Mac and MJ compare American Idol 13 Top 5 power lists! Share YOURS in comments!
MJ: 1) Caleb Johnson – Caleb had a very buzzy performance last week, with the Black Crowes’ “Sting Me.” His Carrie Underwood cover wasn’t as good, but definitely an A-/B+ performance. Caleb has been incredibly consistent throughout the competition. More importantly–he never fails to deliver on the entertainment factor, which is essential for Idol performers. While Alex and Jena (the two singers who will likely end up in the final 3) stumble at times, Caleb rarely falters. He could definitely sneak into the finals. For delivering two solid performances last week, he rises to the #1 position this week.
MAC: 3) Caleb Johnson– I think Caleb definitely did what he needed to last week, and delivered a killer rock vocal, as well as a pretty good country rock cover of a Carrie Underwood song, but a #1 spot in the power ranking is hard to justify, especially when Alex has such a strong body of work. I was actually not nervous about Alex last week. I didn’t think there was a chance Alex was going to be the bottom. I thought Sam and CJ would be the bottom, because neither had a strong performance. I think Caleb is strong, but Jena or Alex need more than one so-so performance to lose their slots.
MJ: 2) Alex Preston – Isn’t this crazy? I’ve had Alex Preston in the number 1 spot for a couple of weeks now, but I was actually nervous he’d be in the bottom 2, after his disastrous Neon Trees song. Although his second song, the country tune, “Always on My Mind” put him back on the right track, it wasn’t enough to overshadow Caleb’s splashy showing last week. I believe the Top 3–Caleb, Jena and Alex–are running a tight race right now. Alex could take the top spot again after this week’s performances. A singer with a similar style, Jason Mraz, is mentoring this week, which could be an advantage.
MAC: 1) Alex Preston – I still believe Alex is going to win. I don’t think he performed poorly enough to change that this week. I think his Always On My Mind was one of my top 3 of the night. Loved it.
MJ: 3) Jena Irene – Jena delivered an uncharacteristically karaoke performance (Heart) and another song that didn’t quite land (Carrie Underwood) last week. The judges gave her a mixed reception. Caleb and Alex both had at least one very strong performance, that was praised by the judges, so Jena slips into 3rd place. Again, this is a pretty tight race, she could rise after next week’s performance. Whatever happens, I feel fairly confident that she’ll be booking a trip back to Detroit for a hometown visit in any case.
MAC: 2) Jena Irene– I loved Barracuda last week, and I actually REALLY enjoyed her rearrangement of So Small. I thought she had a strong week last week. I almost felt she overtook Alex. Almost. Had Alex’s 2nd song not been strong, she might have.
MJ: 4) Sam Woolf – Sam has been improving by increments every week, but he’s still got a long way to go. But, the impression the judges have been leaving is that he’s been improving by leaps and bounds in the competition. He still has issues connecting emotionally to what he sings, although his intonation and tone are always lovely. To be honest, I prefer a singer, like CJ, with pitch problems, but who knows how express himself in song. What I want is unimportant. America is rooting for Sam, the underdog, which is why he’ll probably outlast Jess, even if she outsings him. As a sidenote: Sam is clearly uncomfortable being cast as a “heartthrob.” The kid wants to be a serious artist. Let him.
MAC: 5) Sam Woolf– I think he’s going home. He didn’t have a great week last week. I think he just barely scraped by. I don’t know why he wasn’t in the bottom. It’s baffling. He’s out of his league, officially, since CJ is gone. The only hope he has is that the judges seem to HATE Jess.
MJ: 5) Jess Meuse – I had Jessica at the bottom of my list last week, and she remains there this week. It wasn’t a very good sign that, despite performing last and receiving positive critiques from the judges, she still ended up in the bottom 2. Sam Woolf continues on his “improvement arc.” Maybe, if he slides backward this week, and Jessica has two great performances, she’ll make it to 4th place. But the way things stand now, Jess has to work harder than everyone else to stay in the game. Maybe the negative critiques, and her blunt reactions have done too much damage to reverse. I’d love for her to finish at least in 4th place, because I think she’s got more going on than young Sam but it’s going to be tough.
MAC: 4) Jess Meuse– I’m not sure why Jess was in the bottom last week. I thought Sam has been getting very bland critiques, while Jess keeps getting hammered. I however did not enjoy Jolene. I’m in the 1%. I don’t enjoy that song sped up. I would have loved her doing a stripped down version, much like what Alex did with Always On My Mind. That being said, I can’t help but think Sam’s going home this week.