American Idol top 8 rankings: Alejandro Aranda, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon & more

American IdolThe American Idol top eight are hitting the stage on Sunday, but leading into that where do they all stand in our CarterMatt weekly rankings? We’re back to dive into this subject once more! This is a fun season, mostly in that it’s a competitive season and there are so many people amidst the pack that you can look at and say “oh, that person could’ve been a top 3 finisher on another season.” There aren’t too many other seasons out there where you can really make that argument.

Alas, some of these people are going to go home and we’re here to throw our spin on that based on performance quality, voting history to date, personal backstory, and also past voting trends. Put that all together, and you have our rankings! We also have a new video below where we talk about these rankings further; to get more discussion, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and take a look at our American Idol playlist.

8. Alyssa Raghu – How do you have her anywhere else on the list? She needed a Save to make to the top eight in the first place, and she was the last person called on this past results show. While we do like her as a talent, we also do think that she needs to do more when it comes to letting viewers in and see more of who she wants to be. To date, a lot of her songs have really felt like recreations … even if they were well-sung.

7. Wade Cota – Wade’s a likable guy and we think that there’s something about his personality that gets people excited to hear him perform. Yet, how far does likability go? While all of his performances have fallen into the territory of “very good,” we’re not sure that many of them are qualifying as “great.” That needs to be rectified as we start to move forward.

6. Laci Kaye Booth – If this was our rankings based more on our personal favorites, she’d probably be two spots higher at #4 — but we can’t forget about the way in which American Idol voters tend to cast their votes, and it’s often favored towards singer-songwriter guys with a musical instrument. Laci’s already delivered a lot of cool, unique performances, but she still needs that “moment” that gets people seeing her as a favorite.

5. Laine Hardy – Laine is a talented guy and clearly, he’s got a devoted following through his two seasons featured on the show. He’s also got the appeal of an early ’60’s pop-rock star. We still don’t think that we’re seeing something from him that screams “superstar after this show,” but there’s an audience for his style and if he just keeps doing what he already has, he’s destined to make it a couple more weeks.

4. Walker Burroughs – Walker’s a hard person to really define within this competition since he’s so musical and endearing, but often pop-piano music isn’t the sort of thing that wins this show. He’s unique in terms of the personality and style in which he sings. The only reason he’s #4? We don’t think that he excels in any one thing more than the top 3.

3. Madison VanDenburg – It still seems crazy and we feel almost guilty for having her here, since we can’t sit here and say any one thing that she’s done wrong all season and vocally, she’s probably the best singer this season. She just doesn’t have the backstory of an Alejandro or a Jeremiah, and she hasn’t necessarily done anything that is as unique as either one of them. We do think that the gap between her and them is starting to narrow though.

2. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon – He’s delivered some incredible vocals every time we’ve seen him and we think that beyond that his story and his relatability is so appealing to a lot of the viewers. We do think we need to see him diversify a little bit when it comes to song styles, but unless voters start to lose their mind and decide they suddenly hate emotional ballads, the guy is as good as gold for a couple more shows.

1. Alejandro Aranda – This is probably the last week that Alejandro’s early-season popularity will boost him to #1. While we think his performance from this past episode is better than some online are giving it credit for, neither it nor his Drake cover have been among his best of the season. He has to find a way to keep the intimate vibe of his performances, and also finding some moments for his stellar musicianship to shine through on that large stage. He’s talented beyond words, and we don’t see him going home even if he does slip from this spot.

Who is atop your American Idol ranking? Be sure to share in the comments below and vote in the poll! We’ll be back this weekend with more on all the finalists. (Photo: ABC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!