Sunday, March 18, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 12 Studio Versions

Ok. So, I noticed that some people can provide the studio versions and share it via the shoutbox at the right side of the site. Not that I'm less prioritizing this blog now, but I've been ridiculously busy this week, you have no idea! But, I digress. If there are still people who are interested in downloading this, go ahead! I'm just thinking though that if people can send it out already, I wouldn't bother uploading this anymore - it gives this blog less risk of getting shutdown. Anyway, let me remind everyone though, that if the links are taken down, I will NOT reupload. Enjoy!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Colton Dixon's recording is probably one of my favorites this week. It sounds like the song was actually written for him. Not of a fan of the dude, but I'm impressed. Heejun Han also has a good studio version. It still is a bit of a snoozefest, but that rasp in his voice is just too delicious to pass on. I also like Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips. Oh, and Jermaine Jones' recording actually sounds quite good.

DeAndre Brackensick: Endless Love
Hollie Cavanagh: The Power of Love
Colton Dixon: Broken Heart
Heejun Han: Right Here Waiting
Jermaine Jones: Somewhere Out There
Skylar Laine: Love Sneakin' Up On You
Joshua Ledet: When A Man Loves A Woman
Shannon Magrane: One Sweet Day
Phillip Phillips: Hard To Handle
Jessica Sanchez: Turn The Beat Around
Elise Testone: Let's Stay Together
Erika Van Pelt: Heaven

Friday, March 16, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 12/11 Results Show

From the supposed 12 - but since Jermaine got disqualified - it's time to whittle down the group to 10. That is if they will actually eliminate someone this week. We'll see. Again, read at your own risk!

RESULTS after the jump!!

Shannon Magrane

Elise Testone
Shannon Magrane
Erika Van Pelt

Joshua Ledet
Phillip Phillips
Skylar Laine
Colton Dixon
Jessica Sanchez
DeAndre Brackensick
Hollie Cavanagh
Heejun Han

American Idol 11: Top 12/11

This group is SO strong, a weak performance of a front runner could actually be quite dangerous. There were no major train wrecks and there were a couple of pretty stunning performances. I, personally, think that this group is just FANTASTIC. Any other cast in the past 10 seasons would have had a very tough time being decent with the songs they got the first two weeks. So much talent. So much diversity.

Also, the judges took their job seriously this year, which I like. True, I don't always agree with them, but at least there's a reason for the audience and the contestants to listen to what they have to say. Oh, and to see Randy Jackson act like a real, grownup person with experience in the music business, for the first time in 11 seasons: Priceless! Haha.

As for Jermaine Jones story, I couldn't care less. He shouldn't even deserve to be in this mix of strong group of finalists. That said, I thought the show handled it well and that's all I'm going to say.

Anyway, here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha. 

11. Shannon Magrane
One Sweet Day
Sure, her take on this Mariah Carey song was so much better than her rendition of I Have Nothing from last week, but there was NOTHING remarkable about the performance aside from her sequin hot shorts. Haha. She sounded decent for the most part, but it felt mostly tentative, boring and I felt like she was trying way too hard. I don't know. Shannon, to me, was all bland wholesome empty yelling. She was totally outclassed by the rest of the contestants. 5/10

10. Heejun Han
Right Here Waiting For You
Here's the thing, I LOVE that little rasp in Heejun's voice, but this song - aside from the fact that it was a little drab - showed all his vocal flaws from his poor breath control, diction issues and he went off key in spots. His vocals were a little too breathy for my liking and the dynamics, vocally, were uninteresting. I thought he connected with the material quite impressively though, but was that enough? I don't think so. 6/10

09. DeAndre Brackensick
Endless Love
I have to thank Jimmy for making DeAndre sing this song! Seriously? You suck, Jimmy Iovine!! No, I don't think the Lion King theme song would work for him either, but at least give him a better material than this. The song was just way too old for the young Brackensick and I was left staring at a pretty young man that sounded pretty - albeit a little heavy on the vibrato - and that's about it. Given the situation, DeAndre handled it quite well, but I felt like this performance somehow ruined the momentum he got to establish last week. 6.5/10

08. Erika Van Pelt
Somehow, the performance felt like it was almost there, but not quite. I still enjoyed Erika's smoky alto, but the arrangement was awkward. I didn't think that the "cool break", which Jimmy suggested, actually worked in her favor because she was too far off the melody after that, which made her timing and rhythm a little behind. Plus, this wasn't a very dynamic performance that may somehow be a little forgettable than usual. 7/10

