Christian musician Colton Dixon is gone from American Idol Season 11. I am shocked and disappointed. It tells me that American Idol, like all pop music, rewards familiarity over experimentation. No one took as many risks as Colton Dixon did on American Idol Season 11. No one demonstrated the musicianship Colton Dixon displayed week in and week out. No one challenged us with obscure songs and edgy arrangements like Colton Dixon. I hope he puts his version of “September” on his first album. Losing Colton Dixon took some of the flavor out of American Idol Season 11. However, I as thrilled to watch him glorify his Lord during his exit. Whether or not you agree with his beliefs, please join me in applauding Colton Dixon’s conviction.
Last week in our American Idol Top 7 Power Rankings we put out our first predictions. Of course, we predicted a Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon in the finale. Last week, Phil Phillips made a nice comeback from a two week slide, Skylar Laine continued building her case toward the American Idol Season 11 and Hollie Cavanagh looked like she may have flipped the switch from amateur to professional.
American Idol Season 11 Top Power Rankings
1) Joshua Ledet did it again. Mantasi’s version “I Believe” drew another standing ovation from the judges and then he closed the show with “A Change Is Gonna Come”. With that song, Joshua Ledet brought the house down. We thought the performance needed another minute to develop but it seems we are in the minority. Reviewers around the country went wild, calling it one of the best performances of the year. There is a good chance that this old school gospel/R&B singer will not win American Idol Season 11 but few performers in the history of American Idol have put together such consistent body of mind blowing performances.
2) Skylar Laine brought the country to soul night with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and just established herself more firmly as the best performer on American Idol Season 11. I was not crazy about “Born This Way” , but, my gosh, this girl does have stage presence. With her perfect singing, great stage presence and concentrated voting block, it looks like her spot in the finale is hers to lose.
3) Phil Phillips is baaack. First he takes ownership of Usher’s “U Got It Bad” and then he charms the theater with his Commitment’s like take on “In The Midnight Hour”. So charming, quirky Phil Phillips has returned to American Idol Season 11 and that makes him a dangerous competitor for the finale.
4) Jessica Sanchez, despite the judges desparate accolades, if being more and more exposed every week. Her song selections of “Fallin” and “Try A Little Tenderness” both were much too mature for this sixteen year-old and it showed in her performances. With the right material, Jessica Sanchez can be spectacular but she needs more emotional depth to deliver on her promise. We will be surprised if we see Jessica Sanchez in the finale.
5) Hollie Cavanagh has arrived. We saw a completely new Hollie last week. Even between performances she seemed more comfortable and even happy for the first time this season, and it showed in her performances. She found the right avenue with songs by two blue-eyed British soul singers. First took the risk of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and pulled it off completely. This song was perfect for this song and her delivery was stellar. But the breakthrough was Hollie Cavanagh‘s take on “Son of A Preacher Man”. She was loose, passionate and engaging. It is probably too little, too late but we are happy to welcome Hollie Cavanagh to the competition.
6) Elise Testone survived two forced, unhappy performances last week. She has all but said she is miserable. She has admitted to be frustrated by her frequent residence in the bottom two. It seems time for Elise Testone to go home.
The Top 6 will perform songs by Queen this week. Queen has some spectacular songs but much of their catalog is just silly. This will be a minefield for Joshua Ledet and Skylar Laine. Elise Testone should do well, this is a theme made for her. Please join us as we live blog American Idol Season 11 doing Queen.