Sir Mac & MJ hash out their American Idol Top 10 power lists! Join the discussion in comments below.
Mac: 1) Alex Preston- Well, Majesty *was* my #1 pick last week, but in all honesty, if I had known in advance that she was doing Let It Go, I would not have ranked her #1. In no way was that going to be a stellar performance, unless she was stripping it down and just singing it with a guitar. Then, MAYBE, she might be able to get some traction with that song. But, this is about Alex. Alex who chose Falling Slowly, which has been done a googleplex amount of times on Idol (google it, kids). He had another solid performance, and Alex is honestly one of the more consistent performers. Sure, I Don’t Wanna Be was a step backwards, but the rest of his performances have been at least par for the course, if not moving him in a slightly forward trajectory. Plus, as one of the only remaining contestants without a bottom 3 appearance, Alex has that benefit also. His WGWG competition (Sam) landed in the bottom 3, suggesting that there might not be as close of a race as we thought.
MJ: 4) Alex Preston – Last week’s performance was a step in the right direction for Alex. “Falling Slowly” has been overdone on all of the singing shows, but like “Hallelujah,” it resonates with audiences. He also managed to bring a fresh spin to it. It’s all good. If Alex continues to move along a positive path, I’ll move him up the list. He’s still got to work on making his performances less internal.
Mac: 2) Caleb Johnson- Again, as one of the only people who hasn’t been in the bottom, Caleb gets an upswing on the power list. Even moreso than Dexter, because Skyfall created a moment for Caleb. If Caleb gets eliminated, he now has a stellar performance to call back to sing for his life, whereas Dexter has that country ballad he sounded pretty good on. I’m not sure if Caleb CAN win, and I’m pretty sure he shouldn’t win. I can’t imagine Caleb being musically relevant right now. But, however you see Caleb, Skyfall was awesome, and he’s a pretty consistent performer who hasn’t been in the bottom 3.
MJ: 1) Caleb Johnson – Caleb is my #1 this week. His choice of “Skyfall” by Adele was a brilliant song pick. He totally zigged while folks were expecting him to zag (with a classic rock pick), but also managed to stay in his wheelhouse. Caleb is a wonderfully THEATRICAL singer. Big songs with great melodies, no matter what the genre, should be what he chooses from now on.
Mac: 3) Dexter Roberts- Yeah, I know, I’m putting Dexter in the Top 3. Holy crapola. Honestly though, he threw Roll Tide into the most southern song you could imagine. If you don’t think people from Alabama (which has already produced multiple winners) are voting for him, you’re nuts. He clearly has a following, as he has never been in the bottom, even on weak performances. Dexter might be the “frustrating sleeper” contestant who lasts longer than the general population would like. I think he’s good at what he does, to be honest, but I’m starting to notice an increased amount of people online who would like to see “Shrekster” gone.
MJ: 2) Dexter Roberts – He’s in my TOP 2! His pandering paid off big time. From here on out, it’s going to be bro country, patriotic ditties, and sad songs about losing loved ones…etc etc etc ad nauseum. It’s working for him, why would he stop? It doesn’t hurt that vocally, he has a pleasing tone. I bet he records well, too. But there’s no originality to be had, here. Nevertheless, he knows who his fans are and what they want, so he sits at the top of my list.
Mac: 4) Jena Irene- This girl bounces around my list like a super bouncy ball in a rubber room. Her performance last week on Decode was so buzzy that it’s hard to not think that Jena found new fans. The problem with forward motion is keeping it going, and Jena absolutely needs another hit this week to keep that motion going.
MJ: 3) Jena Irene – She’s my #3. Her performance was so buzzy, I think she DID gain some new fans. If the performance is a fluke, down my list she’ll fall. But I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she’s caught on to what she needs to do. Her pre-idol performances demonstrate that she’s certainly got the goods and is a great performer. All she needed to do was find her groove.
Mac: 5) CJ Harris- Another singer with a buzzy performance. CJ really only has one buzzy performance to his name, since hitting the voting rounds. Jena has two to her name. CJ also needs a slam dunk this week to keep a Top 5 spot. If he reverts back, he could be a Bottom 3 contender (as Sam and Majesty’s fans will likely rally to save them this week).
MJ: 5) CJ Harris – We agree here! CJ had a great performance this week. He’s the other country guy who is infinitely more interesting, as long as he keeps being true to himself. Like Jena, he could fall down the list with a bad performance.