07. Skylar Laine
Love Sneakin' Up On You
Hmm. This was possibly my least favorite performance of her yet. While I did like the fact that she handled the mentor surprisingly well especially when they were pushing her to change the song, I somehow felt like the performance didn't go anywhere. I felt like the performance was saved purely on stage presence because while the vocals were good, it wasn't as on point as her previous performances. 7/10

06. Colton Dixon
Broken Heart
You know what, I begrudgingly liked Colton' performance. Yes, he still sounded a little whiny in parts and there were moments where his vocals went shaky, but this was a pretty smart and possibly the most inspired song choice of the night. It wasn’t well known, which was dangerous, but the song itself was a lot of fun! I thought he sounded really strong at the beginning, but the trouble started when the band came in stronger than his actual vocals. His voice didn't ramp up to match the band, and it made him sound muddled in the second half. But yeah, this was a pleasant suprise. 7.5/10

05. Jessica Sanchez
Turn The Beat Around
I knew it! The judges will be overly critical of Jessica after last week. I agree, this wasn't at par with her previous vocal performances as her runs and vibrato didn't fit the tempo and the punchy beat of the song, but at least Jessica wasn't afraid to go outside of the "ballad" box the judges wanted her to do. That took some serious courage to come out and try a whole different type of performance. I thought she showed versatility, the vocal dynamics were quite stellar and her stage presence - though a little mechanical at times - seemed like she was doing this for years. Personally, I enjoyed the fact that she dug into the melody and sacrificed a little bit of smoothness and perfect pitch here and there for the sake of bringing some outstanding energy to that stage. Oh, and I loved that she didn't whip out the Elise Testone b*tchface from last week when she got criticized. 8/10

04. Elise Testone
Let's Stay Together
Redemption arc, anyone? Elise obviously redeemed herself after last week's underwhelming performance. I thought the arrangement at the top of the song was great, though I hope she kept it more of that melody instead, and her vocals were spot on. I mostly liked her phrasing and there's something about her tone that made her interpretation a little more interesting than usual. Oh, and that plastic smile plastered across her face after her performance was priceless. Haha. 8/10

03. Hollie Cavanagh
Power Of Love
While I would like to see her change things up a little bit - just to show more variety other than those big ballads - I just can't get mad at her for giving another stellar vocal performance. It wasn't perfect as I thought she struggled hitting some notes, but she sang it beautifully. I love her tone and she performed this Celine Dion song effortlessly. Plus, she actually looked quite confident and there's some character and swag to her performance this week. Good job! 8.5/10 

02. Phillip Phillips
Hard To Handle
Yes, Phillip is charming and quite a musician, but I just can't imagine another white guy winner! I can't. To be fair though, I thought he nailed this performance. I mean, considering the fact that he just had a kidney stone removed - I can't believe I just typed that - this was fabulous. He didn't have his guitar, which I initially thought was becoming his crutch, he was smart not to change the song a whole lot and his vocals were actually very solid. It was strange though to see the exact same staging for him from last week. Haha. 8.5/10

01. Joshua Ledet
When A Man Loves A Woman
He just put all those b*tches to shame! Haha. I rolled my eyes when I heard of his song choice as I found it to be a bit overdone, but Joshua just gave the best version yet - at least to me. He felt every note he sang, showed great dynamics in his vocals and there's a certain energy that radiated through his body as I sat and watched the whole performance in awe. Also, I'm usually not a fan of singers who get all cray cray at the end of a song like that, but I didn't really mind it with Joshua. I disagree that this was the best performance on American Idol EVER, but it might be right up there with some of the greats. 9/10


Who should go? 
Shannon Magrane

Who will go?
Shannon Magrane

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Music Video: Good Girl - Carrie Underwood

Here's Carrie Underwood's new music video for her latest single, Good Girl. Carrie’s fourth studio album, Blown Away, and is due to hit stores this coming May 1, 2012.

I really like the song - it reminds me of the edginess of Before He Cheats, which was a massive hit for her - but the music video gives me a bit of a headache. She looks stunning as always, but it's just like a huge fashion show that got lost with the plot - if there's actually any. To me, they could have made more of a story out of it to relate to the song, but does it really matter? Haha. I think Carrie has another definite hit on her hands with Good Girl. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Idol News:American Idol Season 11 Contestant To Be Disqualified?

