Typically when Jennifer Lopez predicts two people as possible finalists on “American Idol,” we don’t tend to listen very much. However, after looking back at this week’s show we actually agree with her assessment that Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet could be standing at the end of the competition waiting to find out who will be doused in confetti. Are there two contestants this season who have been more consistent or given a stronger performance than these two? While Jessica seems to be the clear favorite at this point, Joshua is a legitimate contender to potentially end up taking her down in the finale.
Outside of these two taking the top spots in the rankings this week, we also have some big drops for both Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips after some performances that were mediocre at best.
7. Hollie Cavanagh (last week: #7) – We were right last week in thinking that Hollie would find a way to stay safe after a subpar performance, but what we didn’t realize is that she would follow it up with a performance that the judges downright wanted to send to the Moon with Ashton Kutcher.
The biggest problem Hollie’s “Flashdance” showed was that she’s simply not ready for the big stage. Is she a talented singer? Definitely. Does she have any idea what to do with herself on stage? No, and that’s what will likely cause her to be out before the top 5.
6. Elise Testone (last week: #2) – A big fall for Elise this week, as she was hit with a double-whammy — not only was her Foreigner cover mediocre, but she also landed in the bottom two and was nearly scent home over DeAndre Brackensick.
The one thing Elise has going for her here is that we think that the judges are likely to use the save on her if she is eliminated, but we don’t think she has the fanbase to break into the final few weeks in the competition.
5. Phillip Phillips (last week: #3) – Phillip’s far from the best singer in the competition, but for most of the live rounds he has been able to cover that up with charisma, musicality, having a sort of outlaw attitude that made him endearing in the “bad boy of the competition” sort of way.
Unfortunately, Phillip’s pouty reaction to Jimmy Iovine’s negative critique this week hardly did him any favors. While we understand his claims that he misunderstood what Jimmy was saying to him, the guy seems completely unwilling to change anything. You have to challenge yourself to be an “Idol” — after all, there’s a reason why what you did before the show didn’t work.
4. Skylar Laine (last week: #6) – With a final performance on Wednesday night that actually showed off the range of her voice, Skylar proved that she can do more than stomp around the stage and rock out to Miranda Lambert.
Her problem? All three people ranked above her have yet to be in the bottom (at least after the genders were combined), and (unlike Phillip) they have all handled criticism well enough for us to assume that they probably won’t be anytime soon. She’s going to need to continue to impress week in and week out to make it farther than fourth, and it’s all going to be based on song choice.
3. Colton Dixon (last week: #5) – We admit that we’ve never really been on board when it comes to Colton’s oft-squeaky tone, but his rendition of “Piano Man” was one of the highlights of the season so far.
Granted, we are a bit surprised that him openly admitting to ripping off the Quietdrive version of “Time After Time” did not hurt him in the vocals at all. Doesn’t this take a way a few “artist” points? If nothing else, Colton can still smile about having the heavy Christian vote, and we have yet to sense any sign from him at all that he could struggle in some of the competition’s later rounds.
2. Joshua Ledet (last week: #4) – Joshua Ledet is what Marcus Canty and Jacob Lusk wished they could be — an R&B / gospel singer who knows how to control his voice and work the stage.
Joshua has done stellar slow performances, stellar uptempo performances, and his duet with Jessica this past week was the best “Idol” duet since Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart took on “Moanin'” last season. Regardless of whether or not he ends up winning this competition, this guy is going to be a star.
1. Jessica Sanchez (last week: #1) – In a week where there were many changes, some things manage to stay the same — including the presence of Jessica at the top of the list here for her second stellar Whitney Houston cover of the competition.
Despite being only a teenager, no one has really given Jessica credit for being as great and natural a performer as she is. (Yes, she has been doing this pretty much her whole life, but still.) She has also tackled multiple genres, speeds, arrangements, and we have a feeling at this point she could make Weird Al into gold. (Does this make her into the musical version of Rumpelstiltskin? Maybe…)
Who are you liking at the moment to make it to the finale? As always, be sure to share your picks below and respond in the poll!