American Idol 14 Chat With M&M- Top 4 Power List


Mac & MJ present their Top 4 Power lists for your consideration. Leave your thoughts in comments! American Idol airs Wednesday at 8/7c PM on FOX. The contestants sing three songs this week, a hometown pick, a judges pick and a song chosen by mentor, Scott Borchetta. Clips will air from last Friday’s  visits to the respective towns of the Top 4.  And, of course, one singer will be eliminated.

Mac: 1) JAX– I know, just last week I was saying “Clark Beckham absolutely cannot be beaten.” He might still win. I have to believe though that he took a hit this past week. I’ve been playing with the idea of “well, if Clark isn’t the front runner, then who is?” My answer is JAX. I know she’s polarizing, but she had a good week last week. And her package is certain to remind us that her dad was a firefighter in 9/11, which can’t hurt. She’s done her best to show what kind of record she’d make, and I honestly believe she’s the one that Scott wants the most. He’s going to be stuck with one of them for at least an album, and I think Jax gets the best feedback from Scott. Honestly, right now, in this moment, it’s anyone’s game. But someone needs to come out this week and hit a home run. If that person is Clark, and he’s in the finale, then he’ll take his crown back. I honestly believe the crown is briefly up for grabs, and Jax has the best shot at stealing it.

MJ: 1) Nick Fradiani: I think Jax is the one Scott wants most, but that doesn’t mean America will go along for the ride. My #1 this week is Nick Fradiani, who Scott would find more than acceptable as a winner. Nick is getting the momentum edit. Indeed, although he hasn’t had a true moment, he’s mad consistent and has shown a willingness to improve and a desire to WIN. If he took the crown, he’d be the very first northeast Idol. I’m beginning to think it could happen.

Mac: 2) Nick Fradiani– Nick has a problem with “creating a moment”, which is why I’m not sure he can win Idol. I think he’ll make the finale, for sure, but I think we’re also looking at a Top 3 in the finale (so it’s not as hard to make the finale this year). Nick needs to distinguish who he is as a solo artist, and he’s the only one who hasn’t done that. He does covers really well, but they’re all kind of the same song, or the kind of song you’d expect him to cover. That being said, he has the most to gain from a surprise Clark Beckham boot this week (if it happens), and that could send him over the top. Plus, Jax isn’t exactly 100% on her song selections, and Nick tends to play it safe. He could end up being the only contestant to make it to third base this week, while everyone else strikes out, and come out on top just for not completely sucking.

MJ: 2) Clark Beckham: Clark stumbled last week. Well, actually, a two ton truck ran him over. But then, he stood in the middle of the road and let it happen. Clark’s seeming unwillingness to work with his mentors and arrogance regarding his gifts could cost him the crown, but I don’t think it will mean a shocking elimination. Over the weeks, the singer has earned a fanbase willing to vote him through difficult weeks.  He would have gotten away with disregarding Scott and Jay’s advice last week if he had performed impeccably, instead of proving them right. Can Clark still win? A lot will depend on his performances this week and how he’s edited.  Clark has got to let go and get his head in the game.

Mac: 3) Clark Beckham– Even with Clark’s stumble, I’m not putting him in 4th place. The reason is that I still believe he has a real chance at winning this whole thing, should he not be eliminated this week. He definitely opened the gate to someone else, but he’s still very much a contender. I’m placing him above Rayvon, because should Clark go home and Rayvon remain, I don’t believe Rayvon has a chance at winning (or something really low like 1%). Clark needs, absolutely NEEDS to kill it this week. Every. Single. Song. And be humble. The difference between Caleb mouthing off about his fans, and Clark’s tantrum, is that everyone saw Clark’s tantrum… because it was on live TV. America sent home Quentin after he talked back to Harry, and honestly there’s a very real possibility that Clark could be punished for his comments as well. There was a giant bus this week, and it just mowed Clark down, which is interesting… because I can’t remember a time when the perceived chosen one was run over by a bus right before the finale. That leads me to believe that Scott really doesn’t want to sign Clark, and he’d rather sign someone more commercial. Perhaps like Jax?

MJ: 3) Jax – Scott has made no secret that he loves Jax. He believes she’s an artist with potential and it’s obvious he’s itching to develop her.  He might sign her even if she doesn’t win-which she probably won’t . Jax is pretty polarizing, at least in the Idol fandom. She’s had some incredible performances, but there have been some duds too. Her eclectic sensibility can seem scatterbrained. She’s a young artist still figuring out who she is, which doesn’t bode well for winning singing competitions. If you look at all the winners over the years–they knew who they were as artists and were consistent performers. Jordin Sparks MAY be a bit of an exception to that rule. Hey, Jax could turn out to be the singer with the most successful career coming out of Idol, but it won’t be because she won. And we all know, that’s nothing new.

Mac: 4) Rayvon Owen– Quite simply, I don’t believe Rayvon can win in any combination. I don’t see him being triumphant over the other three contestants in any scenario. If the finale was Jax vs Rayvon, Jax would win. Nick vs Rayvon, Nick wins. Etc. He’s proven he’s only really good at singing moody sad ballads, and hasn’t shown any real range or depth beyond that. Almost every single uptempo attempt of his would be in the “Bad Rayvon Performances” category, which is a problem. Every other contestant has killed a song in both the ballad and uptempo category (really, multiple songs in each). If Rayvon survives Clark this week, he should just be grateful he made the finale.

MJ: 4) Rayvon Owen:  I think Rayvon’s time to leave the competition has finally come. At this point, he’s up against stronger competitors with bigger fan bases. He had a great run, though. No doubt about that. He’s the twitter save king, that one.

MAC: I’m surprised you’re not even entertaining the idea that Clark might go home for talking back this week. Usually talking back is a death sentence for a contestant, and it’ll be more shocking when Clark exits. But hey, Chris Daughtry went home in fourth too.

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