Very interesting piece of "news". According to TMZ, an American Idol 11 contestant is reportedly disqualified for the undisclosed past crimes.
A contestant on "American Idol" will be kicked off the show Wednesday because the singer concealed multiple crimes from producers ... TMZ has learned.
Sources connected with the show tell us ... the contestant -- one of the final 12 -- was charged with 2 crimes in 2011, one involving violence.  We're told in both cases the contestant gave a fake name to cops when arrested.

In addition, we're told the contestant has outstanding warrants -- again, the singer concealed it from producers.

We're told the contestant was confronted with the information on camera today and the footage will air on Wednesday's show.
Hmm. It's sad to hear this news, but the whole "confronted on camera" sounds so exploitative. Why not kick the person off and let it go? I LOVE this show more than the other singing reality competitions, but that just strange. I mean, didn't the contestants go into some extensive background check?

But yeah, to like this is something new is nothing but a revisionist history. They've done it with the disqualification of Frenchie Davis (Season 1) and Corey Clark (Season 2) and Mario Vasquez (Season 4) quitting. Oh well.

I'm hearing it's Jermaine Jones. He tweeted earlier, "Awww I will no longer b on the show", but then deleted the tweet after a couple of minutes. Hmm.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Voice Season 2: Battle Rounds (Part 1)

I must be honest, I like the idea of The Battle Rounds. It's intense and it's quite enjoyable. However, it did seem like the coaches already had their minds set before the actual battles, except for maybe Cee Lo. He seemed to be fair and went on the performances in my opinion.

So yes, I believe with every fiber of my being that these battle rounds were pure sham - staged only for the entertainment factor. It really didn't matter how well they performed. I wonder if the results would be different if America got to vote?

Just look at Blake and Adam's first picks. Oh, and last battle was too epic, they could've just eliminated some of the other weaker contestants to give way to the other one who got cut by "default". Just saying.

Anyway, here we go!

Tony Lucca VS Chris Cauley
Beautiful Day

This was a pretty good (or even?) match-up. I thought Tony had a better stage presence, but he missed a note towards the end and I personally found Chris' voice more appealing to me. I don't think the pairing was lopsided, but obviously Tony's on an advantage because he had better "package" during hi audition. I'd prefer Chris, but whatever. 

Tony Lucca

 Adley Stump VS Raelynn
Free Falling

They sure love Free Falling on The Voice no? Last year they used it for a battle and there was an auditioneer this year that also used that song. Haha. Raelynn started off the song unable to find her pitch thus throwing the harmonies off. Good thing, Adley was mostly on point and there's something really pleasant about her tone. Not a fan of her audition, but this was kind of good. To me, Adley vocally stumped Raelynn! But then again, it's dumb when Blake made an excuse of Raelynn's off-key singing because of an emotional performance. Really? For a show that's called The Voice, picking a pitchy singer over one who isn't is totally ironic.


Chris Mann VS Monique Benabou
The Power Of Love

I hate this song with a passion, but somehow I felt like the two performed it quite well. Together, it didn't work for me that much, but individually they had some solid moments. I was surprised with Chris doing a better job than I expected since he has this operatic voice. I somehow enjoyed Monique better because she showed more passion and Chris was so technical and boring to me, but his classical training gave him the edge, I guess. Oh, and he reminds me of Ben Stiller. Haha. 

Chris Mann

Cheesa VS Angie Johnson
Total Eclipse of the Heart

Just from the vocal quality and clarity, I would give the edge to Angie. The whole battle was quite good, I just wasn't as engrossed compared to the others. Cheesa performed well too, but she's just completely forgettable. I have to give it to her though because she seemed like she wanted it more.


Jordis Unga VS Brian Fuente

They both were mediocre - at some point even awful - but Jordis had the edge by just a little because, well, she's Jordis. There was just NO WAY Blake wouldn't pick her. Jordis carried the first part of the song quite well, but then gave up after realizing that it was turning out to be train wreck. Brian's verses on the other hand was just painful. Sad.

Jordis Unga

Anthony Evans VS Jesse Campbell
If I Ain't Got You

Simply mind blowing! Seriously. Good song choice, their harmony meshed perfectly well together, they both had some outstanding moments and they looked like they were really fighting for Christina's vote. I loved that they started out with restraint and build something from there. It was fantastic! I would've gone with Anthony as I prefer the richer tone of his voice and his range was spectacular. It sucked that one of them got sent home when far weaker performers get to advance to the live rounds. Blech

Jesse Campbell

Saturday, March 10, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 13 Studio Versions

.. and here's the post most of you have been waiting for! I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I should continue posting this just because I've seen other blogs get shutdown for putting up songs for everyone to "acquire" - no, I will not use that word just to make sure. But what the heck, I'll try to post hoping that the site will not be taken down. *crossing fingers*

