American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Ranking Again

If you go look at the intro to our coverage of the American Idol Season 10 Top 11 results show I said Casey may be in trouble and that the judges may save him.  It happened as I thought it might. The judges also agreed with me that Casey needs to stop the growling and the screaming and return to the jazz influenced musicianship we all fell in love with.

I also said last night that, after a wonderful night of Motown performances that no one deserved to go home this week.  Even better, the American Idol Season 10 tour will include all of 11 of these wonderful American Idol hopefuls.  That just could be a ticket worth buying.  Imagine Thia Megia’s beautiful voice after she has matured under the tutelage of the American Idol road show producers.  Think about the joy Naima Adedapo‘s passion will bring to the stage.  Buy some ear plugs because you will need to protect your hearing from the screams of 12 year old girls when Scott McCreery and Stefano Langone hit the stage.  Christian musicians can be heart throbs. Be ready to be awestruck when the voices of Jacob Lusk, Pia Toscano and James Durbin are released in a live setting.

Casey Abrams Saved By American Idol Judges

Back to the save. Here is the full video in case you did not see one of the most dramatic moments in the history of American Idol. If you saw it live, look for what you missed. Check out the faces of shock on Jacob Lusk and James Durbin just after the results are announced. Watch Casey’s hands tremble when he goes over the shake the judge’s hands. Watch the joy of Jacob Lusk and Lauren Alaina when they realize that all eleven will go on the American Idol Season 10 tour.

Well, nothing was decided last week.  I think we probably have six or seven contenders for the title of Season 10′s American Idol.  It amazes me that the voting seems to track week to week performances.  America voted Karen Rodriguez into the Top 10 over Naima Adedapo and Stefano Langone and two weeks later she fell to the bottom of the voting in the Top 12.  This week, Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone delivered the weakest of  11 very good performances and, despite numerous triumphant performances earlier in Season 10 by both, they were at the bottom this week.  There is no such thing as momentum in American Idol Season 10.  That is good for us as viewers, but which of the Idols will crack under the weight?

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Ranking, Part two

There is a lot movement from last week’s American Idol Season 10 power rankingsJacob Lusk, Pia Toscano and Paul MacDonald made big moves up the rankings.  As you might expect Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone fell pretty far.  With the strength of this crew we should expect to see a lot of movement throughout the season.  There is a wide variety of styles and a deep well of talent in this group.  I try to be stylistically agnostic in the rankings.  Notice that the top 4 are old school soul, sold-out rocker, committed balladeer and country crooner.

  1. Christian musician Jacob Lusk delivered one of the greatest performances in the history of American Idol on Wednesday night.  Jacob is a rare talent.  I did not see Fantasia win American Idol, but she is only one I can think of that reaches the heights of Jacob Lusk.  I am a huge fan of Jennifer Hudson and her performance on Wednesday night paled in comparison to Jacob’s performance of “You’re All I Need”.  Check it out.
  2. Wow!  Unlike so many of his competitors who are working to stretch themselves, Jacob is so effortless and has so much to bring to a song. His biggest issue is restraint.  He looked completely comfortable and relaxed in this performance.  If he can maintain that restraint through the rest of Season 10, he is the only one capable of separating from this incredible group of American Idol hopefuls.

    2. James Durbin just continues to stroll through Season 10 almost effortlessly.  He seems to just be enjoying every week’s performance.  It is almost like he is ignoring the competition aspect of American Idol, because he is just that talented.  James has delivered consistently excellent performances.  It seems week after week one or two people throw out the performance of their lives to rival him for the top spot, but James brings it Wednesday night after Wednesday night.  I was impressed that James was able to connect with the meaning and message of Stevie Wonder’s “Livin For The City.”  Most people missed Stevie’s point but James understood that the upbeat party grooves were juxtaposed against the lyrics of poverty and prejudice to signify the hope of a generation coming out of the civil rights and anti-war strife of the 60′s.  Pretty good for a kid who had not been born when the song was written.

