Despite numerous fan polls and blogger predictions indicating that Lazaro Arbos would be the American Idol 2013 Top 7 finalist who would be eliminated this week, it was Burnell Taylor who got voted off instead.
Burnell did not have a good night this week with his “Classic Rock, No Ballads” theme song choice. He sounded off and looked uncomfortable. His usual confident smile was shaky and the American Idol judges were clear it was one of his worst performances. With the girls clearly ruling this season, it was not a good night to make the wrong song choice.
Even though many predicted it would be Lazaro who went home on American Idol tonight, there were strong indications that would not happen. Lazaro has one of the strongest social followings and biggest fan bases of any of the finalists left in the competition. He’s consistently ranked very high in the votes. His backstory of dealing with a debilitating stutter and bullying is just as powerful and moving as Burnell’s history of losing everything to Hurricane Katrina. Lazaro also has the backing of the controversial, but possibly powerful, Vote For The Worst crowd.
But what about the other contestants? Why was Burnell Taylor eliminated instead of, for example, one of the other bottom three contestants — Janelle Arthur and Amber Holcomb? Well, we can’t say for absolute sure why. However, Amber Holcomb did have a really solidly good performance on American Idol last night. Plus, the judges have really been hyping her as one of the best singers in the competition. As for Janelle Arthur, one can never discount the extremely powerful ‘country’ voting block. They may be split right now between Kree Harrison and Janelle, but there are plenty of Southern, country-loving votes to go around.
As for why the judges didn't save Burnell, that's a pretty easy answer. They are far more likely to want to use that save next week if one of their favorite ladies falls into the bottom, such as Amber Holcomb, for example.
In the end, we feel Burnell just got swept aside by the strong momentum around the idea of a female American Idol winner this year. Well, that and Lazaro’s crazed fan base, who seemed determined to carry him all the way to the finale no matter how many times he forgets his lyrics, or blames his weak performance on never having heard a song before because he was born in Cuba.