RANDOM THOUGHTS: I have to say, I actually like most of these contestants' recording voices. To me, the real standouts are Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, and  Erika Van Pelt. Their studio versions are pretty stellar. Jessica's a capella sounds divine, Hollie's recording voice has that crystal clear quality to it, and I'm obsessed with Erika's rich and deep tone. Elise Testone's recording isn't bad either and same with Skylar Laine. As for the guys, I like Heejun Han, Joshua Ledet and DeAndre Brackensick. There's something pretty jarring with Phillip Phillip's recording, but I guess his fans will eat it up - just not for me.

DeAndre Brackensick: Master Blaster
Hollie Cavanagh: All The Man That I Need
Colton Dixon: Lately
Heejun Han: All In Love Is Fair
Jermaine Jones: Knocks Me Off My Feet
Skylar Laine: Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Joshua Ledet: I Wish
Shannon Magrane: I Have Nothing
Phillip Phillips: Superstition
Jeremy Rosado: Ribbon In The Sky
Jessica Sanchez: I Will Always Love You
Elise Testone: I'm Your Baby Tonight
Erika Van Pelt: I Believe In You And Me

Friday, March 9, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 13 Results Show

Jeremy Rosado. I've said this before, but on American Idol, it's better to be bad than merely a mediocre singer - that's been proven many many times. It's sad, but that's how this thing works. To be fair, Jeremy is a good singer, but there's something about him that's completely forgettable. He seems like a good guy and I wish him all the best. 

Recap after the jump!

Now, as for some observations and comments on the results show..
  • WOW. The group number was ridiculously great! Possibly one of the most entertaining group numbers on American Idol EVER. Oh, and the boys can dance! 
  • When the contestants embrace the cheese, I just can't help but smile.
  • Why can't Phillip wear something more appropriate on television? You looked like a bystander who just jumped on stage to sing along with the contestants!
  • Elise looked pretty grumpy! What's with the stank face? Going on American Idol and then NOT embracing the cheesiness of it all is a little annoying. I've never embraced the "too cool for school" attitude.  Snottiness is not an attractive quality in anyone whatever the cause may be.
  • Lauren Alaina worked the stage pretty well and sounded fine. Nice growth from when he was on last year.
  • SERIOUSLY? Shannon's a twit! You thought you missed one note? ONE NOTE? Come on!
  • I laughed when I heard Erika say to Elise when she was also part of the Bottom 3, "It's the old ladies".  Sad but true.
  • Jermaine acted a little arrogant for someone who almost had manic-depressive psychosis when he was originally excluded from the Top 24. Plus, why be dismissive of Randy and Jimmy's critiques?
  • Shannon dodged a bullet this week. I agree with Jimmy Iovene, she's not ready for this show! 
  • Oh no. Steven Tyler was brutally honest and that kind of sting a little for Jeremy. Couldn't he just say any of them can go home?
Jeremy Rosado

Elise Testone
Erika Van Pelt
Shannon Magrane

 Jermaine Jones
Joshua Ledet
Jeremy Rosado

Jessica Sanchez
Hollie Cavanagh
Colton Dixon
Heejun Han
Skylar Laine
Phillip Phillips
DeAndre Brackensick
Erika Van Pelt
Joshua Ledet
Jermaine Jones
Shannon Magrane

Thursday, March 8, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 13

While I'm tired of hearing the songs of Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder on American Idol, I must say that this was a pretty good night for everyone! A couple of downright brilliant performances and some good ones!

But the best surprise tonight? The judges actually judged! Who knew? I have to hand it to them. They gave specific constructive comments without being mean-spirited. I can't believe I'm about to type this, but Randy Jackson actually impressed me - I never thought I'd put impressed and Mr. Jackson's name in one sentence. Haha. Even Steven Tyler was critical tonight. WOW!

Anyway, here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.  

