It took the largest vote of the season - a total of more than 34 million votes cast - for the American Idol voters to finally send home two of the weakest contestants in Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens.
Garcia was this season's most disappointing contestant. He had the unique sound and quirky persona, but at some point he became more of a cartoon version of the singer/songwriter we thought he could potentially be.
Almost as soon as the posters with giant glasses starting popping up in the audience as a tribute to the visually aided Garcia, his performances quickly became lackluster at best. Gone was any hint of the fresh sound he blew us away with during Hollywood Week with his cover of "Straight Up." And as previously inferior contestants - like Garcia's best bud Lee Dewyze - improved, gone too was any realistic chance of him winning. I did hold out hope that Garcia would find his stride - especially when we received a glimpse into his potential with his terrific version of Chris Brown's "Forever" during R&B Week. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be.
If Garcia was the most disappointing contestant of the season, Stevens was the most mediocre.
I don't think she was ever among the top contestants and she very frequently flirted with being among the bottom. Her mediocrity could be because, at 17 years old, she might not yet have total command of her voice or complete understanding of what type of artist she is. And, honestly, it didn't help her that the panel of judges seemed equally as confused about what kind of singer she should be. How in the world Randy and Kara could compare her to Christina Aguilera, I have no idea. Aguilera has one of the most powerful and wide-ranging voices in the modern music era. Stevens' voice is decent, but nowhere near deserving of that comparison. Simon was right. Stevens is best suited for country music. She has the look and the voice for it.
Hopefully with Alicia Keys mentoring next week, we'll finally have a good performance by one of the professional artists. Because Wednesday night's two performances were a mess.
First, poor Brooke White - Season 7's fifth place finisher - was forced to sing a duet of "If I Can Dream" with Justin Gaston, who is essentially popular for two things: dating Miley Cyrus and not being able to make it show business. He finished 10th on some country music rip off of American Idol called "Nashville Star." Which isn't impressive considering Sanjaya finished fifth on the real ‘Idol' a year earlier. He is also currently featured in a Web series created by American Idol founder Simon Fuller... wonder how he got Wednesday night's gig.
White came across as nothing less than classy during the performance and showcased a bit of a newfound country twang. Unfortunately for White - and for us - Gaston was clumsy at best, with horrible vocals and extremely awkward stage presence.
And even though Adam Lambert made Ryan Seacrest happy by performing "Whataya Want From Me?," he spent the first half of the song in the dark with only lasers lighting the stage, which did not translate well watching on television. And then, even a pair of bedazzled ear pieces couldn't keep his vocals from being pitchy. I think Lambert has the ability to become a huge star and probably should've won last season's competition, but I wasn't a fan of this performance.
Since the Bottom 3 were not revealed for some reason Wednesday night, we do not know who the voters liked this week.
So I am going to go out on a limb - a very thick limb, of course - and predicting that Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly, and Siobhan Magnus will be in the Bottom 3 next week.