In an almost sadistic sort of way, the Top 13 reveal is always one of our favorite moments from “American Idol” every season. Why? It always brings out some of the best and the worst of this show. Take for instance last year — we had one of the most inexplicable exits ever in Kendra Chantelle, but also the arrival of Stefano Langone as an actual contender.
Before we even get into the incredibly-dramatic portion of the show (in the six contestants singing for their lives), we first have to get through the ten contestants who America chose to select to lead the way during the live shows. Let us also take a moment here to acknowledge Jimmy Iovine and the greatness that he brought to this week. He was more coherent in one quote than Steven Tyler has been all season, and he held nothing back when it came to telling Chase Likens and Adam Brock that they really had no shot at this.
America’s top ten
Phillip Phillips – We ranked him #1 leading up to this week, and we expect him to stay there for a while. He’s musically-inclined, a great singer, and it also doesn’t hurt that he is a good-looking guy with a guitar. (Yes, we know that this has become a bit of “Idol” cliche.)
Jessica Sanchez – Despite some our own reservations, she seems to be the favorite of just about everyone else out of the women. No surprise here that she is sticking around.
Hollie Cavanagh – Our personal favorite among the ladies, her cover of “Reflection” was breathtaking. It also doesn’t hurt that she has Lauren Alaina campaigning for her.
Joshua Ledet – Thanks to one of the strongest performances on the night Wednesday, Joshua will be taking all of us to church for a little while longer. We just hope that he continues to stay on the right side of “not turning into Jacob Lusk.”
Heejun Han – Heejun burning Jimmy may have been the funniest thing we’ve heard on this show in a long time. Granted, the music mogul saying that this is not “American Comedian” is a valid point, and Heejun does have his work cut out for him in convincing people he is more than just a goofball.
Shannon Magrane – We have her pegged to go a long way in this competition, at least so long as her dad can stay away from Steven Tyler.
Skylar Laine – Out of the three country singers in this competition, there was only one that had a chance to sing for another show. Skylar has enough energy to power the new glossed-up “Idol” stage, but moving forward it’s all going to be about choosing the right song.
Elise Testone – The final female member of the top ten just so happens to be the one who received the coveted final spot during Wednesday’s show — and thus, she wins the battle of the Adele songs over Jen Hirsh. (Note to “Idol” — don’t ever allow two people to sing the same song again.)
Colton Dixon – Colton was pretty much the only guy in the top ten who actually went in the early half of the show, which should serve as even more evidence that going early is more often than not bad news. This does show that he does have a solid fanbase, and could be a force to be reckoned with.
Jermaine Jones – Rather than Deandre Brackensick, America made arguably their most-controversial decision in putting through the “Gentle Giant,” who benefited heavily from being the subject of a last-minute twist.
“Sing for Your Life” performances
Jen Hirsh – We are happy that Jen got another chance after the “Adele” song twist more or less screwed her over … but you are going to follow this up with this performance? “Oh! Darling” is not exactly the sort of song you would typically use in a moment like this, and Jen really took this way out of control with all the bells and whistles of a street performing trying to get the last dollar from a tour bus.
Jeremy Rosado – With this surprising performance of a Carrie Underwood hit, Jeremy cemented himself as somebody to watch. This was a stellar performance outside of a weak past few minuets, accentuated by a note that broke glass, our hearts, and the tear ducts on Jennifer Lopez. This may have actually been better than anything the guys sang Tuesday night.
Brielle Von Hugel – We have a few things to say here. First, Adele should be banned from “Idol” for the rest of the season. The same should also be said for stage moms. During the entire time Brielle screeched her way through “Someone Like You,” we wondered why the judges let someone perform who really did not have a chance at advancing.
Deande Brackensick – We’re constantly torn when it comes to Deandre. We love his voice and even his style, but there’s always one or two little flaws in his performances that keep us from completely bowling to his curly locks. This rendition of “Georgia on My Mind” was just that — captivating, but also out-of-tune at times as he tried to milk his high register.
Erika Van Pelt – Wow. While there may have been a few tiny flaws in “The Edge of Glory,” we felt the passion in every note she sang. This was the best performance by Erika since Hollywood Week, and we almost wish she sang this Wednesday so that people would go back in time and vote for her.
Reed Grimm – What was that? The show is called “American Idol,” not “American Scatting.” Yes, Reed can sing, but while watching him slither around and make up his own lyrics half the time was entertaining, we’re not entirely sure we can watch another several weeks of this.
After some deliberation, the judges made their final decision about the remaining three singers — Erika Van Pelt, Jeremy Rosado, and the heap of hiar on the floor that was Deandre Brackensick by the end of all this. Overall, we have to say that both the judges and America really ended up getting this right across the board.
What did you think about this episode, and the top 13 moving forward?