13. Shannon Magrane
I Have Nothing
Poor Miss Magrane. I wasn't a big fan of Shannon, but I seriously didn't expect her to crash and burn this early. It was odd because I was thinking that her voice is capable enough to handle a song as big as this, but she hits a couple of clunkers throughout the performance. This, to me, was a vocal mess. Also, it seemed like she growled wheneever she hits those high notes just to mask the fact that she couldn't hit them straight on. Sad. Painful loss of pitch while trying too hard. 5/10

12. Jermaine Jones
Knocks Me Off My Feet
Wow. That microphone looked comically small for Jermaine. Haha. It's silly, I know, but I'm just making things a little interesting here because his performance bored me to tears. "I don't want to bore", but you did! Haha. He sounded ok, but he's not entirely an exciting performer. There's something unmusical and falt about his tone. I don't know. 5.5/10

11. Jeremy Rosado
Ribbon In The Sky
A few pitch problems notwithstanding, this was surprisingly pretty good vocally. I thought his phrasing was kind of interesting and he seemed comfortable on stage. There were also a couple of solid vocal moments in there, but somehow the overall performance lacked "oomph". Such a shame because he's mostly forgettable and he needed something more remarkable. 7/10

10. Elise Testone
I'm Your Baby Tonight
To be fair, I didn't think her performance was as bad as the judges made it out to be, but I agree that this wasn't her best performance. Sure, her vocals were decent and I actually found some of the liberties she took with the melody were pretty good, but she did push a little too hard towards the end. Her voice sounded a little harsh and almost too agressive. Plus, she looked uncomfortable - maybe because of the sudden song switch? - and seemed bored as if she was just going through the motions or whatever. Oh, but I loved her b*tchface towards the judges. Haha. 7/10

09. Colton Dixon
I admit, I still don't see the appeal of Colton - his voice isn't the strongest, his expressions are a little too odd for my liking, and the skunk hair needs to go. Vocally, this performance was a little uneven. He was slurring his words at the beginning and there were a couple of pitch issues when he was singing softly, but when he decided to belt out towards the end, everything somehow got better. If it weren't for the fact that he ended great, he would've ranked a little lower than this. 7/10

08. Heejun Han
All Is Fair In Love
I was VERY pleased with Heejun's performance. The vocals weren't perfect, but he sounded divine especially the beginning. Also, who knew he could pull off a song with some genuine emotion. I still had problems with his diction, but if he worked on it, he'll be golden. 7.5/10

07. DeAndre Brackensick
Master Blaster
This was, well, different. Haha. I was worried when I heard that he's doing this, but he took a chance  and stepped outside the ballad zone. I liked that he abandoned his falsetto this week and sang in his mid register and he commanded that stage with some swag. I did have one major issue though: DICTION! I had a hard time figuring out what he was singing and it was frustrating because he looked like he was having so much fun and I wanted to join, but can't. Haha. Nonetheless, nice job! 7.5/10

06. Erika Van Pelt
I Believe In You And Me
Why was she trying to dress up like Coke's famous icon? Was this for the show's sponsor? Who's dressing her? Haha. Erika has an undeniably stunning tone and she showcased that with this song. Her vocals weren't perfect, but I though she had some great moments in there and a couple of great vocal choices. I could tell the difference when someone sings that has experienced life, compared to some kid that doesn't have a clue yet. And yes, she has a certain maturity that's quite refreshing in a sea of young vocalists. 8/10

05. Joshua Ledet
I Wish
This was a really hard song to sing and I thought Joshua nailed it. The grit in his voice gave his version some character, the energy he displayed bouncing around the stage was infectious and the he hit those climactic notes perfectly. I was even more impressed that he had enough breath control to still sing in the middle of the hard push the song required. This was pretty spectacular. 8.5/10

04. Skylar Laine
Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Some people on American Idol had trouble tackling these  songs just because Whitney and Stevie have a repertoire that are so personalized. The songs were written specifically for those two, so they are incredibly hard to sing. To me, Skylar was one of the few who made the song fit her style of music. Yes, the arrangement was kind of jarring in parts and she sounded a little nasal and sharp especially towards the beginning. But, when she went up to her higher register, that power on her voice just blew me away. I had no idea she could pull that on off and it was quite impressive. Good job! 8.5/10

03. Phillip Phillips
While I disagree with Jimmy Iovine that Phillip is a great singer, I think he's a good musician and he's pretty engaging. This performance proved it. The rock version of this Stevie Wonder ditty actually sounded really current and fun. I enjoyed his raspy growly voice and there was something compelling about the whole performance. Better than his audition, but that's mainly because he had his guitar. So now, I wonder if the guitar is Phillip's crutch or not. 8.5/10

02. Hollie Cavanagh
All The Man That I Need
Yes, Hollie just made herself the most adorable dark horse on American Idol history. Haha. This was an outstanding vocal performance. Sure, she wasn't as vocally expressive as Skylar, but the performance was pitch perfect and there was a certain fierceness to her that urges one to root for her. Oh, and she's incredibly adorable!Impressive range. Strong voice. Perfect vibrato. Flawless key change. Good staging. As for you Jennifer Lopez, "That’s the Hollie that I know from last year.. and this year!"Umm, who the else would it be? Silly you! 9/10