    3. Pia Toscano makes a big move from 7 to 3.  I think she may be the only girl who can rival the guys as a contender for the Season 10 title.  I had her at 7 last week because I said she needs to prove she can sing more than ballads.  I was wrong.  Sing ballads Pia.  Her interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s lesser known “All In Love Is Fair” showed great music sensibilities.  Her performance, with its subtle soul phrasing, respectful arrangement flourishes and picture perfect singing, demonstrated that Pia Toscano is ready to go.  She is the most polished artist on American Idol Season 10.  It is time for her career to start, this American Idol nonsense is a distraction now that we know her.

    4. Christian musician Scott McCreey falls from 2 to 4 just because Jacob, James and Pia were so great.  I actually think Scott created a hit record.  There has not been a popular version of “For Once In My Life” and after hearing Scott’s version I do not know why.  This should be on Scott McCreery‘s first album and American Idol should release it to the country charts today.

5. Paul MacDonald makes a huge leap from 9th to 5th. The past two weeks I have heard more of Paul’s singing voice and I like what I hear.  I wish he had exercised more of the interpretive skills I assume he has and turned Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” into a singer/songwriter ballad.  I liked the slow quiet beginning of the song and the quiet ending.  If he had stuck with that vibe he might have created one of those transcendent moments.  Randy called him on it in the judging when he told Paul to use more of his quiet voice, that it had something special.

6. Christian musician Stefano Langone has had two great nights and two nights where he seems to miss the point.  I think Jennifer hit it right when she told him to quit competing and to start performing and connecting with his music. His two great moments came when he was fully immersed in his song and he was not worried about creating emotion or performing perfectly.  Stefano has a chance to be great in the competition, he just needs to be more consistent.  I wait for Stefano with high hopes every week and this week he did not deliver.

7. Christian musician Lauren Alaina is surprising me.  It feels that she is starting to get swept-up by American Idol Season 10.  She has a big, powerful, clear voice and a big personality.  It seems she is using that personality to overcome her singing.  I am not sure if she is just too young to deliver some of these performances, but Jordan Sparks was her age when she won American Idol.  Lauren needs to dig deep and focus on her singing. Her performances have felt a little superficial lately. I would like for her to come out this week, stand in the middle of the stage and belt an introspective ballad without flirting with the camera.

8. Haley Reinhart delivered a wonderful performance.  I did not think it was good enough to save her.  I was surprised she was not in the bottom 3.  It hit me on Tuesday night that Haley Reinhart is American Idol‘s Joan Osborne.  Remember her from ” …what if God was one of us“.  Both have these incredible bluesy voices that can sing anything and both of them cannot pick a musical style.  I would have preferred that Haley belt out “Midnight Train to Georgia” on Wednesday night.  That would have given her room to infuse some deep emotion into her performance and to blast away with that great voice.  I think Haley still needs to create her moment if she plans to stick around much longer.

9. Naima Adedapo had her moment on Wednesday.  This was clearly her best sinigng performance and her African, tribal arrangement of “Dancing In The Streets” was fun and innovative.  I enjoyed it.  She is probably the weakest singer of the Top 11, but her personality can carry her performances.  She needs two more weeks of solid singing or she goes home soon.

10. Casey Abrams did not fall from 4 to 10 because of this week’s performance.  He fell because last week was not an anomoly caused by his hospitalization.  It seems Casey took all of the adulation from his week 1 screaming, growling version of “I Put A Spell On You” and turned into his “winning” style.  It is not winning.  If Casey returns to his jazz roots he will be alright.

11. Thia Megia is growing on me.  Her voice really stands out in the group numbers and her performance of “Heatwave” felt appropriately young for her.  Being 2nd string in the NBA means only means that you are one of the top 500 basketball players in the world.  That is pretty darn good.  Being 11th in American Idol Season 10 is pretty special as well.

The theme for next week is Elton John songs.  I don’t remember seeing this as a theme before.  I think they did it in Season 3.  Sir Elton has some great songs but there are some real land mines in there.  Choose carefully Idols.  Please, no one sing “I’m Still Standing” or “Bennie and The Jets.”  Pia, if you are thinking Lion King, please just say no. See us next Wednesday as we live bloge the performances of American Idol Season 10‘s top 11.

Comments

  1. Jim Richardson says:

    Check out this video of Stefano rehearsing during hollywood week. The third dude wearing #60 on his shirt is Jon Stills from my church, he made it to top 100.

    http://www.youtube.com/paigeava

Speak Your Mind

*