American Idol Season 12 showed themselves quite well with the Lennon and McCartney song book. During the results show Jimmy Iovine said the judges were not critical enough with the performers and then proceeded to praise just about every one of them. The American Idol Season 12 Top 8 includes 7 Christian musicians, at least 5 of whom are contenders to win it all.
American Idols Season 12 Top 8 Power Rankings
1) Candice Glover- I ranked her performance of “Come Together” down the pack in our American Idol Season 12 Top 9 performances, not because she was weak but mainly because there were so many other good performances. More importantly, with this rocking performance Candice Glover moved further away from the stereotype of a gospel/R&B singer into the image of an accomplished, versatile singer.
2) Kree Harrison- We featured her wonderful delivery of “With A Little Help From My Friends” in our performance post. Kree Harrison continues to power through American Idol Season 12 with one powerful performance after another. As we see her each week, I think her likeability rises as well. Right now Candice and Kree are performing as the favorites, but we still have a ways to go.
3) Angie Miller- Last week was Angie Miller‘s first misstep of the season. I agreed with Jimmy Iovine that she went over the top with her dramatic interpretation and vocal gymnastics with “The Long and Winding Road”. Angie Miller set an extremely high bar for herself early in the competition, still needs experience at this level of performance and has moved away from her strengths. Angie needs to try to stop competing with Candice, Kree and Amber for vocal supremacy and moved back to the heart of her appeal, singing from her soul with her piano.
4) Burnell Taylor- There appears to be one guy who can compete with the girls in American Idol Season 12. Burnell Taylor‘s “Let It Be” was the best performance of the Lennon and McCartney songbook. He has the unique tone, vocal strength and interpretive vision to hang in this competition well into May. We need to see something other than ballads from him, but I think he is definitely top 5.
5) Janelle Arthur- Here she comes. Janelle Arthur was somewhat discounted early in the season. However, her artistic maturity, magnetic stage presence and appealing persona have all blossomed since American Idol Season 12 has moved to the big Hollywood stage. She has already staked her claim in the long line of country artists to emerge form American Idol. I would be surprised if she won but I would not be shocked to see her in the Top 3.
6) Amber Holcomb- This is a wonderful singer who has a real future in American pop music. She is daring and has been mostly flawless. However, her personality has not yet emerged from her performances. Is she attempting to deliver performances that are so difficult that she loses herself in technical concentration? I am not sure, but with after a visit to the Bottom 2 last week, she needs to figure this out quickly. If she can hang around a few more weeks, I would expect to see a breakthrough.
7) Devin Velez- Another performer with a great voice and some really good instincts, he just has not yet connected with the audience. I thought his R&B arrangement of “The Long and Winding Road” was outstanding last week, but it was more interesting than amazing. I am afraid that Devin Velez will not have an opportunity to develop his magic. He seems to be particularly vulnerable to the popularity of Lazaro Arbos.
8) Lazaro Arbos- American Idol Season 12 seems too big for Lazaro Arbos. He has a wonderful voice but we have yet to see it in the live performances. He does not seem prepared each week and seems terrified during his performances. Yet, he continues to be popular. It looks like Lazaro Arbos may be the contestant that will spark some shocking eliminations over the next few weeks.
This week, American Idol Season 12 moves to Detroit to perform the “songs of the motor city”. That means mostly Motown songs, but do not forget that Detroit also has a rich heritage of rock and roll. Check in with us on Thursday morning when we rank the performances and make some guesses about who is going home. We are two for two so far.