Well, the One21music studio let out a sigh of relief on Thursday night as American Idol Season 10 kept most of it’s talent, variety and quirkiness intact as it selected the Top13. I do have a couple of quibbles, mostly Lauren Turner, but for the most part I think America and the judges put together a group that will be fun to watch. At one21music we cover Christian musicians competing on American Idol. There are four, maybe five, who have made it into the American Idol Season 10 Top 13. We have been able to find clear indications that Ashton Jones, Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery are all believers. After his performance of the gospel song “I Need You Now”, we think Stefano Langone is a believer but there is just no information on him.
There have been three season highlights so far. Jacob Lusk’s star turn in Hollywood with “God Bless The Child” is a s good as anything I have ever seen on American Idol. Pia Toscano stole the Top 24 stage performances (guys and girls) with her version of “I’ll Stand By You”. Stefano Langone, I think, propelled himself into American Idol Season 10 Top 10 by taking America to church with Smokie Norful‘s “I Need You Now”. For these three, the trick will be to demonstrate versatility while remaining consistent. None of them want to hear Randy say, “you had that great moment back in … when we all saw why we put you in this competition, but you haven’t been able to live up to that moment.”
Today two of the Top 13 show all the signs of winning American Idol Season 10. Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina are young, likable, good looking and safe for the American Idol voting demographic. The pre-teen girl voters want to date Scott and hangout with Lauren, and their voting mothers want that as well. Both are talented and will have successful music careers, so one of them winning would be a good conclusion to American Idol Season 10.
But here is the big but. Every year there has been someone rise out of the pack (Kris Allen, David Cook, Syesha Mercado) to make a strong run into the Top 3. Who will that be in Season 10?
American Idol Season 10 Top13 Power Rankings
- Jacob Lusk- There have been some crazy good singers on American Idol, cue Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Mandisa, etc, but we have never seen anything like Jacob Lusk. He seamlessly moves from the deepest of tones to high wails that challenge Adam Lambert and James Durbin. The crazy improvisation within the songs. His humble manner. I cannot wait from week to week to see what he brings to the show. My worries for Jacob is that American Idol voters cannot handle a talent as big as his and that Jacob is not going to be able to keep his expressiveness under control. I think Jacob Lusk is going to set the stage on fire every week and then, I fear, one week the judges are going to be say, “I don’t get it, I thought this was a singing competition” as Jacob sings his farewell song. I will be surprised if he wins, but I do not think any of the other competitors are anywhere close to him as a singer.
- Lauren Alaina- This girl is a star. She just dominated the stage in her first performance. She sings great, but I don’t think she has pushed herself yet. I don’t think it matters how well she sings. Lauren Alaina is headed straight for Nashville and will be challenging Carrie Underwood in a few years for country queen. Thirty years from now you will be watching her variety shows on your holograph brain implant (Apple’s Iprobe). Every week she spends on American Idol is a week’s delay in her rise to the top of Nashville.
- Scott McCreery- There is more to this All American boy than we have seen so far. Some call him a one trick pony but I think we will see him blossom over the next weeks. When he performed his final audition song in Hollywood I saw an expressive, interesting performer who has a distinct style and a compelling stage persona. The biggest thing to me is that he seems to be the least affected by what is happening to him. It is almost like a Nashville George Clooney sneaked into the middle of American Idol Season 10. As I said above, I think American Idol Season 10 is going to come down to a choice for the voters. Do I pick the guy I want date or the girl I want to be my bff?
- Casey Abrams- I love this guy. He is interesting, talented and probably the most versatile performer on American Idol Season 10. I have loved Casey’s arrangements and his folksy funkiness. Casey’s problem is that Season 10 is stacked with legitimate contenders for the title. Casey Abrams would have made it into the Top3 of just about any season and will probably make it into the Top 3 of American Idol Season 10. However, there are just too many picture perfect American Idol contenders for Casey to claim the title this year.
- Stefano Langone-Being forced to perform in the wild card round was probably the best thing that could have happened to Stefano Langone on American Idol Season 10. His one performance of “I Need You Now” propelled him out of the pack, established him a serious heartthrob and positioned him as a sincere, nuanced performer. After watching several of his pre-Idol videos, we believe that he has the goods deliver more performances like Thursday night’s. His challenge will be to demonstrate a wider range of performance skills with more consistency than we have seen. If anyone knows about Stefano’s faith background, please share.
- Pia Toscano- A beauty with a powerful, beautiful voice, Pia Toscano stole the show in the Top 24 performances. She deserves all of the accolades and expectations she has generated to this point. I am not sure she has the personality to The star of American Idol Season 10. Pia’s best moments have been in a certain range of mid-tempo ballads. She has the same challenge as Stefano in that she must show a greater range of style.
- Paul MacDonald- American Idol’s own Thome York/Jim James/Rod Stewart brings his strong indie vibe to Season 10. Paul is an interesting peculiarity whose schtick will hold America’s interest for another two or three weeks. We could be surprised. I never thought David Cook would make it to the Top 5 until he began to show his versatility with show tunes. Maybe Paul MacDonald has some surprises for us.
- James Durbin- James Durbin has been compared to Adam Lambert. I like him better as a singer. I think he is a more natural performer than Lambert. However, he does not have the professionalism and focus that drove Adam Lambert to the final 2. I question if James Durbin waltz through the American Idol wringer a deftly as Adam Lambert.
- Karen Rodriguez- She is a very good singer, but not great in this group. We were surprised when she was voted into the Top 10. We think she has a lot of work to do to assert her imprint her personality on the show in a way that will propel beyond into he Top 10.
- Ashton Jones- Why do the judges lover Ashton Jones so much. We have seen her big personality but I don’t see here as a great singer. Maybe with more time America will see what the judges see.
- Hayley Reinhart- I was shocked to see Hayley voted into the Top 10. We expected her to be a judges choice. I like her singing style, but it is polarizing and her performance of “Fallin’ missed the song’s heart. She is one to watch but she needs to be amazing every week. I will be surprised if she makes it very deep into American Idol Season 10.
- Naima Adedapo- I understand why the judges dig Naima Adedapo. I dig Naima Adedapo too. I just don’t think America gets Naima Adedapo. Every season American Idol has featured a quirky, highly stylized jazz singer. None of them made it to the Top 10.
- Thia Megia-I don’t think this beautiful voice will last very long. America voted Thia Megia into the Top 10 but you saw her crumbling under the pressure of the Thursday night’s results show.
So there you have it. American Idol Season 10 is setting up very nicely. The Top 13 is deep, talented and varied. It should be an entertaining 11 weeks.