American Idol XIII – Idol Chat with M&M – The Top 8 Strike Back!

Mac & MJ compare their American Idol Top 8 Redux power lists! How would you rank the Idols?

MAC: 1) Alex Preston- After leading my power list for weeks, Alex decided to close the show last week with an original song. If that didn’t 100% solidify his front-runner status, then I don’t know what did. Plus, it charted pretty high on Itunes (Top 40, I believe). Alex will undoubtedly change up an 80’s hit this week. Hopefully it’s not another I Don’t Wanna Be.

MJ: 1) Alex Preston – Alex is on a roll. The designated “true artist” of American Idol XIII appears to have a similar trajectory to season 11 winner,  Phillip Phillips, who was also crowned thusly, at the time, by Jlo and her fellow judges.  If I were a betting person, my money would be on Alex for the win. Although, that could change in the coming weeks, in a season where viewers just ain’t that invested.

MAC: 2) Jena Irene– I’m going bold with Jena here. She’s been having an absolutely fantastic past couple of weeks, and it is literally impossible to ignore her. She may have been in the bottom in the past, but that was old Jena. New Jena is a force to be reckoned with… providing she never takes a step backward.

MJ:  3) Jena Irene – That is bold. I wasn’t in love with her “Rolling in the Deep” arrangement, but it did show originality and a willingness to take a risk. She won’t end up in the bottom again, but her performances are still too shaky for me to rank her second.

MAC: 3) Caleb Johnson –I think Caleb should heed Harry’s advice and think about showing the softer side soon. The last time he did, it was Skyfall, and it was mindblowing. If Caleb can recreate that moment, he’ll be in the game for sure.

MJ: 4) Caleb Johnson – Caleb has been awesome, but I agree he needs to shake things up a little so he doesn’t fall victim to the Chris Daughtry syndrome.  He has potential to be a shock boot one of these weeks. His song pick this week, “Faithfully,” although not a terribly creative choice, could do the trick if he sings the crap out of it.

MAC: 4) Jess Meuse- Has never been in the bottom 3. That’s important. She also just performed an original song. Her audience seems to love her, even when she’s coasting. 80’s week could be awesome for her.

MJ: 2) Jess Meuse –  Jess’ ability to stay out of the B3, even when she’s delivered so so performances, likely means she has a very loyal fan base. She killed it last week, with what I believe, was one of the strongest performances of the night. She’s proven herself to be a talented songwriter.  She’s behind her fellow artist, Alex, at #2.

MAC: 5) Dexter Roberts– I think he definitely did himself a favor last week and showed America he can actually sing, which they might have forgotten. 80’s week makes me curious. I’m not entirely sure how this will work out for him. Hopefully he finds a strong song to perform.

MJ: 5) Dexter Roberts – Blargh. Maybe I should rate him higher after his strong performance last week. But he’s too inconsistent. He only seems to land with ballads, and he can’t sing them every week.

MAC: 6) Malaya Watson- Malaya has the benefit this week of not being Sam or CJ. Going forward, she’ll need to figure out how to prove herself as an artist and not just a singer, because the five people above her have more artistry than her. At some point, her personality will stop carrying her.

MJ: 6) Malaya Watson:  The young singer has nabbed the “most improved” arc.  Who doesn’t love a trier? If she keeps improving, she could move up the list. I disagree a little here. I think her recent song interpretations DO reveal artistry.  She’s just a bit unformed at this point. If Malaya were a few years older, she could have been a real contender.

MAC: 7) Sam Woolf- Sam was saved, after having been in the bottom the week before, so I’m not sure if the save will actually mean anything in the long run. I do think that people are tired of seeing CJ, so Sam will get a reprieve this week, but I’m not even sure Sam can escape the bottom 3 this week. If not, it’ll show how big of a waste the save really was.

MJ: 7) Sam Woolf – If Idol history holds, on the heels of being the recipient of the judges save, Sam will be safe this week. The bad news is, somebody more worthy of a second chance could be booted this week.  If Sam doesn’t improve, his Idol reprieve will be short lived.

MAC: 8) CJ Harris – It seems as though CJ’s time on Idol is coming to an end. He’s been in the bottom consecutively, and the “Idol Chatter” is that people are done with CJ. Many felt CJ should have gotten the axe last week, and most agree he wouldn’t have been saved. You don’t want to be the contestant that overstays their welcome, and if CJ survives this week, he will have done just that.

MJ: 8) CJ Harris – His Idol journey so far has been super-cat like. I’ve predicted his demise numerous times so far, and he always manages to escape, no matter how jarringly off key or weird his performances are. Has his time finally run out? I hesitate to say yes. But, yeah. Maybe.


Contributor to EIC of, Contributor at Holds a BA in Film from the University of Central Florida.

  • jt45

    Malaya is fantastic. So I don’t think it matters whether she started at 16 or 20. The show isn’t HUGE anymore, so who cares? She might as well start out young if she can, since she’s already good. Just like Diana DeGarmo. They can hold their own. I don’t understand why people are underrating her. Yes she needs to prove she’s more than just a good singer, but her most recent performance was the best of the night (at LEAST in terms of vocals) and her few performances before that were just as great.

