I called it in last week’s American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Power Rankings, sort of. I said Jessica Sanchez could be in trouble in the next few weeks, I just did not think she would be eliminated last week. I certainly thought she would be safe after last week’s performances. Neither Elise Testone or Hollie Cavanagh made a big statement and Jessica Sanchez delivered probably her best performance of the season. No one has ever won American Idol after being saved by the judges.
The other surprise was Joshua Ledet in the bottom three, which does not bode well for his chances. That leads me to step back and take a shot at a few predictions. I simply do not understand the support for Hollie Cavanagh at this point in American Idol Season 11, so I think she will be gone in the next few weeks. Elise Testone has been too inconsistent and does not fit the profile of an American Idol winner. We saw last week how tenuous Jessica Sanchez‘s place is on American Idol Season 11. It seems Phil Phillips is starting to lose momentum in his performances and we saw that Joshua Ledet may not have the following to support his tremendous talent. That leaves us with finale of Christian musicians Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine. That does not line up with my power rankings but we would not mind this as a finale.
American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Power Rankings, Pt 2
1)Joshua Ledet- Christian musician Joshua Ledet received another standing ovation from the judges last and week and he remains atop our power rankings. I don’t care that Joshua Ledet was in the bottom three last week. He just has an instinctive performing style and an other worldly voice. I intially thought his vocal style was a little outdated but last week he proved he belongs in the middle of the exploding “retro-soul” movement led by Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones, Bruno Mars and The Alabama Shakes. As long as he continues to deliver performances like last week’s “Runaway Baby” Joshua Ledet will continue to lead our power rankings.
2) Colton Dixon- So Colton Dixon continues to charm the mentors and the judges with his song selection and arrangements. This week he delivered another emotional, technically perfect, dynamically fascinating version of an obscure song “Love The Way You Lie.” Colton Dixon seems to be an unusual combination of an artist who continues to grow throughout the American Idol season even though he arrived a fully developed artist. You could interchange any of his performances from Season 11 and they would all hold up to the competition of the Top 7. I think it is because he came in fully confident of who he is as a person, artist and believer and yet humble to the process.
3) Skyar Laine- I do not like her style of country music but I have loved Skylar Laine from the moment shook her way through “Stay With Me” in the first week. Skylar Laine is strong, confident, sure of herself as a performer and a tremendous vocal talent. She asserted herself as a big voiced singer with “Wind Beneath My Wings” and now she is asserting herself to be considered the best female singer on American Idol Season 11. That is a big statement in the company of Jessica, Elise and Hollie. J-Lo said this performance was pitch perfect. I agree. But watch her tremendous delivery of this song. Skylar Laine, better than anyone on American Idol Season 11 can reach into the television and connect with the audience.
4) Jessica Sanchez- This is the only change from last week’s power rankings. Jessica Sanchez gave us her best performance of the season with complex, thrilling performance of “Stuttering”. She did not deserve the fate she experienced last Thursday night. This is a real roller coaster ride in which Jessica Sanchez is in complete control of every dip, curve and climb. The singing, of course, the phrasing, the tempo changes, the growling, the scatting it was all perfectly used and perfectly executed. If she can hang around a few more weeks and deliver a few more of these performances, Jessica Sanchez could surprise us all, but I don’t think Jessica has developed the powerful personality necessary to make history on American Idol.
5) Phil Phillips- The rebellious rocker has lost his momentum and seems to have lost his enthusiasm for American Idol. Phil Phillips performance of “Give A Little More” was his second lackluster performance in a row. He also seems to be losing patience with the coaching and criticism from the mentors and judges. He increasingly dismisses them with comments like “I just play music”. He has completely ignored Tommy Hilfiger’s advice. I wonder if this change in attitude coincides with the departure of his best buddy Heejun Hahn? Regardless the reason, unless he picks up his game, Phil Phillips will be gone in the next three weeks.
6) Elise Testone- She needed to be great last week and “You & I” was only very good. Very good won Elise Testone a place in the bottom two again. Elise seems to be frustrated by the results each week and too much of that angst carries over into each week’s performances. The week she let go and just had fun with “Whole Lotta Love”, she looked like an American Idol winner. The other weeks she seems to be trying to please the judges or the voters, with mixed results. I will buy her album but I don’t think Elise Testone makes it into the top five.
7) Hollie Cavanagh- I am perplexed about who is voting for Hollie Cavanagh. She was ahead of both Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez last week. I like Hollie, I think she has killer voice and she is a Texas girl, sort of. However, it is clear that she is not as polished as the other six performers. It is hard to say this after last week’s results but I think she is gone this week or the next.
So, there you have it. Feel free to comment, to agree or disagree with me. I love the dialogue.
In any case join us on Wednesday night as the American Idol Season 11 does “Songs From Now and Then”. The performers will be singing a Billboard #1 from this century and then a soul song from a previous decade. That should set up well for Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone.