Mac and Mj compare their American Idol XIII Top 11 power lists! Share yours in comments.
MAC: 1) Majesty Rose- I think Majesty’s fans proved, at least in every poll I saw, that they love her no matter what. Several polls, including the one here at MJ’s, had her in the Top 2/3 at least, even though many felt it wasn’t her strongest performance. That kind of fan devotion will take her a long way. Meanwhile, Alex Preston was 5th of 6th when shown real-time results. There is something special about a Majesty Rose performance, even one that isn’t her best. My only worry is that her closing the show will throw her early next week, which is never good.
MJ: 2) Majesty Rose – I agree, that at this point, Majesty definitely has people and can afford a poor performance or two. The first half of “Fix You” was spectacular. And if only she had kept her delivery subtle and delicate, we may have been talking about a moment here. I’m not willing to give her the #1 spot this week. The country boys came on too strong.
MAC: 2) Alex Preston-A bit of a stumble back this week, but almost everyone stumbled somewhat last week. Alex’s arrangements of songs are sometimes not great, but the fact that he’s willing to take these risks could lead to him doing something magnificent, like Kris Allen’s ‘Heartless’, where an unexpected arrangement really just throws him over the top. Alex is not the strongest performer, but neither was Phillip on his season. Alex’s greatest threat to his making the finale is the possibility that Sam Woolf might choose better songs.
MJ: 5) Alex Preston – I actually liked his arrangement of “I Don’t Wanna Be” and I agree he’s perfectly capable of delivering a “Heartless” type performance. But while Kris Allen always performed with a quiet confidence, Alex has been unable to make a connection to the audience. The problem with “Don’t Wanna Be” was his inability to sell the bold arrangement. I like Alex, but I fear he’s going to fade away if he doesn’t have a break out moment. That’s why I put him at only #5 this week.
MAC: 3) Sam Woolf- Even though the song Sam chose last week was incredibly boring, it’s exactly the TYPE of song he needs to choose in order to win the competition. Handing him a guitar and sitting him in the middle of the swaybots was a good call too, as it reminded everyone just how cute girls think he is. Sam is a strong performance away from surpassing Alex, but he just doesn’t pick the best song for him. He may know who he is as an artist, but his song choices have been lacking.
MJ: 3) Sam Woolf – Sam delivered a perfectly serviceable performance of “Just One” and he slides up my list only because of the weak performances from some of his competitors. Yes he’s cute and earnest, and you just want to pinch his cheeks. But the lights are on and nobody’s home. If this kid could break through the emotional wall he’s performing behind, he’d be unstoppable.
MAC: 4) Ben Briley- It should be noted that the next 4 people I believe are all terribly close. Ben was better this week than last week, which helped me move him up the power rankings. Ben also takes risks, as he proved with Folsom Prison Blues, and by ditching his guitar this week and just singing a song straight. I think Ben is a dark horse. Not necessarily to win, but to potentially make the final 3. To be fair, we have a few dark horses this year.
MJ: 4) Ben Briley – I like that Ben takes risks and has shown originality in his song picks. I didn’t agree with the judges criticism of his performance last week. Not only was “Turning Home” a great song choice for Ben, but he delivered a heartfelt performance. It was one of the strongest of the night. Therefore, he moves up to #4 on my list. I agree, he’s got potential to go deep in this competition.
MAC: 5) Dexter Roberts- A slightly more boring version of Ben. He doesn’t take the risks, but he was definitely better this week than he was last week. This show is about consistency and growth, and if Dexter keeps topping himself, he’ll find himself knocking off more popular singers, and better singers.
MJ: 1) Dexter Roberts – Dexter was so head and shoulders above everyone else this week, he tops my list. His performance not only displayed beautiful intonation and phrasing, but it struck a chord with the audience. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was last week’s top vote getter. If he sticks to heartfelt country ballads, Dexter could stay in the competition for a long time.
MAC: 6) Jess Meuse- A step back this week, for sure, but what I heard from a lot of Jess fans was that “it wasn’t that bad” and they “kind of liked it”. It’ll be interesting to see if Jess turns it around this week, and at least fixes her pitch issues. I’m thinking her fans won’t be forgiving much longer if her performances are continually sharp. It also wouldn’t hurt her to improve upon her stage presence. She doesn’t seem to emote much on stage.
