Sir Mac & MJ hash out their American Idol Top 9 power lists! Join the discussion in comments below.

MAC: 1) Alex Preston- As if there could be anyone else. Alex has had two strong weeks, and has been pretty consistent throughout the competition. As long as he keeps making smart artistic choices, as opposed to reggae renditions of I Don’t Wanna Be, he should be a lock for the finale. Diverting back to odd song choices and bizarre arrangements could derail his chances. But, that would still mean someone else would need to step up.

MJ 1) Alex Preston - Finally, Alex sits at the top of my list. For me, personally, there’s still something lacking in his stage presence. But, more than the other contestants, there’s something about Alex that’s resonating with Idol fans.  He’s earnest and unique. There’s an honesty and authenticity about him that makes him relatable. He could win the whole thing.

MAC: 2) Jess Meuse- Alright. I’m gonna finally give this girl props. She’s managed to never be in the bottom, even on weak performances, and her performance actually charted on Itunes (one of only 3 people to see their performance trend). I’ve twice predicted she would be in the bottom, and twice been wrong. So, I’m now projecting she’s the tops! Unlike CJ, one of the remaining contestants never technically in the bottom, she didn’t make it through based on wildcard. Maybe she’s here to stay?

MJ: 4) Jess Meuse -   Jess is a little further down the list for me, because there are other contestants who are delivering more consistent week to week. But Jess is the real deal, and even when she performs early, or has a problematic performance, she stays out of the bottom 3.  Like Alex, she’s demonstrated artistry on the show.

MAC: 3) Jena Irene- Two strong back-to-back performances make me think that Jena is our Haley Reinhart of the season. She’s the fighter, who despite bottom appearances, will end up in the Top 3 of the competition. I wasn’t a huge fan of last weeks performance, but I saw a lot of people who were. Considering last week was pretty disappointing, kudos to her for rising to near the top.

MJ: 5) Jena Irene - Jena scores lower on my list, because I felt there was something missing in her performance last week. I think “Clarity” was a great song pick for her, but she wasn’t as vocally strong or confident as her “Decode” performance was the week before.  So far, I’ve only really liked her when she’s sitting behind the piano.  I’m still on the Jena train, however. The studio recording of “Clarity” is A+.

MAC: 4) Caleb Johnson- Something wasn’t right about Caleb’s Edge Of Glory last week. He felt off. It seemed off. It was almost as if Caleb was performing with the flu or something. It was a low energy performance, which is shocking for Caleb (who is trying to be as silly as possible). If Caleb doesn’t snap out of his funk, he’s going to lose all the steam he was working so hard to build up.

MJ: 2) Caleb Johnson - Caleb’s performance last week was a misfire, I think, due to a poor arrangement. He’s still the most consistent performer of the remaining contestants, so I have him sitting behind Alex at #2. I expect him to bounce back this week. He’s also the best at working the stage with confidence.

MAC: 5) Malaya Watson- It’s time for me to pull Malaya off my shitlist for Runaway Baby. she’s been pretty strong every week since then, and her cover of If I Was Your Man ended up one of the top performances last week. Malaya is the dark horse this season, coming back from a very weak start and emerging as an unlikely contender (at least for a Top 3 upset). I’m still positive she can’t win the whole thing, even if Alex starts messing up.

MJ: 3) Malaya Watson - Malaya was VERY strong last week! And if she stays on a roll, she could remain at the top of my list.  Like Caleb, Malaya is a very energetic performer. Most of her problems stem from youthful exuberance, but the beautiful dynamics she displayed in “If I Was Your Man” could mean she’s learning to rein it in.

MAC: 6) CJ Harris- CJ was quite dreadful last week, and yet he was still safe. I was 100% sure CJ would hit the bottom for his pitch-less performance of the Hunter Hayes diddy, and yet his fans kept him safe. I think his time will come. You can only sing off pitch for just so long before your fanbase eventually gets tired of saving you on the grounds that “he’ll do better next week”. Mark my words, CJ Harris is not long for this competition if he continues to ignore his pitch issues.

MJ: 7) CJ Harris - Oy. CJ. He was so sharp last week. And what a lame song choice.  He’s falling down my list, because his problems don’t seem to be fixable–at least not in the short term. I said this already, but CJ should leave the pop country to Dexter, and stick with country blues.  Honestly, I think his weeks are numbered.

MAC: 7) Sam Woolf- I’d call that a nice rebound from last week. I still don’t think Sam connects to his songs the way he needs to, or has the stage presence required to win the competition. If Alex wasn’t around this season, it’d be easier to be impressed with Sam, but with Alex around it seems more like Sam is the weakest link every week. He’ll be lucky to make the top 5 at this rate.

MJ: 6) Sam Woolf - He performed last, and the judges supported him. Obviously, they want him to stick around. “We Are Young” had it’s moments, but he’s still not connecting to what he’s singing, or performing with much verve.  I agree, the former front runner could wind up a middle packer.  Or a shock boot–in which case the judges would save him.

MAC: 8) Dexter Roberts- I’m 99.9% certain that Dexter’s fanbase will pull him to safety this week. That being said, Dexter needs to rally his support by choosing better songs so he can make it further than Top 8 week. He’s made it to the middle of the pack by being average, but he needs to be extraordinary to rise to the top. There’s a difference between Scotty McCreery and Bucky Covington, and Dexter needs to be more like Scotty, and less like Bucky.

MJ: 8) Dexter Roberts - WHOA. I was SO SURE Dexter’s fan base would keep him out of the bottom 3 last  week! I came just thisclose to calling people who thought he was in danger crazy. Look who’s the dumb one!  But I agree, Alabama will rise up and keep their guy safe this week. Also, expect him to play it SUPER SAFE this week, with an extra dollop of pandering.

MAC: 9) Majesty Rose- I hope I’m wrong, and I hope Majesty can survive for another week. I honestly believe her performance last week was NOT in the bottom 3 (in terms of quality), yet she was there… and back-to-back. Not only did she perform well enough to be safe, her fanbase should have triggered (like Sam’s did) to save her. Unfortunately, her fanbase is apparently really small, and couldn’t save her. As much as I love Majesty, it looks like her time is up soon, unless we have a shocking elimination this week, or unless Majesty can pull out a “moment” and save herself. She was almost there this week, but didn’t quite nail it. This week, there is no room for error. She has to hit a home run, or she’s going home.

MJ: 9) Majesty Rose - I think Majesty has  lost her nerve and confidence. When that happens, elimination is just around the corner. I sincerely hope Majesty can reverse this downhill trajectory she’s on.  Right now, the competition is messing with her head.  Her problems are all psychological.  If the Majesty we met at the beginning of the competition doesn’t come back, she could be eliminated this week. The good news for her: The judges would surely use their save on her.

MAC- I normally don’t respond, but I felt I had to. I really like the judges save, but it should be used to save someone whose elimination is actually surprising, not just disappointing. Majesty leaving this week would be what statistically should happen. She’s been in the bottom two times consecutively, and if America sends her home this week, while I would hate it, I would hate it even more if the judges wasted their save on someone who was in the bottom for 2 weeks prior to their elimination. America didn’t forget to vote, they just aren’t digging Majesty.

 
  • Derrick Johnson

    Alex needs what Phillip Phillips has which is excitement when he performs because he is already creative and artistic and if he could do that he could be a lock for the win.

  • Marko

    Great post, thank you guys.

  • Miles (Grumpy) (VI)

    I agree with the top 2 picks here. It’s Alex and he is miles ahead of the competition at this point. I was a Sam fan and I still have hopes he can grow enough to make it interesting . I don’t care for Jess but have to admit that, in this class, she stands out.

    I love Jena’s sound but Clarity was not as good as everyone made it out to be. She needs good song choices. Like Sam, hopefully she can continue figuring it out.

    Not a Malaya fan at all. Lot’s of very raw material there but I think she will take herself out of this, I think she needs to bake a while.

    I’m sorry I was right about Majesty many weeks ago, however, she’s on my rebound train with Sam….don’t count her out.

    Everyone else is too boring to consider.

  • Eric Ascher

    I agree with mjs top 3 100%. I think Jena was overrated last week-it wasn’t nearly as good as Decode and in fact it was one of her worst performances yet in my opinion. Malaya, on the other hand, is growing week by week. I see her as the Haley Reinhart of the season, not Jena.

  • MichaelG

    Oh no! Poor Majesty. :( She was my early fave to win at one time. I think I’d still put her ahead of Dexter. And Alex really earned that #1 spot. He’s gonna take this…

  • jcabby

    I agree about Jena. I thought “Clarity” was not her best, but not horrible either. Just meh.

    Alex and Caleb are ahead of the bunch and deservedly so. I just wish Majesty can get out of her funk. Last week it seems like she is starting to climb out of it, but she is still hesitant. Maybe tonight will be her ‘welcome back’ to the competition. I hope so. She is so talented and unique, I don’t want to see her leave.

    Malaya surprised me last week. I love her personality, but her performances were pretty bad. Last week was a turn around to the positive. If she keeps giving performances that good, she has a chance at the top 3 or 4.

