Kamloops teenager Cameron Whitcomb fails to make final

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“I really want to be here,” Whitcomb told the judges.

Kamloops singer Cameron Whitcomb did not qualify for American Idol’s Top 14 on Monday, although judges noted the singer put on what they thought was his “best performance”.

On Monday’s episode of the popular reality show, this season’s remaining 20 Idol contestants were whittled down to 14 based on a combination of votes from the American public and the judges’ choices.

The public voted for their top 10 vocalists, while Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan picked four contestants to save.

Whitcomb didn’t make the Top 10, so Monday’s episode blackmailed the 18-year-old pipeline worker for his chance to advance in the competition.

He sang “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” by The Steeldrivers, a significantly more subdued performance than the audience has seen in previous episodes. The Idol judges commented on Whitcomb’s energetic and edgy stage presence, often characterized by his signature backflip – a move absent from Monday’s show.

Perry – who dubbed the singer ‘Kooky Canadian Cameron’ – said it looked like Whitcomb’s energy was below par, possibly because he had just found out he hadn’t been a part of the Top 10.

“It slowed you down,” Perry said, adding that she felt it helped her put on her best performance yet.

“You better look a little disappointed, because you have so much energy.”

Whitcomb said he felt he was growing.

“I really want to be here,” Whitcomb told the judges.

During Sunday’s episode – which saw Whitcomb enter the Idol Top 20 – Richie told Whitcomb he had a bright future.

“Enjoy your career, my friend. You’re on your way,” Richie said.

American Idol airs on CityTV and ABC.

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