American Idol Season 11 Top 9 Power Rankings

Well, that was an interesting week of shows on American Idol Season 11. The race tightened up, another girls leaves the competition, Stephen Tyler was cranky on his birthday week and another Christian musician outed himself.

Heejun Hahn became a controversial figure on American Idol Season 11 this week when he spent his mentoring sessions using his dry sarcasm as a defense mechanism with Diddy, Jimmy Iovine and Tommy Hilfiger. He finished the week with an over the top performance that was big and humorous but not very polished. After frustrated criticisms from Stephen Tyler, Jimmy Iovine and Diddy, Heejun said the he was just trying to be himself, “a man after God’s own heart.”  Couple that with his facebook tag “all for God, all by God” and it looks like we can add Heejun Hahn to the long list of Christian musicians who have competed on American Idol Season 11.

American Idol Season 11 Top 9 Power Rankings

1) Phil Phillips
Phil Phillips did not deliver the best performance of the week but he has consistently finished in my top 3. He has a clear vision of who he is as a performer and he consistently delivers interesting twists on familiar songs. That was formula that won American Idol for David Cook and Kris Allen. Add to all of that, he is comfortably nice looking, he displays a strong but kind persona and he has suffered some physical set backs that make him seem vulnerable and the American Idol public could embrace him all of the way to the final.

2) Colton Dixon
Christian musician Colton Dixon delivered a master class in singing this week. His meticulous re-construction of the chord structure and tempo framework of “Piano Man” was brilliant. Colton Dixon is a real contender on American Idol Season 11. He will continue to deliver great performances. I think he needs to connect at a personal level more deeply. He still seems like an oddity to me and as this season winds down that could hurt him.

3) Elise Testone
In the great tradition of dark horses, think Kris Allen and Syesha Mercado, Elise Testone continues to blow our mind every week with fabulous performances. This week was the pinnacle of her journey so far. The jazz phrasing at the beginning, the gutsy blues in the middle and that mind blowing run at the end turned made this one of the top 3 performances of the season. Elise will struggle all season with the demographics of the American Idol audience but I am anxious to buy her first album.

4) Joshua Ledet
Yep, this field is that good. Joshua Ledet delivered a very, very good performance of “She’s Got A Way”, one that I will buy. However, Billy Joel exposed a weakness that Joshua needs to overcome. Every song is not a gospel song and not matter how good Joshua Ledet is at singing in the gospel/souls style he will need to demonstrate that he step out just a little bit. Joshua, go talk to Skylar about how to stretch boundaries without losing yourself.

5)Jessica Sanchez
Everyone loved Jessica’s version of “Everyone Has A Dream”. I did not. I think everyone recognizes Jessica as potentially the next big diva and they want to love everything she does. I thought she over sang the song and she lost me with the runs she seem to take in every line. A great, great singer, I need Jessica Sanchez to demonstrate some subtly and vulnerability.

6) Skylar Laine
“Shameless” was easily Skylar’s worst performance of the the season. She struggled with pitch early on and she was not perfect throughout the song. Yet, like a seasoned professional she powered through with her personality and strong stage presence to make me enjoy the ride. I think Skylar Laine  has a real chance to win American Idol Season 11. If she can make it to the top 3, the other performers better watch out.

7) Hollie Cavanaugh
We saw the perfect singer break a little this week. Hollie Cavanaugh has been the fearless singer who took on the Mount Rushmore of divas and delivered perfect performances each time. This week, not so much. She struggled with pitch and pacing throughout her performance of “Honesty”. I think she is on a path to split the diva vote with Jessica Sanchez and, right now, she seems to be diva 1a.

8) Heejun Hahn
We talked about Heejun’s week above. As much as we have enjoyed his personality all season we have never connected with his singing. I think this week hurt Heejun more than it helped him. However, finishing 8th or 9th on American Idol Season 11 is a tremendous accomplishment and could be the spring board to his variety show career. We hope he will surprise us this week with a dead serious performance of a really good R&B song. If he does, he could make it for several more weeks.

9) DeAndre Brakensick
Deandre started the show with overly happy delivery of “Only The Good Die Young”. It seems the DeAndre is more interested in competing on American Idol than he is in delivering strong singing performances. That will lead to his ouster in the next few weeks.

So, there you have it. American Idol Season 11 has one of the strongest group of musicians I have ever seen and I am enjoying each week’s performance shows. I think any of the top 6 could win American Idol Season 11.  Join us on Wednesday night when the musicians will sing “songs of their Idols”. I think that means this will be a wide open show and could reveal a lot about who each of these musicians are.

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