‘American Idol’ top 5 rankings: Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips battle it out

Can Phillip stay on top?

Do we have a clear favorite to win “American Idol” season 11 at this point? Definitely; however, what is interesting about this season is that there are still no guarantees that this person will end up winning. At the end of the day, there are really four people that we could see winning this season — and the last time we could really say that around this stage in the competition was way back in season 5.

Overall, we have to say that some of the rankings are going to feel familiar…

5. Hollie Cavanagh (last week: #6) – We really don’t want to look like we’re bashing Hollie here, even though this is the third straight week we have ranked her lower than everyone else in the competition. It’s not that she’s a bad singer, as she may actually have a more powerful voice than some of the people left.

Her biggest issue right now is something that she is unfortunately probably not going to be able to obtain before the end of this competition — full confidence in what she is doing. Rather than just performing for herself, she is still too concerned with pleasing others. If she snags a record deal after this show, she could end up becoming a star in a few years. She just needs to get more performances under her belt first.

4. Skylar Laine (last week: #4) – This is a tough one for us. Why? We actually thought that Skylar was the best performer in the top 6 Wednesday night, but she still found herself in the bottom three. We don’t know what it is — or why the judges fail to give her the sort of credit she deserves for some of her choices in terms of arrangements.

Thanks to how strong she was during this performance, we’re really not sure what she can do to improve. It’s really going to come down to consistency, and if one of the singers above her falters (which is possible, since they all have before).

3. Joshua Ledet (last week: #3) – We may be in the minority, but we actually wish that Joshua would do more fast performances a la “Runaway Baby” or “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Why? Just like Scotty McCreery last season (see “Gone”), he has a knack for uptempo music that shows him off someone who knows how to genuinely perform.

The biggest issue we have with Joshua is that “Ready For Love” last week sounded like “Believe” … which sounded like a few of his other performances. He needs to pick some ballads with a little bit more a melodic sensibility, since some of them are starting to blend togehter.

2. Jessica Sanchez (last week: #2) – After avoiding the bottom three again despite performing first last Wednesday, Jessica has managed to make her dramatic save a thing of the past. She also did something that was incredibly important this past week in showing off some vulnerability in telling the story of her father. Our biggest criticism of her, after all, had been that she came across too serious for a teenage girl.

Now, the only thing she needs to make sure she does moving forward is continue to picks songs that her young fanbase will know, and mix up the ballads with some faster pieces.

1. Phillip Phillips – As we said last week, Phillip’s not necessarily our personal favorite when it comes to his individual performances, mostly because so many of them blend together — however, you cannot deny that he has an enormous voting block (as he’s the only one left who has never been in the bottom) and does a great job appealing to his supporters.

If nothing else, we also have to give P2 (as he is called by many) for having the guts to do songs that he feels confident in — we would give him criticism for not staying with what the audience knows, but unlike Jessica the voters seem to be responding to him taking on obscure songs.

Who is at the top of your rankings this week? Be sure to not only respond in the poll below, but leave your thoughts with a comment and stay tuned for more “Idol” news! Next week, we’ll be back taking a look at the top 4.

Photo: Fox

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