  • LeoCS

    I’m still pretty sure the Top2 is gonna be Caleb and Alex. That’s the only thing I know for sure.

  • DavidPhillipAngie

    If I picked the results:

    9. Sam – I’ve given him way too many second chances and he keeps disappointing me. He’s basically Tim Urban, but doesn’t even have the personality to slide across the stage for fun. Head to toe, Sam just screams BORING.

    8. Dexter – Dexter is a talented guy. He can sing, he can perform, and he seems like a nice guy. BUT, his performances have become so GENERIC, it’s not even funny anymore. Like Scotty, he has to find a way to make country music SEEM new again.

    7. CJ – I actually like CJ. I thought he was going to Hollie Cavanagh his way to at least the top 5 – that is to give mediocre/okay performances that the voters liked enough to vote for. But MAN, his vocal issues are making me question if he should be in the competition in the first place – much like Lazaro. One big difference? CJ is not a douchebag.

    6. Malaya – Last week, Malaya was great. Was it original? No. But it was still great. My problem with Malaya is that other than last week, I thought her “gospel” performances were terribly overrated. Like I heard MJ say once, all she did was scream at my face. Joshua Ledet made it work, but not sure she can.

    5. Caleb – I’m probably in the minority, but I really enjoyed Edge Of Glory. I liked it much better than his first couple of performances where he was VERY unoriginal and loungey. At least last week was unpredictable. I consider Skyfall to be one of the best of the season so far, but I think people are overestimating Caleb. I think he doesn’t have a chance if winning, at least yet. Remember James Durbin? He was the general consensus frontrunner and then he got booted. Caleb is NOT as good as James. However, Caleb has a lot of momentum and has a lot of time to change my mind.

    4. Jess – I really like Jess’ tone and musicality, which is why she is so high on this list. However, (except maybe Top 13 week), she hasn’t had a truly GREAT performance yet. Caleb has had one, Jena has had one, and Alex has had a few. Jess needs to figure out how to get a moment before I declare her Top 3-worthy.

    3. Majesty – Oh Majesty. What happened? Everyone on the Internet a few weeks ago had Majesty at AT LEAST the Finale. Now she’s the odds on favorite to leave. I’m still a big fan though, I think she is a great artist – one who doesn’t know how to play the Idol game. I still think she has the potential to give a MASSIVE moment, one that will turn the competition on its head.

    2. Jena – I still adore Jena. Decode was one of the best of the season. I enjoyed Clarity, would I have preferred a stripped down piano version? Of course. But I respect her guts to try to incorporate the audience. She seems ready for showtime. Either way, there’s something about her husky tone that makes her irresistible to me. I will be buying anything with her voice.

    1. Alex – I feel like a proud parent. Back in Hollywood week, I turned to my friends and said that Alex Preston is my favorite of the season (my previous all-season favorites were Phillip and Angie/Kree). They scoffed and laughed because Sam Woolf and Majesty Rose were ALL the rage. Now, they feel pretty stupid because they think that Alex is the CLEAR front runner. Not only that, but he DESERVES to be the front runner.

  • Joey

    Dexter or CJ to leave this week… anyone else is just wrong. I predict Majesty makes a comeback this week.

  • colette

    I’m still trying to sort out in my mind why Jena does so little for me. Clearly, she’s talented. I think it might be the tone of her voice — the vibrato and the tendency to get screamy in her top register. I don’t know — I just don’t enjoy listening to that voice….

    Also, I still think a “wow” moment comes only with a “wow” song — or a tune you makeover into an intense wow, be it “Billie Jean” or “Ain’t No Sunshine” or whatever.

    Very curious to find out the song picks for tonight. Did Ricky Minor have more to say about them? Do we open the songbook wider, and find catchier tunes the audience can relate to and the singers can shine with?

  • catlover84

    I know how you feel about Alex. He has been my favorite since Hollywood week (even his audition was one of my favorites). But people were like “What?” and laughed at me. I also often feel he’s underrated here. So I’m glad they finally see what I’ve seen since the beginning :). And Jena is my 2nd favorite too right now.

  • Miles (Grumpy) (VI)

    I feel the same way about Jess, something off-putting there but I can not figure out what.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Alex #1? Really? I watched his performance last week because he covered One Direction. Terrible. He has no stage presence, is totally uncomfortable to look at during the performance and he also sounds terrible. There is nothing unique about him either.

    The cast overall isn’t strong, but Jessica and Jena are pretty decent.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I enjoy his tone better than most of the contestants, and honestly liked his cover better than the original. Of course, I’m not much of a 1D fan so, there is that.

