We are making the turn to the American Idol Season 11 finale. Twenty-three days until we know who captures the Season 11 American Idol crown. For One21music, Joshua Ledet and Skylar Laine have distinguished themselves as the class of Season 11. However, Phil Phillips has shown tremendous popularity and is a real contender. Jessica Sanchez seems to be a few years away from turning her tremendous talent into the full package. Hollie Cavanagh has mounted a mini comeback to recover from the brink of elimination.
American Idol Season 11 Top 5 Power Rankings
1) Joshua Ledet- The most consistent performer of American Idol Season 11 is clearly Joshua Ledet. The most spectacular performer of American Idol Season 11 is arguably Joshua Ledet. Joshua Ledet is the best male singer in the past three seasons of American Idol. As Skylar Laine pointed out on American Idol Top 6 performance show, Joshua Ledet has received 12 standing ovations from the judges this year, including two last week. And what a revelation last week was. Joshua’s second song “I Am Ready for Love” was a season highlight. However, it is his performance of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” that was the revelation. As Jimmy Iovine pointed out, thar Queen song revealed his tremendous cross-over potential. Last week was the final judgement for us, Joshua Ledet deserves to win American Idol Season 11.
2) Skylar Laine- She was in the bottom three last week, which was a disappointment, but if anyone has the talent to beat Joshua Ledet, it is Skylar Laine. She has as big a voice as any of the three reamaining females. She owns a strong American Idol demographic, the country voters. Skylar Laine‘s commanding stage presence, riveting confidence and fearless performance style sets her apart from everyone else on American Idol Season 11. Skylar Laine’s biggest asset, her clear country roots and style, is also her biggest weakness. When Skylar avoids modern country pop music, she soars. However, at every opportunity she selects a popular country song that does not demonstrate her talents. Her version of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” is a perfect example. This song allows her to demonstrate the full range of her vocal, interpretive and performance skills in a way that few modern country songs can handle. She needs to be very careful with song selection the rest of this season. The right songs will land her in the finale but if she forces the country on us, she could go home prematurely.
3) Phil Phillips- He has yet to land in the bottom three and I don’t get that. I enjoy Phil Phillips but I don’t get why everyone thinks he is so special. I live in Austin, Texas and I can see twenty guys just like Phil Phillips every night of the week. One of the secrets of winning American Idol is that you grow and develop every week and show new sides of your talent as the season progresses. That is how David Cook and Kris Allen won. I have not seen that from Phil Phillips. We could interchange his performances from any point in the season and they will be the same. Consistency is important, but I have not seen Phil Phillips develop under the watchful eye of Jimmy Iovine, the mentors and these judges. I think he deserves to be here and I think he deserves to reach the top 3, but if American Idol Season 11 develops as it has so far, I will disappointed with Phil Phillips in the finale.
4) Jessica Sanchez- At the beginning, I thought American Idol Season 11 was going to be the coronation of Jessica Sanchez. She clearly has the voice and the singing talent. However, in this season of great singers she is not so far ahead of Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine or even Hollie Cavanagh that we can overlook her shortcomings. For me, she just needs more maturity and life experience. Many of her performances seem to be just that–performances. I do not believe her and I do not think she can connect with most of the lyrics she sings. There have been exceptions and they have been stunning. “Stuttering” and “Dance With My Father” are two examples of what she can become. I just don’t think she is there yet. Her 16 years maybe been too focused on her career and I think she just needs to live in the world a little more to find her emotional voice. When Jessica Sanchez does, I will be there with my credit card in hand.
5) Hollie Cavanagh- It happens every year. Someone who looks lost for much of the season finds their voice and then makes a deep run on American Idol. Hayle Reinhart and Syesha Mercado are two shining examples. On American Idol Season 11, that person is Hollie Cavanagh. A few weeks ago Akon told her that someday she would flip the switch from amateur to professional. Hollie flipped that switch almost immediately and, since then, her performances have been strikingly deeper and more connected. Her voice has always been great but she has really stretched herself since she met with Akon. She still tends to favor big pop ballads and has not shown enough versatitility. This week is British week and with the right song she could make a big statement. Remember Jordan Spark‘s and “I Who Have Nothing”? However, it feels like her comeback is too little too late to surpass the others in this American Idol Season 11 top 5.
Join us tonight as we watch the American Idol Season 11 top 5 perform from the very broad theme- British Week. No time for mediocrity now- it is either be great or go home.