Mac: 6) Majesty Rose- Formerly my #1 pick, drops to #6 this week. I think Majesty got the message, at least I HOPE she did. Her song choice this week will show us if she’s turning it around or not. Honestly, most of her performances have just been good not great, and now that other contestants are starting to have their ‘moment’ on stage, Majesty needs to register a ‘moment’ if she plans on making the finale, or even getting the trip home at Top 3.
MJ: 9) Majesty Rose – I’m afraid our girl Majesty Rose has lost the plot. She was nearly eliminated last week because she chose a song that was ill suited for her. See, I’m not sure she GOT the message. She’s gotten so many mixed signals from the judges and Randy, she could be very very confused at this point. I was peeved that the judges soft pedalled their critiques last week, because she NEEDED to hear that the path she was on was wrong. She stays near the bottom on my list until she redeems herself.
Mac: 7) Sam Woolf- The fact that Sam was able to hit the bottom this week shows how little support fan girls and “the frau” have for Sam. This season is about the music, apparently, and Sam has given a series of (also like Majesty), good not great performances (before this week, of course). Sam needs a moment, and without that, he won’t even crack the Top 5.
MJ: 8) Sam Woolf: Yikes. How the mighty have fallen. All those people I assumed Sam had? Not so much. Or maybe he had some and they abandoned him. Since he’s hit the big stage, he’s been like a deer in the headlights. I give him points for last week’s attempt to break down the wall he performs behind. A few years of musical and LIFE experience could make a ton of difference for Sam. But I’m afraid this is an issue that won’t be solved in the next couple of weeks.
Mac: 8) Jess Meuse- I realize that Jess has yet to be in the bottom, but honestly, America has not been kind to girls this season. Jess is the only girl who hasn’t appeared in the bottom, and her past two weeks have basically been her singing a lullaby to America. Unless she picks up the tempo this week, she might be called to the bottom. You have to bet that Majesty and Sam’s fans will get them out of the bottom, and that 3 different singers will occupy that spot. It’s safe to assume that Jess, the last girl, will see a Bottom 3 appearance this week (barring a stunning performance).
MJ: 6) Jess Meuse – I still have faith that Jess has fans who are rooting for her. She’s a small town girl from Alabama, after all! But that good will may be wearing thin. Jess has to make a big bold move and knock it out of the park if she wants to stick around.
Mac: 9) Malaya Watson- Malaya has one bottom appearance to her name, and has since turned in two rather good performances. Malaya struggles though on more contemporary songs, and since this list is Top 10′s from 2000-Present, I have to wonder if Malaya is going to be able to connect to a current piece. Think about the Malaya songs of the past few weeks, and her worst song is the only one that is a Top 10 hit. Malaya works better as a throwback artist, so this week has her at an automatic disadvantage.
MJ: 7) Malaya Watson – I didn’t think her performance last week was good. She still needs to reign it in. The girl needs to learn how shade her performance dynamically. Again, I don’t think she’s getting the correct feedback from the judges, or the help behind the scenes to make her a better singer. I have her ranked a little higher than you, because the judges love her. Now that the tour cast has been settled, maybe they won’t be so hesitant to call her out. Another shouty, uncontrolled performance that’s not well received by the judges? She could be in trouble.
Mac: 10) MK Nobilette- If MK can have a second consecutive solid performance, I’ll move her up the list. What I saw last week was a good performance from someone who had previously been awful, and her fans finally rallied to save her. I’m not convinced that MK has really broken out of her shell, and she continues to pick songs and convey little to no emotional connection to the lyrics. Pick something that reminds you of someone who died, or someone who broke your heart, and sing THAT to America. I want to see MK have a real moment on stage, and she got a pass this week because 3 other people honestly deserved to be in the bottom 3. That may not be the case again this week. She can’t just keep aiming for “good enough to stay in the competition”, because as the numbers get smaller, being just OK will get you sent home.
MJ: 10) MK Nobilette – MK is at the bottom of my list by default. Everyone else deserves to rank higher. She was clever last week, directing her performance to the judges, allowing her to connect on a smaller scale. But if she is going to survive on Idol, she has to learn to perform to the camera and to the studio audience. This week will be a big test for MK. If she fails, she could be eliminated.