to be interesting, Can they really use their save in the first week? It's got to be unanimous. "I am completely shocked," Mariah Carey says, that Finch is facing the chopping block.

They're not unanimous, so he's going home. Nicki Minaj says they needed another minute to discuss it; she's very unhappy.

Wow. Not sure if there has ever been such a major talent cut in the first week of the finals. 

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