American Idol 14 Chat with M&M – Top 8 Power List

Mac & MJ present their Top 8 Power lists for your consideration. Leave your thoughts in comments! American Idol airs Wednesday at 8/7c PM on FOX. Jason Derulo and Florida Georgia Line mentor as the remaining finalists take on the Billboard 100.

MAC: 1) Clark Beckham– I’m leaving him at number one again. Some people weren’t a fan of his Trouble With Love Is cover last week, but I loved it. I don’t think anyone has changed the game so dramatically yet that Clark won’t win this thing. Clark has to actually screw up, not just be the 2nd or 3rd best performance of the night. Clark has recently proven he can do more current things, and with billboard week, hopefully he’ll be more radio friendly again.

MJ: 1) Clark Beckham – I thought his Kelly Clarkson cover was a little unfocused, but solid. Not that it matters. Unless something drastic happens, I’m calling Clark the winner now. He’s a white male singer from the south who loves Jesus. He ticks every single box for the type of singer that appeals to the Idol base.  But beyond that, he’s talented and is playing a very competitive game.  He’s got the crown in his hands. He’ll only lose if he drops it.

MAC: 2) Jax – She proved her artistry this week again with her cover of Beautiful Disaster. AS far as I can tell, Scott’s recent comments about signing contestants who don’t win is him saying “I’m signing Jax, whether she wins or not.” He always has great things to say about her, and I think she’s a lock for a record deal out of this whole thing. Billboard week should be a huge hit for her, especially if she can rework a current hit.

MJ: 2) Joey Cook – Joey made a HUGE comeback this week! I’m banking on her realizing how and why she screwed up with the Cyndi Lauper cover, and has her game plan firmly back on track. And if the rumors are true about this week’s performance, she should remain at the top of the heap.  Joey has been around long enough to have a firm grasp on who she is as an artist, which is why I have her ahead of JAX this week.

MAC: 3) Joey Cook – Overcoming the speedbump. That’s what that’s called. Some people hated her cover of Miss Independent, but I think it was Joey doing what Joey does best. She’s catering to her niche audience really well. She seems to be a bit of a polarizing contestant, which is why she can’t win. Ultimately, her and Quentin are so niche, I can’t actually believe they can make the Top 3, but some of the more “mainstream” contestants are so inconsistent that one of them just might. As far as Joey being niche–in a sense, she is. But her specialty is an old school jazz sound that appeals to a wide spectrum of fans. She’s not going to win, but I can see her making the Top 5.

MJ: 3) Jax – Jax did a wonderful job arranging and performing “Beautiful Disaster.” I think Scott would love to develop an artist like Jax. I could see him signing her, but not releasing music right away. Because at only 18, she’s still doesn’t quite have a handle on her musicality. But that’s where artist development and A&R could work wonders.  I can’t wait to see this young singer grow as an artist.

MAC: 4) Quentin Alexander – Dark Side was another solid Quentin performance. In a week where other people took a step backward, Quentin took a step forward. Quentin does have to find a way to sing something uptempo, or at least upbeat. His set list is really depressing so far this season. Quentin absolutely HAS to go uptempo at some point, or everyone else has to start bombing out of the competition.

MJ: 4) Quentin Alexander –  I loved Darkside. He’s doing everything right. His performances are so satisfying, I’m not sure he needs to change things up too much. Change for the sake of change could be a disaster. He should only go uptempo if he finds something that feels comfortable. I’d hate for a misstep to knock him out of the competition. There is, of course, the potential to kill it in a twitter save. But, still.

MAC: 5) Rayvon Owen – Sure, he was in the bottom two weeks in a row, but there was something about “singing for his life” that pulled a bit of the fight out of Rayvon. That was his best vocal since he got in the voting rounds. Hopefully he does some John Legend or something like that, and just slays this week. He could be the comeback king if he plays his cards right. I don’t think he’s in the bottom 2 this week.

MJ: 5) Nick Fradiani –  I’m going to repeat my mantra that, while Nick can be boring, I think he’s still kind of popular. I liked “Catch my Breath” more than you did. But that breakout moment we’re all waiting for? I’m not sure it’s ever going to come. His performances are solid, consistent. I don’t see him leaving the competition yet.

MAC: I think Nick Fradiani might suffer from the same Idol fate that hit Michael Johns, which was that he had to face David Cook, who just ran a stronger and faster race, eventually pulling enough votes from their shared fanbase to knock Michael out of the competition. Sure, it was a shock boot, but I’m beginning to think Nick will be singing for his life a lot sooner than we think.

MAC: 6) Nick Fradiani– Not a great week for Nick. I think Catch My Breath felt oddly like a generic christian rock singer performance. Like anyone could have pulled that off at a karaoke night or something. There wasn’t anything special about it, and Nick looked a bit lost on stage. He took a step backward. I think he might end up being safe over Tyanna this week, and not have to endure a Twitter vote.

MJ: 6) Rayvon Owen – Ah. Rayvon. He got me back on the train with his lovely ballad rendition of “Since U Been Gone.” It will save him for another week, at least.

MAC: 7) Tyanna Jones – Mr Know It All should have been better for Tyanna, but it wasn’t. The girl that was once a frontrunner for at least a hometown visit is struggling to even get to a week where she gets to sing 2 songs. If Tyanna can’t pick the right song and connect to it, and do it soon, she’ll be gone before the Top 5. And that would be a huge shame, because she started with so much promise. She’s probably going to have to endure a twitter vote. Hopefully she chose the right song this week, because Qaasim is going to bring his “showman” qualities to the table.

MJ: 7) Tyanna Jones –  Young Tyanna has to stick with upbeat, youthful fare at this point. She just did not have the emotional maturity to pull off a big number like “Mr. Know it All.”  Her vocal was fine, but there was no emotional connection. I agree, I think she’s going to be facing a twitter save this week.

MAC: 8) Qaasim Middleton – He’s going home this week. He was awful. I can’t see Qaasim being “voter saved” over any other contestant. Unless Tyanna (or Nick) is just absolutely terrible, Qaasim’s time on the show is done. There were so many pitch issues during Stronger. I appreciate that he tried to show who he was as an artist, but unfortunately we now know… the emperor is actually naked.

MJ: 8) Qaasim Middleton – Qaasim was really bad last week–all of his vocal weaknesses were exposed. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t have to sing for the save this week. If he’s not planning on pulling out every trick in his book, I’ll be shocked. In which case, his ability to be massively entertaining could save him again. We’ll see.

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