Thank the gods that American Idol will not spend five more weeks doing three shows a week. As of tonight the masses of talented and less talented singers will be pared down to 12, just enough to fill a one night two hour show and a thirty minute results show.
Okay, so last night was the girls on American Idol. The talent pool is not as deep as the male singers, but there are a couple who have the potential to leave the boys in the dust. Once the top 12 are cemented I can give mostly accurate predictions of how long each singer will last.
Just like yesterday, From Worst to Best:
Ta-Tynisa Wilson is not one of them. Singing Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)”, she completely failed to stand out. I blame a little of this on the mixing of the music over the singer’s voice, but Ta-Tynisa wouldn’t have stood out with her extra-unspecial performance anyway.
I was really hoping Rachel Zevita would show us all that after four failed tries, she deserved to be in the top 10. Kudos for deciding to make Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” her own. Thumbs down for exactly how she made it her own. The song should be recognizable. A lot of the blame goes to the music mixers for having the music drown her voice, but what we did hear wasn’t top ten quality. Everyone’s going to have their off night. Last night the stakes were just too high and we can safely say goodbye to Rachel. I don’t expect a wild-card save for her.
Kendra Chantelle’s version of Christina Aguilera’s ”Impossible” was good but didn’t reach me. It wasn’t notably great. She’s a 50-50 chance for making into the top 10.
Ashthon Jones sang Monica’s ”Love All Over Me” and was entirely unremarkable. Not bad, not good. just there. The judges compared her to Diana Ross, but I didn’t see it.
Lauren Turner gave a decent performance of “Seven Day Fool” It was good, but not in my top 5. She will probably make the voters top 5 however. If she doesn’t she’s not a likely judge save.
And now, on to the letter grades for tonight’s performances:
Karen Rodriguez interspersed Spanish and English in her version of Mariah Carey’s “Hero”. I expect this very well done singing and amateurish gesturing to be ignored by the general population. She’ll be the wild-card save. Normally, in years past, attempting a Mariah Carey song would only earn the judges ire because everyone but Mariah sings Mariah songs relatively monotone. The multicultural approach seems to have spared Karen that.
Kelly Clarkson’s songs would seem to be a good way to show winning potential. Julie Zorrilla tried to with “Breakaway.” It wasn’t the best performance of the night, but was far from the worst. It was far better than the judges gave her credit for. However since people tend to believe the judges are mostly right, I wouldn’t bet much on her chances of being there after tonight.
Haley Reinhart sang Alicia Keys’ “Fallin.” I don’t know the original song, but I enjoyed her performance. She got one of my votes, but I’m not a die-hard fan of hers, yet.
Lauren Alaina is not sixteen. At least, she doesn’t act sixteen. We see the innocence of youth in Thia. But in Lauren we see a bit of brash naivette and an eagerness to grow up. Since her lap-dance for Steven during group night, it’s been hard to see her as young, except for her abundance of baby-fat. She sang Reba McEntire’s “Turn on the Radio” with energy and did very good, especially considering how many fellow contestants did not. However, I can’t vote for her because she’s been over-pimped by the show.
Naima Adedapo sang the classic “Summertime” and I wasn’t optimistic hearing about the selection. The song is overdone, I thought. It won’t be enough for her to stand out. I was wrong. She puts more of herself into her performance than any of the other competitors. It will take her a long way in the competition.
Thia Megia sang “Out Her on My Own” in perfect pitch. The music, apparently now turned down from 11, didn’t drown her out. Indeed, she sang the first lines a-capella. She went into this week as the last pick, the one people were least sure of. If she’s not safe, then people are not treating this like a singing competition. Okay so we know it’s not just about the singing, still she’s safe one way or the other.
Pia Toscano had been in stealth mode for most of the competition. I didn’t notice her until the last days in that hanger stage. Everything about her gentle but energetic rendition of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” was awesome. She was the last performance. I had high hopes for her. Her performance exceeded them. Easily the best performance of the night. The only thing holding her back is the lack of camera time during the previous weeks. So she didn’t have popularity going for her going into tonight.
So, if I have my way the top 5 would be Pia, Thia, Naima, Julie and Haley with Lauren Alaina as the judges wild card pick.
Realistically. The top 5 will be Pia, Thia, Naima, Lauren and Lauren with Karen winning the Wild-Card pick.
Full List of contestants listed in order of Idol’s website and their odds of making the top 12, in my opinion:
Ashthon Jones 15% (odds based on a margin of error)
Brett Loewenstern 20% (odds based on something the judges see that no one else does. Only by wild-card)
Casey Abrams 100% (odds based on talent and charisma)
Clint Jun Gamboa 25% (odds based on knowing some people vote stupidly)
Haley Reinhart 25% (odds mostly hopeful more than realistic)
Jacob Lusk 100% (odds based on sheer talent)
James Durbin 100% (odds based on stand out stage presence and talent)
Jordan Dorsey 0% (odds based on zero-popularity)
Jovany Barreto 15% (odds based on margin of error)
Julie Zorrilla 25% (odds based on unpredictable popular reception)
Karen Rodriguez 60% (odds based on J-Lo influencing the Wild-Card.)
Kendra Chantelle 50% (odds based on something the judges see and other people see that I don’t)
Lauren Alaina 100% (odds based on the producers pimping the hell out of her.)
Lauren Turner 60% (odds based on lack of sufficient talent elsewhere among the girls)
Naima Adedapo 100% (odds based on stage talent, singing talent and humble back-story)
Paul McDonald 100% (odds based on popularity)
Pia Toscano 100% (odds based on OMG performance)
Rachel Zevita 15% (odds based on pity.)
Robbie Rosen 10% (odds based on not as much talent and not as much charisma but there is still a margin of error)
Scotty McCreery 90% (odds based on charisma, talent but he’s country so that keeps him from 100%)
Stefano Langone 35% (odds based on most likely male wild-card)
Ta-Tynisa Wilson 20% (odds based on margin of error plus a pity boost for the music drowning her singing out.)
Thia Megia 100% (odds based on performance)
Tim Halperin 35% (odds mostly hopeful but has a chance at the wild-card)
In other words: The shoo-ins for the top 12:
Casey, Jacob, James, Lauren Alaina, Naima, Paul, Pia, Scotty and Thia.
The most likely other contestants:
Karen, Kendra, Lauren Turner and Stefano but that sixth male slot is the most precarious.