The cutting has begun on season 12 'American Idol' as Curtis Finch, Jr., a terrific R&B singer with some serious gospel soul in his voice, was sent home Thursday, turning the top 10 into a top nine.

Finch ended up in the bottom after America voted because he was too safe and didn't step far enough outside of his comfort zone with his song choices.

He sang 'I Believe I Can Fly' by R. Kelly as his "save" song, but the judge's panel refused to use its sole save of the season on Finch. That's not a surprise, since it's so early in the live rounds. Nicki Minaj lobbied hard for him, but the save needed to be agreed upon unanimously.

Finch has a powerful voice, one infused with spirit and spirituality. He will continue to touch lives with his vocals, just not on a national reality show.