American Idol 12- Mac’s Top 10 Power List

We’re already down to the Top 10. No wildcards. No extra people. These 10 people are the ones you picked to go on tour, so if you think you made a mistake, tough. You’re stuck with Curtis. I mean… ummm… whoever the mistake might be. Below is my power rankings and some suggestions for these contestants going forward.

10) Curtis Finch Jr
I was a little surprised that Curtis made it through with America’s vote, after his edit in Hollywood with regards to his treatment of Charlie, and his general smugness. Now that the field has been narrowed to 10, and the genders merged, Curtis faces direct competition not only from Burnell and Devin, but also Candice and Amber, all of who are stylistically similar. It’s hard to not think some vote splitting will hurt one of them early in the competition, and it very likely looks to be Curtis. Curtis has a tendency to do too much on his songs, and not all songs will lend themselves to his stylings. He needs to tone it down for his next song, and prove that he’s radio friendly beyond the gospel stations. Using his insanely high falsetto on every number is going to wear on audiences after a while, and showing restraint will put him on even ground with Devin and Burnell, who don’t feel the need to do vocal olympics in every song.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
I Need An Angel by Ruben Studdard
Celebrate Me Home by Ruben Studdard
I Hope You Dance covered by Scotty McCreery

9) Lazaro Arbos
Uneven vocals throughout the season mean an uncertain future for Lazaro. His extremely limited knowledge of music will hurt him during theme weeks where he doesn’t even know who the selected artist is, let alone having heard any of their songs. Also, this isn’t Extreme Makeover: Idol Edition, so his “sob story” will only get him just so far. To stay in the competition, he will need more “Feeling Good”‘s and less “Tonight I Wanna Cry”‘s. He also seems to not have as much problem talking to the judges on stage like he does in interviews, which has some Idol fans questioning if he’s embellishing in the interviews.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
I’ll Be covered by David Cook
Alright With Me by Kris Allen
Wicked Game covered by Phillip Phillips

8) Janelle Arthur
Overall, the weakest of the girls vocally, Janelle hasn’t gained a lot of traction. She has yet to have a real moment on stage. This week is the perfect week for her, as several Idols have left her with a rather awesome list of potential songs. If she doesn’t knock this week out of the park, she’ll never be able to have a moment. It’s really important for Janelle to make her stand now, as it’s the difference between her being a Carrie Underwood or Lauren Alaina versus being Kristy Lee Cook.

Suggested Songs for This Week:
Because Of You by Kelly Clarkson
Angels Brought Me Here covered by Carrie Underwood
Little Sparrow covered by David Cook

7) Devin Velez
This is probably my most controversial ranking. I like Devin, I think he’s a good singer. I think, even though he’s broken out the Spanish twice, he’s playing it relatively safe. Safe songs, safe performances. It doesn’t feel like he’s playing to win, rather that he’s playing to not get eliminated. That kind of performance strategy can only get him so far, as it doesn’t inspire hoards of power voters. I’m also not really sure what kind of an artist, or an album, Devin would be making. His songs, while sung in Spanish, don’t actually have a Latin flavor to them. I think he’d be weak as a crossover artist. I think Devin needs to start having moments on stage, be daring, and try and etch out a path for his music career if he intends on making the top 5.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
What The World Needs Now covered by Ruben Studdard
You Are So Beautiful covered by Taylor Hicks
Landslide covered by Phillip Phillips

6) Paul Jolley
I cannot wait to see Paul Jolley in the bottom 3. I know that this is really harsh, and you’re completely misunderstanding my point. Paul Jolley SEEMS like the chosen white guy, but he feels way more like a Phil Stacey to me than a winner. I think he’s a midpack finisher, and an appearance in the bottom 3 will confirm that for me. Our previous WGWG winners avoided the bottom 3. Unless you count the bizarre Top 4 week’s results in Season 8, our last 5 WGWG winners were never in the bottom 3. Paul’s appearance would likely signal that his chances of winning are slim. Really, what he needs to do to stay out of the bottom, is choose smarter songs. Scotty tended to stick to country songs wherever possible, yet Paul has already ventured into trying to make non-country songs sound country, to mixed results. Country is his genre, and the only way he’s going to seem believable (as Nicki would say) is by staying there.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
Something To Talk About covered by Fantasia
To Love Somebody covered by Jordin Sparks
To Make You Feel My Love covered by Kris Allen

