American Idol Season 12- Top 20 (Men Only)- Power List

First off. Let me just state how many of these guys I would love to replace with Gabe Brown, Nate Tao, Micah Johnson, and ESPECIALLY Charles Allen. I really hope Charles Allen comes back next year, above all else. He’s my Candice Glover of this season. Absolutely robbed.

There are a few people on this list that I know don’t make the top 20 guys, but I included them anyway, because there are boys who are in the top 20, who have had zero screentime.

20) Bryant Tadeo
He’ll forever be remembered as the boy who was too tired, so Nicki “cut him”. I don’t know if he has a lot of forward momentum at this point, but he’s more talented than the screentime has shown.

19) Elijah Liu
He was in Cortez Shaw’s group, so you did actually see him briefly. He’s a little fodderish right now, unless something changes next week.

18) Chris Watson
Stumbling around on stage and telling the judges that you weren’t looking around for someone to save you is not a good vote of confidence for the later rounds. I’m honestly surprised he wasn’t cut at groups.

17) David Leathers
He’s had almost no screentime this season (for good reason) and only makes this list because people remember him from last year.

16) Vince Powell
His audition was shown, but we lost him in Hollywood. Where did he go? We saw him make it through the final round, but we didn’t get to hear him sing.

15) Mathenee Treco
He’s way over the top. He got into a good group and probably had the best group performance of this season. However, he is also the weakest member of that group (including Mateus). I don’t see him making a voting round. He’s fodder.

14) Josh Holiday
Sadly, I’m beginning to think that unless Josh has a Kris Allen like breakthrough later, he’s slated to be fodder. Then again, Kris Allen proved you can have almost no screentime before the voting stages, and still win the entire competition. He’ll need to REALLY step up his game the next few times we see him.

13) Curtis Finch Jr
“I’m here to sen him home anyway.” I don’t know who he pissed off on the producers panel, but Curtis Finch Jr. got a negative edit. It’s going to be hard to bounce back from that and get into the finals, no matter how many undeserved standing ovations he gets. His “singing pop songs as praise songs” is going to get old really fast.

12) JDA
He’s a very particular candidate for a very particular voting group. His strength is that there honestly hasn’t been anyone like him on the show (Adam Lambert is probably the closest). I think he alienates middle america, and honestly his vocals aren’t that great. Interesting contender, but we’ll likely be leaving him behind in Las Vegas. Unless Nicki Minaj can work a miracle.

11) Paul Jolley
I don’t feel like the edit that he had in the last episode did him any favors. They could be pushing for Jimmy Smith to be the country male finalist, and this negative edit could be enough to get Jimmy to the voting rounds.

10) Adam Sanders
I think he’s a good singer. I think he’s over the top, definitely, but he’s a good singer. I feel like he deserves to have gotten as far as he’s gotten. I don’t think in any season that Adam will ever make the top 10, but I feel like he could easily make a Top 20 semifinals stage.

9) Johnny Keyser
His group struggled. He forgot his words. What once seemed like a surefire thing is now slipping into iffy territory. Johnny is going to need some strong performances if he hopes to be the white guy winner of this season.

8) Gurpreet Singh Sarin
I think he still alienates voters (even if that’s unfair), and that will keep him from cracking the top 10. However, I expect the producers/judges to put him through to the Top 10 boys and let America decide on him. For what its worth, he seems like a genuinely nice guy, but there really are better singers in the competition. That being said, had I not seen his rendition of Georgia On My Mind, he would have ranked lower on this list. That was a solid performance.

7) Devin Velez
Broke through in a big way with his performance of What A Wonderful World in the last episode. He trended on twitter. He caught America’s attention. Another strong performance in Vegas could make him a dark horse contender for the top 5 guys.

6) Jimmy Smith
His final song in Thursday’s episode was a poor song choice sung efficiently. Still, he didn’t get the edit that Paul Jolley got, and I can’t imagine our top 10 boys without one of the two country males.

5) Cortez Shaw
He was arguably the strongest member of his group, but he still has an earlier moment where Nicki criticized him for his iffy rendition of I Will Always Love You. Honestly, I didn’t think it was that bad. It was acapella, and I think Cortez started it a bit higher than he intended. The producers have done a good job of not showcasing Cortez’s enormous ego on screen, keeping his contender status in check. Even Nicki’s critique was met with eyerolls from Mariah.

4) Charlie Askew
His final day performance was weak. Still, he trended on twitter. There’s an odd fanbase out there for this kid, but he’s beginning to feel more like a Brett Lowenstern to me than a Top 5 finalist. If some of the people I ranked 5-10 churn out strong performances in Vegas and Top 20 week, Charlie could find himself out of the competition.

3) Nick Boddington
I had no idea when Hollywood Week started that I would be ranking Nick this high. Honestly, he’s had a GREAT hollywood week. He was the strongest part of his group, which again was arguably the best, and he also had a really great rendition of Stars, where he got to showcase himself on the piano. I’m thinking Nick is a contender for a Top 5 boys spot this year.

2) Burnell Taylor
He seems like a really likeable dude, and with the exception of Cortez Shaw, most of the other black guys still in the competition this season haven’t even been shown, have been given poor edits, or were cut early. Burnell seems like a surefire Top 5 boy right now.

1) Lazaro Arbos
This is definitely going to change. There are way better singers in the competition. And, as we’ve seen, Lazaro’s knowledge of music is almost non-existant. He will die during theme weeks when they force him to sing a Stevie Wonder song and he doesn’t even know who that is. Lazaro is the strongest boy in the competition, only because of the amount of screentime he’s gotten. Once the other boys start delivering stellar performances, Lazaro will start getting knocked down a few pegs. He’s by far the most popular male contestant right now though.

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