Wow, that was actually a really drama filled results show last night on American Idol. I don’t know when I’ve been so invested and nervous about the results~ perhaps going all the way back to Daughtry’s ouster in 2005. But Idol certainly kept us watching as they first announced the new top ten (yay for all of them except Hayley), followed by six singers “lip synching for their lives”! Ooops, I got hypnotized by Rupaul’s Drag Race for a minute. I meant “singing for their survival”. The six chosen by the judges for those wild card performances were Robbie, Naima, Ashton, Stefano, Kendra and Jovanny (what?). First Ashton gave a divalicious fun perf despite a few wonky notes. Then, Stefano absolutely killed it in perhaps the best male vocal of the season. Kendra acquitted herself nicely followed by a sleepy turn by Jovanny. (Why oh why didn’t they give Tim another chance?). Naima next gave a heartfelt and emotional perf but was flat and all over the place, followed by a lovely spin on “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” by Robbie. If I had picked it would’ve been Kendra, Stefano and Ashton (with Robbie a close fourth). Alas, the judges chose Naima and her unique individuality and tough back story over the more talented singers…. And thus, we had our top 13. Despite my quarries with two of them, this might be the best top 13 in the history of the show. Certainly it’s a very good way to start the finals…. And with these contenders in place, it’s now time to take a look at my first official, totally unscientific American Idol Power Rankings for the finals. And away we go!
American Idol Top 13 Power Rankings:
1. Lauren Alaina (ie: Kelly Underwood)~ this 16-year-old powerhouse has the pipes and the personality and could live up to Steven Tyler’s prediction that they found “the one”. Love her!
2. Jacob Lusk (ie Luther 2.0): he is overcome by the “spirit” every time he sings and his jovial personality and heart on his sleeve emotion are incredibly endearing.
3. Pia Toscano (ie: the pretty girl no one saw coming)~ she gave the best female performance of the season so far with “I’ll Stand by You” and catapulted herself to the front of the pack. Now, if she can maintain that momentum, she could own this thing. (Just perk up a little more in your interview packages please…)
4. Casey Abrams (ie: Grizzly Adams)~ this musician’s musician with the growl and the grin has sailed through the race so far. I just wonder how he will fit in with the theme weeks, but he’s already a big audience fave.
5. Scotty McCreery (ie: the country boy Alfred E. Newman)~ this good ole boy with the deep voice is winning in so many ways that he could be the first male country Idol winner. I just hope he shows a little versatility and doesn’t buy into his own hype. However, he has totally exceeded my expectations thus far, so good for him.
6. Thia Megia (ie: Charice 2.0)~ she was speechless upon entering the top ten last night and so were we after her tremendous rendition of “Out Here on My Own”. Now, if she can overcome the shyness and keep delivering vocals like she did on Thursday, she could be the more talented Jasmine Trias of the season and not the forgetful Ramielle Mullaby of the season…
7. Stefano Langone (ie: lil Bruno Mars)~ he sang for his life with Smokie Norful’s “I Need to Know” and gave himself arguably the first “moment” of the competition with his amazing and emotional turn. He’s fast become my second fave guy in the competition after Jacob and could go really far now that people know what he’s made of.
8. Karen Rodriguez (ie: Gloria Estefan 2.0)~ the bilingual beauty is playing up the Latina card to no end. But make no mistake, it’s her fantastic voice that helped her conquer Mariah’s “Hero”. Now, if she could dial back the pageant outfits…
9. Paul McDonald (ie: quirky guy with the pearly whites)~ he has perhaps the most definitive voice in the contest and his indie vibe is refreshing…. but is he a one trick pony?
10. Ashton Jones (ie: Diana Ross 2.0)~ she’s got the looks, the body and the personality. Now, if she can propel her vocals up to the level of her diva’tude, she could end up going as far as Syesha Mercado a couple of seasons ago.
11. James Durbin (Lambert-lite): this rockin’ wailer is already rather divisive, but you can’t deny his pipes. And his brotherly relationship with Langone only serves to help with his likability factor.
12. Naima Adedapo (ie: Nina Simone/India Arie 2.0)~ she just barely squeaked her way into the top 13 and will need to hone her vocals to stay on this journey. But she’s unique and has an underdog quality about her that is worth rooting for. Plus, Steven Tyler is squarely in her corner…
13. Haley Reinhart (ie: Myley 2.0)~ ok, how on Earth did she make the finals? She’s cloying, artificial, obnoxious and creepy… Yes, her voice is decent, but I doubt she’ll go much farther here… Watch for her to be on the chopping block next week.
And there you have it~ my take on just who is at the top of this game and who has some work to do. What do you think? Who are your favorites and do you like this top 13? Let me hear it in the comments below…. And watch next week when they sing “Songs by their Favorite Artists” on Wed night and we get the first big elimination on Thursday (which will also feature Adam Lambert doing an acoustic version of his new single “Aftermath”!)
And before I go, here’s an encore of Stefano’s incredible performance of “I Need to Know” from last night
Tags: Adam Lambert, American Idol, Ashton Jones, Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Jacob Lusk, James Durbin, Jasmine Trias, Karen Rodriguez, Lauren Alaina, Naima Adedapo, Paul McDonald, Pia Toscano, Rupaul's Drag Race, Scotty McCreery, Smokie Norful, Stefano Langone, Steven Tyler, Syesha Mercado, Thia Megia