Sir Mac & MJ hash out their American Idol Top 9 power lists! Join the discussion in comments below.
Mac: 1) Alex Preston- I gotta keep ranking him #1 on the power list due to consistency. I think both Jena and Caleb are making strong waves, and it is possible that with strong momentum they can collapse Alex’s consistency, but fans seem to be voting this season on a week-to-week basis, and Alex doesn’t just scrape by, usually. He’s probably a solid bet for the Top 3, even if Caleb and Jena continue to be powerhouses.
MJ 1) Alex Preston - I’m still not convinced he’s a star. And although his take on “Don’t Speak” didn’t land well for everybody, Alex is delivering solid, interesting performances. I agree, he’s very consistent, and even if you don’t like a performance, you’ve got to admire his willingness to take risks.
Mac: 2) Caleb Johnson- Caleb came back this week, and rocked out with an expected tune. Plus, Caleb doesn’t have the unfortunate task of performing Rollin In The Deep this week, which I know belongs to Jena. I can’t help but wonder if Jena is about to get the short end of the stick, after a series of awesome performances, whereas Caleb will be able to phone in a rock performance and skate through. In the end though, I don’t know what a season with a winning Caleb would look like. Caleb needs to be afforded the chance to lose, and form a band (yes, like Chris Daughtry), rather than continuing to go alone as a solo artist.
MJ: 2) Caleb Johnson – Caleb did a great job covering Led Zepplin. He’s the most compelling entertainer left in the competition. He understands how to work the camera and that performing is more than just great vocals. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make the Top 5 at least. But, like Alex, I’m not sure he has the potential to be a star, or even a compelling front man. I may change my mind when he performs his original song this week. What would a Caleb win look like? Similar to Taylor Hicks, where he makes his living performing live, either on stage or in a spot like Las Vegas.
Mac: 3) Jena Irene- Again, I’m worried about Jena redoing Rollin In The Deep this week. I just don’t see how that can help her, and she might even wind up in the bottom again. If Jena can slide through this week, she’ll be able to get back into her groove, but I’m worried about her song choice this week. If Jena was to be the lowest vote getter, there’s a chance she’d actually be saved on the strength of her past couple performances. As it becomes more clear that the save won’t be used on people like Sam and Dexter, it looks more likely that Jena could be the first wildcard to get saved.
MJ 3) Jena Irene – She’s singing a pretty overdone song. It’s too bad she didn’t sing an original for her audition. I hope she’s considering playing the piano this week, or mixing it up a bit. I’m not too worried about her being the lowest vote getter when there are others performing worse than she is at this point. I agree, if she lands at the bottom I think there’s an excellent chance she’ll be saved. She’s had some great performances lately, and she performs well when her butt is on the line.
Mac: 4) Malaya Watson- Malaya’s fans are growing, and she escaped the bottom this week after performing a really slow song. Jess is stalling, Dexter is coasting, Sam is dipping, and CJ is sharply done, so Malaya is the only one left with an upward trajectory. I’m a little concerned about this week, mainly because I’m not sure her audition was amazing enough to stand out this week.
MJ: 4) Malaya Watson – She has momentum right now and may be able to coast a week on a bad performance. But then, this is season 13 of American Idol, where the contestants are living and dying by their performances, rather than invested fan bases that are voting for them week in and week out. She had a beautifully modulated performance last week. Let’s hope she really learned her lessons well and doesn’t oversing Aretha Franklin this week.
Mac: 5) Jess Meuse- Still has never been in the bottom. Even though she’s been coasting, and average, for most of the competition. She’s got fans, but she can’t win without cranking it up a notch. Luckily for her, she gets to perform an original song this week, a first for the voting rounds. People will finally be able to buy Blue Eyed Lie on Itunes. She should be safe this week.
MJ 5) Jess Meuse – I have a feeling Jess is going to shoot up my list next week. “Blue Eyed Lie,” the original song Jess sang for her audition, is fantastic. There’s a very good possibility that our girl from Slapout is going to SLAY this week.
Mac: 6) Dexter Roberts- Coasting. Obvious song picks. Pandering. It’s working so far, but once Sam and CJ go home… can Dexter survive? I remember his audition being good, but it wasn’t quite a stand out audition. If Dexter can make it through this week, he needs to do what he promised us a long time ago and “Dexterize” a song.
MJ 7) Dexter Roberts – Meh. Dexter isn’t going to win, or even make the Top 3, but I think CJ and his pitch problems, and maybe even the boring Sam, will be eliminated first. I’m not convinced the judges would save him, either. His lack of originality alone should send him home–something that both Keith and Harry have called him out on.
Mac: 7) Sam Woolf – Good news for Sam. He gets to perform Lego House this week. The last time Sam was a buzzed about contestant was during his audition. He was arguably one of the most memorable auditions of the season, so this week should actually allow him to rebound a bit. In the long run? He can’t win. He has no emotional connection to any of his material, and is consistently the most boring performer on stage. Acctually, not only do I not think he can win…I don’t think he can make the Top 5.
MJ 6) Sam Woolf – Hm. “Lego House” sounded pretty good when it was just Sam, his guitar, and the judges sitting inches away from him. I’m betting the performance, now on the Idol stage with a band to back him, will be dull and lacking connection, just like his other competition songs. Nostalgia for that first exposure to him will rule the day, though. I don’t think Sam will be eliminated after singing the song that endeared him to fans in the first place–which is why I have him ahead of Dexter on my list.
Mac: 8) CJ Harris- I think its time for CJ to go home. I think America has figured out that he has pitch issues, and they’re ready to send him home. His audition was pretty strong, but I’m not sure that will be enough this week (unless voters completely abandon Jena and her Rollin In The Deep). It seems like it is time for CJ to go home.
MJ: 8) CJ Harris – Put a fork in him? Maybe. He’s always pitchy, which the judges always point out. At first they cut him slack. But that’s over. I think America will figure they shouldn’t be advancing a singer in the competition with such obvious flaws. He’ll hit the B3 this week, at least.