This week, we have a major shakeup in our “American Idol” when it comes to the placement of our top five — we have one new entry on the list, and only one person is in the same exact position that they were last week. We also have a new #1 for the third straight week as a rendition of Gloria Estefan cost Jessica Sanchez the top spot.
When it comes to our track record, the bottom two on our rankings last week — Jermaine Jones and Shannon Magrane — just so happened to be the two who ended up going home.
10. Erika Van Pelt (last week – #8) – There’s no questioning that Erika has some talent. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether it is either herself or the show that is putting her in a position where that isn’t being shown off properly.
Not only was her cover of “Heaven” boring, but the arrangement was poor and her phrasing during the chorus was off. We would have liked to have seen Erika take on the DJ Sammy techno remix of the track. Craig Colton (who was also known for ballads) did this on “The X Factor” in Britain last fall, and it was really the best thing we saw out of him the whole season.
9. Heejun Han (last week – #7) – For quite some time, we have been thinking that many Heejun voters just wanted to see the guy make it to the tour for his personality alone.. Now that he’s made it, the challenge begins.
While we actually liked his cover of “Right Here Waiting,” we were seemingly one of the only ones who did. At this point, he needs to actually impress the judges and other “Idol” critics based on his singing just as much as his comedy.
8. Elise Testone (last week – #10) – We still see Elise as having a possible Haley Reinhart vibe, and if you remember how many times she was in the bottom three during her season it still seems possible that Elise could have the same thing happen to her.
After all, our raspy singer in this competition had a pretty good week this time around, and at least avoided the bottom two. She just now needs to have a moment similar to what Haley did with “Bennie and the Jets” to get people on her side.
7. Colton Dixon (last week – #9) – Colton is a solid rocker, and his version of “Broken Heart” proved that he knows how to work the stage better than most of the contestants this season — even with songs that no one really knows.
If there is still one question we have with Colton, it is why his performances still don’t feel necessarily authentic. We’re not trying to infer that he himself is lacking of an identity, but he needs to connect in more of a real way.
6. DeAndre Brackensick (last week – #5) – Thanks to his rendition of “Master Blaster” from the top 12, we’re giving DeAndre a bit of leeway for a boring performance of “Endless Love” and keeping him above the other contestants who have had some flaws.
DeAndre clearly seems to be the one wildcard from the top 13 with a real chance of making it far, especially as we see more and more of his goofy personality.
5. Jessica Sanchez (last week – #1) – We will always love Jessica’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” but we really didn’t love what she did this week at all. She was behind the music, and in between the song, the staging, and even her outfit, Gloria Estefan just simply didn’t seem right for her.
We don’t doubt that Jessica will recover, but she still needs to find a way to connect better with viewers. Otherwise, we could see her being someone who leaves a few weeks too early for many fans’ liking.
4. Hollie Cavanagh (last week – #6) – After doing a strong job with Celine Dion in the closing spot, Hollie jumps into the top five. How long will she stay there? It really depends on if she take a few more risks.
We’ll be frank here — Hollie can’t do another ballad next week. She need desperate to show that she can have fun, and is likely to fall otherwise.
3. Phillip Phillips (last week – #4) – We really don’t necessarily think that Phillip really did enough with his performance this week to deserve a jump, but there’s no doubt he won some more sympathy votes with his story of performing while suffering following a kidney stone procedure.
Phillip is still the best bet of winning this competition, especially when you consider the history of “Idol” voters.
2. Skylar Laine (last week – #2) – Despite the fact that few people are talking about Skylar, she may be one of the most consistent singers in the competition. She’d rocked uptempo, done a solid job with some ballads, and even a so-so performance this week was hardly noticed when compared to some of the other people in this competition.
The fact that Skylar loves country music — and so do voters — really keeps her here for the long haul.
1. Joshua Ledet (last week – #3) – After “When a Man Loves a Woman,” there’s no way that Joshua can be ranked anywhere else. Did we think that he was a bit too all over the place here? A little bit, and he needs to cut down on some of the vocal runs and tricks to keep from showing everything that he has right away.
The one thing that Joshua has going for him for certain at this moment? He has been incredible every week, and shown that he can handle any challenge thrown at him.
Who do you think should be at the top of the rankings? As always, feel free to answer in the poll and share your thoughts with a comment below!