This week (Sunday April 29) the American Idol Top 10 perform Disney Classics! The group visited Disneyland in Anaheim earlier this week and in between checking out the Pixar parade, riding some rides, eating some food, the singers were mentored by Broadway star and “Let it Go” singer, Idina Menzel. The singers also filmed a group number with judge Katy Perry in front of the Sleeping Beauty castle. Fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan should be jealous.
Additionally, For the first time, America will solely determine which contestants stay and which will go home. In order to accomodate real-time voting, American Idol will air live across 50 states. By the time the episode ends, THREE singers will be sent packing.
Here’s how I rank the Top 10 going into Sunday’s show.
10. Michelle Sussett – The judges are trying SO HARD to make Michelle happen! History isn’t on her side. Jlo/Britney types who are good dancers but weak singers rarely make it far on Idol. Considering the judges had to save her this week, and the strong vocal talent she’s competing against, She’s going to have a tough time advancing this week. While her Disney song pick, “Remember Me,” will give her the opportunity to bust out some Spanish, I don’t think it’s a great pick to show off her vocals.
9. Dennis Lorenzo – Dennis might be the most underrated singer of the Top 10. He’s performing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the Lion King. If he comes up with an interesting arrangement and nails it, he might have a chance. Having to compete with singers with bigger personalities combined with his lack of a definable style could be hurting him at this point.
8. Ada Vox – Ada is singing “Circle of Life” this week, which is right up her alley, but also wholly predictable. I would love to see America vote a drag queen through to another round of American Idol. And if the show was only losing one singer this week, that might have been possible. But with three leaving and considering the strong (and more conventional) competition she’s up against, I think Ada will probably be eliminated.
7. Jurnee – Out of the four singers saved by the judges last week, Jurnee has the best chance of moving on. Everything will depend on her performance this week. She’s got an incredible voice and stage presence, but hasn’t always made good song choices. The popular “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana this week could set her apart from the competition.
6. Caleb Lee Hutchinson – Caleb has a deep rich tone, but his delivery is generic. Lucky for him, as the male country singer of this bunch, Caleb will practically advance by default. Hopefully, he shows some strong personality with his lighthearted Disney pick, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” But honestly, I don’t think it will matter either way.
5. Michael J. Woodard – Michael has done well with Broadway numbers, so an openly emotional Disney tune like the theme song from “Beauty and the Beast” should be right in his wheelhouse. The singer doesn’t need Disney to be magical, he just is. It should be a good week for him.
4. Maddie Poppe – The winsome and quirky Maddie Poppe will no doubt flip “The Bare Necessities” from Jungle Book into something utterly delightful. One of the most consistent performers of the season, I expect the singer to keep up her winning streak.
3. Catie Turner – Catie had a rough patch during the showcase and Top 24 rounds, but she appears to be back on track. When she sticks to a more intimate style, Catie really shines. I’m looking forward this week to how she twists “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty. Also, Catie’s social media game is really strong. And it’s interesting to note that last week’s cover of “Havana” has over 1.5 million streams on Youtube, far outpacing her competitors.
2. Cade Foehner – Oh man. I’m already seeing comparisons of Cade and Gabby to season 4’s Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood. Gulp. Cade is such a charismatic performer, it doesn’t matter that he’s probably one of the weakest vocalists in the Top 10. His guitar playing isn’t too shabby. Apparently, there are many rock covers of “Kiss the Girl” floating around. He should do fine.
1. Gabby Barrett – I cannot think of “Colors of the Wind,” Gabby’s Disney song choice, without recalling Thia Megia’s rendition back in season 10. Ha. Will Gabby give the song a country twang? Or sing it as a straight up ballad to show off her big soulful voice? I don’t think it matters, as Gabby has established herself as a singer to beat this season.