‘American Idol’ top 9 rankings: Jessica Sanchez #1, Colton Dixon surges

Here’s your top 9, America!

There’s a bit shake-up when it comes to the “American Idol” rankings this week. Not only do we have a new #1, but there are several movers and shakers as the early favorites fall victim to poor song choice, and some underrated stars (see Elise) end up receiving the viewer support they deserve.

Ultimately, though, the entire next week is really just going to be around Heejun and if he can turn it around. If not, you may as well take him off the list now.

9. Heejun Han (last week: #9) – When it comes to personality, we admit that we are inherently fascinated with this guy. He’s funny and yet insecure, offbeat and yet serious. Unfortunately, he has more flaws vocally than any other member of the top 9 at this point in the competition.

The only chance Heejun has at sticking around for another week past this one is if he comes out, changes his pace back to a ballad, and blows everyone away while showing ome improvement.

8. DeAndre Brackensick (last week: #6) – As amazing as “Master Blaster” was, we’re starting to forget about it. Why? For the past two weeks, DeAndre has been either boring or just disappointing with his performances, and this sort of inconsistency has plagued him throughout the entire competition as a whole.

We still think that DeAndre has a chance to make it into the top five or six, but his chances at winning are slipping away pending a comeback as mighty as his lion-esque locks.

7. Hollie Cavanagh (last week: #4) – Hollie has never been in the bottom three, but we are starting to genuinely worry for her. Why? She’s boring as can be with her song selection. There are only so many ballads viewers can take before they forget about you. (It’s bound to happen eventually.)

6. Skylar Laine (#2) – We’ve thought for weeks that Skylar would make it farther than many predicted, but now we’re not so sure. Her songs have ranged from dull to overly-sappy, and it’s almost made us forget about her stellar “Stay With Me” from her first live performance that is among the top 5 of the season.

Skylar does have the country voting block, and we do think that she has a few weeks left, but if she doesn’t turn it around she will be on the outside looking in for the finale.

5. Phillip Phillips (last week: #3) – Really, we’re putting him this high based mostly on the judges’ critique, but we found most of what Phillip did this week off-putting. He deliberately mocked the mentors in their face, and has not really done much in this competition to show that he has range musically and will be a star after the show.

We’re continually baffled as to why the judges are refusing to give him positive feedbak at all at this stage. Wouldn’t it help him?

4. Elise Testone (last week: #8) – Finally, the voters are starting to see the light with Elise! After not being in the bottom three this week, we’re starting to feel optimistic that she will have some momentum. (It also helps that she has picked songs based on her personality, and not just a series of drippy ballads.)

3. Joshua Ledet (last week: #1) – Finally, someone called Joshua out on his over-singing this week. This was a tough performance for the guy, but we still think that the memory of “When a Man Loves a Woman” looms large.

Of course, it also helps Joshua that so many contestants this week either gave dull or subpar performances.

2. Colton Dixon (last week: #7) – We might as well mention that Colton Dixon had a pretty significant advantage this week.It was Billy Joel Week, and he tackled the most iconic song from the singer in “Piano Man.” In case you forgot, Colton is a piano player.

Can Colton stay a favorite? While we haven’t always loved his song choices in the competition, he is a gifted performer and could stay up here for a while.

1. Jessica Sanchez (last week: #5) – For the second time since the live shows started earlier this year, Jessica is back at the top of the rankings. Why? Her voice is spectacular, she’s covered a variety of genres, and she’s proven to have a loyal voting block.

It’s still possible that Jessica could be dethroned from her position at some point, but we like the trajectory she is on at the moment — it screams “Idol” winner!

Who is your favorite from the top 9? As always, be sure to answer in the poll below and also share your thoughts with a comment!

Photo: Fox

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