We have personally made it no secret that we are against the “American Idol” rankings at the end of every episode, mostly because it does eliminate some of the surprise when it comes to how the public is voting week in and week out. After all, the show was successful for 11 seasons without doing this, and the only one that is doing it (“The X Factor”) has been a ratings disappointment both seasons.
Nonetheless, it is happening, and we have to consider these figures to be the primary factor now in our own contestant rankings. In addition to these, we’ll also look at overall performance quality, voting history, and the all-important personality card that can put any given contestant over the top.
9. Paul Jolley (last week: 6) – We thought that Paul would score some of the country vote this season, but for some other reason both these people and those who typically pick the good-looking guy are turning their noses up at him. He desperately needs to find a performance that he has an identity in, and this may be a problem for him right now. Why? It feels almost as though our deal Paul is suffering from a little bit of an identity crisis.
8. Devin Velez (5) – Devin will probably get the familiar bump after coming close to elimination last week, and it should be a sign to him that despite having a pretty voice, you can’t just do the same sort of song every week and expect a different result. We’re not saying that he has to go uptempo, but he needs to prove some versatility.
7. Amber Holcomb (9) – You have to take performance placement into equation sometimes here. While the eliminated Curtis Finch Jr. and Devin were hurt by going in the first half of the show, Amber was likely helped be getting the pimp spot. This is why we still believe her to be the most vulnerable of the guys left.
6. Janelle Arthur (7) – As good as the ladies are, we just can’t see a top six of five women and one guy based on the way in which this show has worked over the years. Janelle’s a pretty good singer, but we fear her being haunted by the Kree Harrison comparisons all season long. There’s just a little bit of that artistry missing that is so present in our current favorite.
5. Lazaro Arbos (8) – While Lazaro may have been the highest-ranked guy this past week, there will be a time in which we see him starting to slide if he does not pick her performance quality right. Jimmy Iovine was right in that he deserves to be treated like everyone else, and with this regard he needs to work on his song choice and finding moment in the songs.
4. Burnell Taylor (3) – Burnell barely escaped the bottom three this past week, but the elimination of Curtis probably helps him to pick up some other fans of R&B and soul music. He does need to go uptempo and to do so soon, but we’re not so worried about his effectiveness when he does.
3. Angie Miller (2) – Of the three-headed monster that is currently taking over the season, Angie to us is the one that has struggled the most in recent weeks. She’s been very good, but has probably tried to hard to create a similar performance to her original “You Set Me Free.” Change sometimes can be good, and she needs to try something different.
2. Candice Glover (4) – Can we really critique Candice at all? We don’t think that we can. She’s phenomenal at everything that she does, and does not have a glaring flaw at all vocally. We just think that the #1 pick had done a little better job being versatile and connecting to the audience, and we learned last year that the latter is extremely importnat.
1. Kree Harrison (1) – Truth be told, we think that Kree slowed down “Crying” a little too much this past week. However, it was still a fantastic performance, and yet another example that she may be both the person and the storyteller that “American Idol” needs this year to usher in a different sort of storyteller.
Who is your favorite from the top 9? We want to hear what you think in the poll below! If you want to read some of what Curtis had to say about his elimination, you can do so over at the link here.