  • Marko

    Rocker guys are destined for top 4 shock boot. Daughtry, Durbin and now Caleb?

  • gclay

    I agree she’s my fav I thought she was a contender, but the bottom 3 this week has me nervous

  • torngorn

    the Cat/CJ Analogy cracked me up ,it s true i hope its his last week but at the same time since i have so little interest in this year crop i wouldn’t mind a shock boot

  • MichaelG

    I pegged him for a shock boot last week….didn’t happen. I love shock boots, btw.

    I would normally agree with you, but the difference is that during Durbin’s season (10) and Daughtry’s (5), there were actually some good singers in the mix, over-all. I’m not a fan of heavy medal and I’m not necessarily a mini meatloaf fan, but Caleb probably has the best– or 2nd best –vocals of this group.

  • Liteasy

    I don’t see any greatness with Malaya. She is pitchy and off key throughout her songs. Plus being a screamer with a squeaky voice grates on my ears.

  • pj

    I guess I didn’t see Durbin as a shock boot. I also am not sure the same rules apply with the new voting system.

  • MichaelG

    That’s a good point. I think Durbin was the only one who was ‘shocked’.

  • NancP

    She has stepped up in her solo performances, but still screams too much for me….her duet with Sam was a trainwreck…entirely off key through the whole duet part of the performance and all her group performances have been cringe worthy….she can go home anytime

  • Marko

    I wonder if Caleb can replicate the shock-booted-rocker blowfish face.

  • jt45

    She’s hitting high notes though. That’s not screaming…

  • Alain

    exactly this! you read my mind!

  • Aidolfan


  • maymirabella

    Yes she is my favorite. I do think of her singing as screaming, provided she hits the notes and stays on key. And the judges seem to be saying she is doing better too. I see a lot of improvement with Malaya in the past couple of weeks.

  • maymirabella

    I know she will not win and I have my doubts she will make top 5 but I would like to see CJ, Dexter , Sam leave before her. But I doubt that will happen. It is very possible the next 3 boots will be CJ, Malaya, Sam but maybe not in that order. I hope Malaya at least outlasts CJ. I would like to see her outlast at least 2 guys. We only have three girls last and 2 guys need to go before another guy goes.

  • maymirabella

    I agree. I also want 2 guys to go before another girl goes. I want Malaya to at least outlast 2 guys…we only have 3 girls left. And it is time for a male to leave. I admit I am still pouting like an overgrown baby about the Sam save. I really do need to grow up and get a life and I am an old lady..too late for me..LOL

  • MichaelG

    I think Malaya will be in the Syesha sweet spot.

  • maymirabella

    I agree. I remember people saying the same thing about some past contestants is hitting high notes and singing loudly and for some of of us, that is not screaming.

  • MichaelG

    True, but everything is relative… :)

  • maymirabella

    I also think Alex will win. I was wrong early in the season when I predict Sam would win as he was the young cute WGWG but now I think another WGWG will win who is not all that cute but a true artist who is very musically talented . He can play a lot of instruments, he is like a one man band in a way.

  • maymirabella

    That would be terrific but I think the last woman standing will be Jessica who has yet to be in bottom 3 where as Malaya has been in bottom 3 several times now.

  • maymirabella

    I like Malaya , she is by far my favorite but I doubt she can outlast the other girls..Jena and Jess are too strong and I am beginning to think that top 4 is pretty solid…ie in whatever order…Jena, jess, caleb, alex..seem sure things for top 4 unless someone upsets that or say Jena begins to go downhill or shock boot soon of Caleb ..etc

  • fuzzywuzzy

    It’s far past time for CJ to leave. He needs to leave before Sam, IMO.

  • Elizabeth Rosalyn

    Agreed. It’s Alex’s to lose right now.

  • Prime_Minister

    I agree, Alex will win. I love his musicality, but (this is kind of shallow) he’s the less attractive version of Kris Allen – not sure how commercially successful he will be.

  • maymirabella

    But that does come into play with singers, actors, and so on. So you have a good point. I am guessing if he wins, people will begin to think of his look at quirky, geeky, and so on and he will the Quirky Idol or something like that.

  • b_james

    I predict Malaya goes home this week, unfortunately.

  • Marko

    Lol. Ruben and Fantasia can give him a run for his money.

  • Mateja Praznik

    My rankings:

    1. Jena
    2. Jessica
    3. Malaya
    4. Caleb


    5. – 8. : In no particular order (all equally terrible): Sam, Alex, CJ, Dexter

  • Matthew Kitson

    Alex, jess, Caleb and Jena are in a league of their own. Hope that’s how the top 4 shakes out in the long run

  • BL1486

    CJ should go home, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Malaya is the one voted off.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yeah, there’s major grading on a curve this season.

  • Trina

    But being attractive hasnt helped Kris be a big commercial success. The music will be everything IMO. There are quirky singer/songwriter types who have done well as long as they have catchy songs.

  • cableknitgal

    Music is filled with not so great looking guys. Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Tom Petty etc etc etc you don’t even have to have great music.

  • Prime_Minister

    My Power List (what I think, not what I want):
    1. Alex
    2. Caleb
    3. Jena
    4. Jessica
    5. Dexter
    6. Malaya
    7. CJ