5) Amber Holcomb
I could see Amber going home early, simply because she’s not getting the same hype from the producers and judges that other female contestants have been getting. I worry about her getting lost in the mix. The thing helping her right now is that she’s had 2 solid performances, back-to-back now. While her song choices weren’t exactly original, she has proved to be a force to be reckoned with in terms of her vocal ability. She will need to differentiate herself, stylistically, from Candice in order to stay in for the long haul (much the same way Jordin and Melinda were different styles in Season 6). I think Amber needs to shift to younger, more current music, uptempo, etc, and stay away from ballads.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
Try A Little Tenderness covered by Taylor Hicks
Give Me One Reason covered by Jordin Sparks
Battlefield by Jordin Sparks

4) Angie Miller
Angie is starting to set herself up for an early shock elimination. The girl that was once the clear frontrunner, has been slipping down my list as she has performed twice now without her piano. Both times have been underwhelming, with the most recent performance (her victory song) especially shaky in terms of pitch. The magic that Angie creates seems to only exist when she’s at her piano, and while it may seem odd to tell her to never leave the piano, rarely did we see the WGWG’s without their guitars. Obviously, some weeks (like when David Cook did Music Of The Night) he had to put it down. Angie should always perform at the piano, whenever possible. I predict the week she goes home, will be a week she did not use the piano.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
Already Gone by Kelly Clarkson
Heartless covered by Kris Allen
I Need To Know by Kris Allen

3) Burnell Taylor
Burnell has a nice little following on the internet, and seems to be a well liked contestant. I expect that someone will give him a makeover, and get him away from the Urkel look he’s been trying out on his own. Maybe JDA will come back and help him out. Burnell, stylistically, doesn’t feel the need to scream and shout his way through all of his songs, using a clear tone like John Legend. He’s really more of a jazzy singer than just an R&B singer. I’d love to see him do some jazzy/bluesy things in the coming weeks, as that will really help him break away from Devin and Curtis (as well as Candice and Amber).

Suggested Songs For This Week:
Trouble covered by Taylor Hicks
A Song For You covered by Kris Allen
Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag covered by Phillip Phillips

2) Candice Glover
Candice has slayed her songs everytime she hits the stage. The only thing working against her now, is that she will continue to pick the expected. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, because doing songs like Turn the Beat Around could turn her into a shock elimination. She really just has to have a diva moment every week, because that’s what her fanbase loves. Other contestants have to challenge themselves stylistically, but Candice is the only one I feel can really sing from the typical songbook and still do well in the competition. If she can knock some of her direct competition out early, like Amber and Curtis, she’ll sail to the finale.

Suggested Songs For This Week:
Summertime covered by Fantasia
I Who Have Nothing covered by Jordin Sparks
Ain’t No Sunshine covered by Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze

1) Kree Harrison
It would be easy to put Angie here, if Angie hadn’t sung her victory song last week. I could claim that Angie was back, and so on and so forth. But really, the contestant to watch is Kree. She has yet to have a “pimp spot”, yet slayed both of her songs. She’s really just about the singing, something that reminds me of Elise from last season, or Crystal from Season 9, both of whom did fairly well. Kree should have a long Idol journey ahead of her, leading probably to the finale. I think Kree has been doing exactly what she needs to the past few weeks, so I don’t have any notes for growth yet, except to say “don’t let the Idol stylists make you over.”

Suggested Songs For This Week:
Stuff Like That There covered By Kelly Clarkson
Falling Slowly covered by Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze
Chasing Cars covered by Lee Dewyze

About SirMac 241 Articles
Contributor to EIC of, Contributor at Holds a BA in Film from the University of Central Florida.