All the roof-raising, hootin’ and a-hollerin’, and heavenly wailing couldn’t save Joshua Ledet in a somewhat surprising elimination on last week’s American Idol. This talented singer who could burp and get a standing ovation from the judges, gave strong and often fantastic performances throughout season 11 and seemed like a shoo-in for the finale according to most prognosticators. Alas, it was not meant to be and Mantasia just missed the cut. But don’t fret Joshua fans, I’m sure Jimmy Iovine will give him a contract and he will carve out a nice little R&B and gospel career in time. I could see him have the latter-day success of both Idol winners Fantasia and Ruben Studdard who have maintained decent sales throughout their careers in the R&B field netting Grammy nominations (and 1 win for Fantasia) along the way. However, there was no way he was going to crossover and become a big pop star. Instead one of the two finalists might actually do that. One, Jessica Sanchez, clearly has giant pop star written all over her, while the other, Phillip Phillips, could whittle out a nice John Mayer-esque niche in the music world. So, just which one of these talented finalist has the big buzz going into this week’s finale? Well, just take a look at my final all new American Idol Buzz Rankings for Season 11 below.
American Idol Season 11 Top Two Buzz Rankings~
1. Phillip: while his growly singing style and his penchant for turning every song into a Dave Matthews tribute is not my cup of tea, he clearly has a giant fan base. He has never been in the bottom 2 vote-getters and he has tons of charisma. He also is a white guy with a guitar and those people (David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, Scotty McCreery) tend to win this program. He also had a standout performance last week with “We’ve Got Tonight” that pushed him outside of his boundaries and was lovely to behold. So, he may have picked up a few more fans because of that… Oh and he’s ridiculously hot. So, he has the edge going into the finale. However, will his performance be more of the same and thus cause voter inertia? … What am I thinking those tween girls and their moms will be mass texting like crazy. (last week~ 2)
2. Jessica: I was so thrilled and excited when she made the finals I let out a big yelp that scared my dog. I just couldn’t contain myself that the season’s best singer was actually going all the way to the finale. I was also thrilled that the girl many thought had the best chance for a female to win since season 6′s Jordin Sparks might break the boy curse. I still think she can do it. She has the vocal prowess and showmanship. She’s cute, likable and relatable. So, she just needs the right songs. Something current (Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World” perhaps) to go with her favorite of the season (please do “I Will Always Love You”) and the winner’s single. I have such high hopes for her and know she will knock it out of the park. Plus, she makes history as the only person to have been “Saved” by the judges to make it this far. One other thing in her favor is that she will likely grab Joshua’s votes because I can’t see any of his fans preferring Phillip over her. (last week~ 1)
So, it’s all come down to the two singers I predicted would be in the finale back at the start of the Top 13. Jessica v. Phillip. I am pulling for Jessica as you know, but she does feel like the underdog. So, I will keep my expectations low and enjoy the show on Tuesday night… Who are you pulling for?
Before I leave, I thought I would leave Joshua a consolation prize… I have officially declared him the most talented third place finisher in the history of American Idol. Congrats Mantasia! … Herewith is my list of the third place Idol finishers according to their talent, vocal abilities, and performances.
Ranking the American Idol 3rd Place Finishers:
1. Joshua Ledet (season 11)
2. Melinda Doolittle (season 6)
3. Elliott Yamin (season 5)
4. Kimberley Locke (season 3)
5. Haley Reinhart (season 10)
~ all of the above five were fantastic… the next six… well… not so much
6. Syesha Mercado (season 7)
7. Casey James (season 9)
8. Vonzell Soloman (season 4)
9. Danny Gokey (season 8)
10. Jasmine Trias (season 3)
11. Nikki McKibbon (season 1)
And here’s Joshua’s standout vocal of the season, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
Tags: American Idol, Casey James, Danny Gokey, David Cook, Elliott Yamin, Fantasia, Haley Reinhart, Jasmine Trias, Jessica Sanchez, Jordin Sparks, Joshua Ledet, Kimberley Locke, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, Melinda Doolittle, Nikki McKibbon, Phillip Phillips, Ruben Studdard, Scotty McCreery, Syesha Mercado, Vonzell Soloman