This week, the top 11 performed…again! The theme was Elton John…again! A theme that I hate…again! And just to add to the monotony, everyone did well…again! Maybe there’s something about themes I don’t like that just makes everyone bring their “A” game? Who knows, but I really like it! Once again, everyone delivered solid performances, proving that this is arguably the most talented group of finalists that Idol has ever seen.
Last week, I said that about 7 of them have shown that they have a legitimate shot at winning. After this episode, I feel like two more contestants really stepped up their game, and showed themselves to be a dark horse, while two others really fell back a few spots. It’s a tight competition, and for the first time…I really have no idea how it will end! This show is exciting for a change! Anyway, onto the rankings!
11. Paul MacDonald – Rocket Man Paul is probably the most artistically developed. He knows who he is, and how to perform a song in his own unique way. He’s great at what he does, but what he does isn’t necessarily a good fit for this show. This performance was glaring proof of that. His singing was quite frankly, awful. I felt like he was half asleep, and he was basically sing-talking the song. It was like a sleepy coffee house performance. Yes, it was a solid performance, and I know exactly who Paul is as an artist. In fact, out of everyone, Paul would be the only one whose album I would buy without ever seeing him on this show. Unfortunately, this performance was just not good, and puts him in danger of going home.
10. Stefano Langone – Tiny Dancer Last week, Stefano was at the bottom of the rankings for picking a song that was too big for him, and failing to connect with the song emotionally. This performance was a better “performance,” but the vocals were noticeably weak. Unfortunately for Stefano, this exposed how really inconsistent he is. For the first two weeks, he was one of the top contenders, while in the past few weeks, he’s been lagging behind. It’s a growth pattern that’s very unbecoming, and puts him at risk unfortunately.
9. Naima Adeadpo – I’m Still Standing Naima is one of the more unique contestants, and I really liked what she did with the arrangement. Turning this Elton song into a reggae jam was a great way to stand out, and show the crowd who she is as an artist. Unfortunately, the vocals weren’t quite there. The arrangement was incredibly cool and laid back, but perhaps a bit too sleepy. It was a goo performance from Naima, but the vocals were a bit off.
8. Jacob Lusk – Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word Jacob is a great vocalist when he has himself under control. This was a great, restrained performance, and demonstrated his strong vocal capabilities. However, it just didn’t click like some of his past performances. I don’t know why…but it didn’t grab me like he did last week, and I blame the arrangement. It was good, but there wasn’t anything wrong with the original. Jacob has a tendency to oversing, and I feel like this performance would have been better and even more sensitive with some further restraint.
7. Pia Toscano – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me This is the lowest I’ve ever ranked Pia. Vocally, she delivered as per usual, but that’s part of the problem. I’ve seen this performance already. She gave us this same performance last week, and the week before, and the week before that. The ballads are getting boring Pia. Do something about it. Now, granted…there isn’t a whole hell of a lot that she could have done with the theme. Did anyone really want her to sing some Crocodile Rock? No, but she could have at lest moved around the stage a bit.
6. Lauren Alaina – Candle In The Wind Lauren seems to be doing everything she needs to survive week to week. I was really happy to see her just stand there and deliver a ballad. This was one of her best performances, and really showed off her strong voice. I’ve been waiting for her to really deliver a ballad, and she did just that with strong conviction. Lauren has been consistently good, and performs with the charisma of someone will beyond her years. Laurens got potential, but now she really needs to bring it all together and deliver to coveted “moment” to move back to the front of the pack.
5. Scotty McCreery – Country Comfort Scotty performed a song with the word “Country” in the title. Yeah, because I couldn’t see that one coming from a thousand miles away. Once again, Scotty countrified his song choice, and turned it into a Country story time ballad. Scotty is a one trick pony, but each week, Scotty gets better and better at that one trick. This week, he seemed extraordinarily comfortable on stage, and showed excellent charisma and showmanship. It was the first time that I paid attention to every aspect of his performance.
4. Casey Abrams – Your Song After being technically voted off last week, Casey had a lot to prove. I was thrilled that he decided to get a haircut, because I really feel like that’s step one in winning back America. His decision to sit down and deliver a ballad was a great decision, and he managed to remind me why I fell in love with his voice. It was a much softer and sensitive side to Casey, and it was great to see a return to that. His voice came through strong with all of the grit and soul that I’ve come to miss. Welcome back, Casey.
3. James Durbin – Saturday Night’s Alright James has consistently been at the top of my rankings, and there’s a reason for that. He’s done ballads. He’s done uptempo. He can work the stage, and his vocals are consistently on point. This week, he set a piano on fire. Enough said.
2. Thia Megia – Daniel This has been circling the drain for the past few weeks. When she said that she was singing another ballad, I thought that this would be her last performance. However, out of nowhere, she managed to dig deep, and pull out some emotions that we’ve never seen from her before. Her unique tone really shone through the song, and she managed to connect with every single person watching. It was the only performance of the night that gave me chills, which is odd considering that almost everyone decided to do a ballad. Plus, the arrangement was awesome; very reminiscent of Leona Lewis. Who is this Thia, and where did she come from? More importantly, why is she late? This was by far Thia’s best performance. I still feel like she’s in danger of going home, and it would be such a shame if she leaves on her strongest showing.
1. Haley Reinheart – Benny and the Jets Haley is on a hot streak lately. Yes, I ranked her first last week, but everyone was so close last week that I felt that she earned extra points for showing the most improvement. This week, not only did she earn this spot, but it wasn’t even a hard decision. Haley simply amazed me tonight. For the first time ever, I thought to myself…could Haley actually win? She has a unique voice that’s very similar to Duffy and Adele, and she could be very successful post Idol. Haley has really stepped up her game, and I believe that she’s now an actual contender in this competition!
So, there you have it! Who should be the bottom 3?
Stefano, Paul, and Naima.
However, I really feel like Thia is still in danger.
Two people go home tomorrow night, which sucks on such a good night.
If I was a betting man, I’d say that Thia and Stefano have sang their last, but personally, it’s Paul that deserves to go.