MJ: 6) Jess Meuse – I’m on Team Keith when it comes to pitch. If a singer performs with conviction, I can handle a few pitch problems. The biggest issue I had with Jess’s performance this week is that she sleep-walked through it. It was odd, that song she claims to have sung many times, was performed with so little feeling. Jess’s inconsistency worries me. When she’s on, she is ON. But she can’t seem to maintain a standard.
MAC: 7) Caleb Johnson- “Forgettable cover rock” would be how I believe Caleb’s performance. I think he took a step back this week, while a few others took a step forward. That being said, 4th-7th place are all really close for me in their groupings. I considered tying 4 people, but that’s kinda cheating. He needs to be memorable and original, otherwise he’ll end up more Colton Dixon than David Cook.
MJ: 7) Caleb Johnson – My opinion of Caleb hasn’t changed much over the weeks. He’s got an impressively theatrical rock voice, but he comes off like a lounge lizard. Plus, that Rush song had no melody and was a poor choice for a competition song. Unless he breaks out, I peg Caleb as a middle packer.
MAC: 8) Jena Irene- Her fans will likely pull her out of the bottom this week, but she needs to improve to get back in the game. The last two weeks have been mediocre performances. She seems unable to have a moment with anything she didn’t write. I would definitely tell her to get back at the piano this week, and at least try to connect with the song she’s singing.
MJ: 9) Jena Irene – I’m sad that Jena isn’t living up to her potential so far. Whatever momentum she had coming into the finals (after her stellar wild card performance) she’s quickly losing. The Idol stage and band are swallowing her up. Having seen her powerful performances fronting her high school rock band, I would not have predicted that. I think a performance at the piano would be the right move at this point.
MAC: 9) CJ Harris- I’m worried about CJ, who is the last of the wildcards who hasn’t hit the bottom yet. His vocals weren’t great last week, even if the song fit him like a glove. Had other singers been better last week, CJ might have been in trouble. Instead, he was one of a handful of singers who was sharp. CJ even admitted that he knows he sings sharp, and doesn’t know how to fix it. I don’t think the Idol team will be able to fix it any time soon, and very soon one of these sharp performances will put him in the bottom, if not send him home.
MJ: 8) CJ Harris – It doesn’t bother me that CJ sings sharp (See: my remarks about Team Keith). I’m not sure it would bother America so much either, if Harry wasn’t constantly pointing it out. Having said that, I’m not convinced CJ is in this for the long haul. I have the feeling he’s the least popular of the 3 country boys. A bad song choice could do him in. He could last longer than a couple more of the girls, although I think he’ll be the first boy to go.
MAC: 10) Malaya Watson- I wish I could move her up more, because I liked her performance last week, but Malaya is so inconsistent. She also seems to want to choose songs that aren’t really in her wheelhouse, or are traditionally done by singers with a higher grade of ability than Malaya. Malaya is not an A+ vocalist. She’s a B+ or B vocalist. If she had tried to survive against Amber and Candice from last season, it’s unlikely she’d even have made the top 10 last year. Luckily, there isn’t a ‘diva’ singer this season to remind everyone what church singing really sounds like.
MJ: 10) Malaya Watson – She was vastly improved last week and I was not at all surprised she didn’t hit the bottom 3. But if she has another iffy performance this week, she could be eliminated.
MAC: 11) MK Nobilette- MK is the only person who has been in the bottom consecutively. She has to be at the bottom of the power rankings, because she statistically has the best chance of being in the bottom again this week. Her performance is almost non-existent. There’s no visible connection to the song, and she seems uncomfortable on stage. I disagree with the critiques that she needs a makeover, or needs to look more feminine. I think they’ve been doing that, and she’s losing her confidence because of it. She should be allowed to be herself again. America voted her through knowing she was a tomboy type, so stop putting lipstick on her.
MJ: 11) MK Nobilette – I like MK. I’ve even liked performances others did not. But last week, she picked a poor song and wasn’t able to sell it. She looked like she was going to cry through the entire song. I would never want MK to be somebody she’s not. But I do think America has issues with gender presentation that isn’t clear cut. A look at some of the opinions in comments sections will tell you that. The thing is, she’s got to go out there, like Adam Lambert did, and OWN who she is, through a confident performance. THAT would win some of the haters over.