  • Incipit

    I was hoping for a Top Three women without the games this time – Jess, Majesty and Jena…but Majesty has fallen behind with her terrible choices, Jena is a little too grating in Power Mode – and Jess, though I still love her tone, is leaning too far southern for me. Malaya? No.

    And there is nobody among the guys that I’m interested in – no Acoustic Alt, TYVM – and Caleb is doing too much “Rockstar” and not enough artist…that arrangement last week was bad – if it was his, and embarrassing if it wasn’t and he thought it was a good idea. No to all the guys.

    if CJ had gone Southern Blues – I would have liked that – but IDK what that was last week, and the singing was just arful. Ben is just Cambric Tea – come back when you know how to put a shot of bourbon in it! Dexter? Nevermind.

    As far as I can see, the least objectionable performer will win by default this year – not from their body of work, but just on whatever they sang last – - and it doesn’t get much more boring than that, IMO. What it looks like is: your Guidelines sucked, Uncle Pers – your staff had no idea how to cast American Idol – this is obvious.

    Of Course. I’d rather be wrong – but they are all getting short of runway – and no one has taken off yet!

  • Miles (Grumpy) (VI)

    Took me a while to warm up to Alex. As a musician myself I find him really excellent… always thought the weakness was his tone until last week. He will have to be very careful with song choice.

    What surprised me was his reaction to the response for his performance. On the stage presence, I think he knows he’s got talent but I don’t think he expected people to like him so much. He needs to assume the throne and keep rolling. I think he’s come a long way in that regard.

    I didn’t know the 1D song (sorry) and went and listened to it. I always prefer the originals but Alex put out a killer version. Itunes version was not as great.

  • H.A.

    Even though I like Alex I wouldn’t pick him as my #1. If he wins this show he’ll be WGWG #6. I would prefer Caleb or Jess to win the title.

  • BonnieDee

    My top 3 are 1. Malaya, 2. Alex, and 3. Piano Jena. I bumped Alex down to #2 because of his lack of stage presence. Malaya I bumped up to #1 because she has been growing by leaps and bounds, and she always had a powerful voice. Jena is much better when she plays piano, so if she abandons it again, I would put her at 4 and Caleb at 3.

  • MyDailyComment

    The person being picked as #1 is boring. Stands there like a mannequin while singing. I agree is is talented, but he needs stage presence to be a star.

    People shouldn’t abandon Majesty. She is talented and deserves the support of fans.

  • roger

    I agree, Majesty has just lost her mojo. She can’t handle negative criticism. Girl needs to grow up.

  • hesh R

    Something tells me that Majesty will outlive Malaya. Malaya has been picking better songs than Majesty but Majesty is clearly the better singer.

  • hesh R

    I predict Sam will be headed back to high school this week. His voice and fan base are super thin.

  • CanadianLady

    Stage presence can be learned.

  • CanadianLady

    I hope they all do well. Those are the best nights.

  • weareallinnocent

    Alex is (and has been) my #1, so naturally, I agree when he’s also yours. :-)

    Jena tends to take second for me, though she and Jess and Caleb play musical chairs in my next 3 top spots. I’ve always adored (and voted for) CJ, but right now, he’s my fallen angel. Sadz.

    Majesty, dear Majesty. Recent weeks have shown me that a large part of her appeal is her joyful presence and cheerful carefree spirit, all of which she has lost to fear and trepidation. Damn you, Idol! I hope she performs tonight like she’s not on a singing competition.

    The rest are a big whatever for me. I will miss MK though. Sweet child.

  • DaisyMagnolia

    The woman just needs to find her confidence again, IMO. This show can be a doozy to one’s morale, and Majesty has fallen victim to that, sadly.

  • lkingcorn

    I’m hoping by this week the jitters are gone and we might have some consistently good performanves. That said, I really don’t know how to give an artist stage presence if it doesn’t come naturally. Perhaps it comes with confidence, wishing them all good luck. Have no favorite this year. Not because my favorites seldom win, I just can’t get invested in anyone artist at this point.

  • Matthew Richards

    A list I finally agree with! Thanks for bringing Jessica and Malaya up and sending Dexter and Sam down a little bit. Makes a lot more sense :)

  • https://twitter.com/apezpril apezpril

    So Jess, Jena, Majesty are the girls left.. Jess will be the last girl standing.. Majesty will leave first from the three

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Isn’t Malaya Watson a girl, too?

  • MyDailyComment

    Hasn’t been learned yet…

  • CanadianLady

    Unfortunately not. She likely needed to work on this for a year before auditioning.