01. Jessica Sanchez
I Will Always Love You
SUBLIME! While she came across a little too practiced and  studied, she sang the crap out of this song! Of course, no one will ever compare to the great Whitney Houston, but her vocal performance was just excellent from the pitch-perfect a capella to the practically flawless vocals towards the end. I compared her before to Pia Toscano, but the only similarities they have are their pitch perfect voices. Jessica has a passion and a swagger that Pia could never muster. I believe she just created a very special Idol moment right there. I'm pretty excited because she's not the next fill-in-the-blank successful Idol. She's not the next Kelly, or the next Carrie, but she can blaze a different trail all on her own. 9.5/10


Who should go? 
Shannon Magrane

Who will go?
Jermaine Jones

American Idol 11: Ranking the Top 13

I must say, American Idol Season 11 has one of the strongest group of finalists we've seen in a while!! Sure, there are no clear front-runners yet - unlike Scotty McCreery who I correctly predicted to win Idol at this stage in the competition last season - nothing seems set in stone, but there are more potential winners in this group of 13 than outright fodders.

Plus, the girls are actually A LOT stronger than the guys. In fact, I think all six (6) girls are very talented and I like that even though 5 of the 6 are blonds, they all are very unique and have personalities - something that many female finalists have been lacking for a few years now.

Now, the deciding factors once again will be likability, growth, and good old momentum. There has been only one season where the winner has not been likable, shown growth, and gained momentum throughout the season. So, I am really excited to see what happens as this is an extremely talented group. Almost anyone at this point could make it. Given a breakout moment, any of my Top 6 could win!! Crazy no?

Anyway, this is just all about that proverbial guessing game of who will end up where. So, let me take a stab at this:

13. Jermaine Jones

Though I predicted Jermaine to be part of the Final 13, I wasn't really happy that I actually got it right. Yes, he seems like a sweet guy who's oddly likable and has a pretty interesting bass instrument, but I honestly don't think he has a solid fanbase. To me, he made it though due to producer manipulation and the edit that he got last week. He'll be charming for a week or so, but that's going to be it. Sorry, but I'm really having a hard time connecting with his voice. Who would buy his album? Not me.

12. Jeremy Rosado

Why do I feel like I'm the only one who roots for this kid? Personally, I think Jeremy is a great singer. His pitch, control, phrasing and the ability to connect with the material is something I find pretty impressive. Heck, his version of Carrie Underwood's I Know You Won't almost moved me to tears. But why did I rank him this low? Simple, Jeremy just isn't memorable enough. He despite his lovable demeanor still falls far short when it comes to having something that will stick to the audience. So despite Jennifer Lopez' love for him, I don't think he has the right package - Ugh! Sorry for using the term - to win the show.

11. Shannon Magrane

Eh. Aside from Jermaine Jones, Shannon Magrane is probably my least favorite contestant on this year's Top 13 - I would prefer Hallie Day any day! Haha. She, to me, is a barely competent singer who's annoyingly bland and has yet to figure out her musical identity. She has a powerful voice, but no tinge of soul or character in it. Plus, Shannon, Hollie and Jessica are splitting the "young girl with a big voice" vote and Shannon is obviously the weak link here. Oh, and her “I’ve gone through so much.” Um, like what exactly? You’ve gone through auditions? You are an upper-middle class high school student! What are you talking about? 

10. DeAndre Brackensick

DeAndre seemed like the perfect dark horse this season - fantastic voice, impressive range and he's SO pretty - but his two performances last week somehow prove that he has no idea how to use his voice to great effect. His vocal control has been pretty uneven, he changes key WAY too often that it's hard to appreciate his voice fully and the hair flipping needs to go - DeAndre, you're no Willow Smith!! Also, I don't think it's easy for him to sell his inherent musicality to the casual viewers of the show - he already came up short in votes once. I still, however, think that if he puts together a couple of outstanding performances, he'd be able to finish in a respectable position. At this point, he's a middle-packer at best.

09. Joshua Ledet

Arguably, Joshua is the best male vocalist in the competition. I think he has a wonderful voice that's compelling and unlike Jacob Lusk from last season, I somehow figured that he could reign some of his performance in. That being said, I'm an Idol fantard, and I know that Joshua will have a hard time winning American Idol. I don't know if it's the demographics, style preference or whatever, but American Idol has never rewarded a singer like him with the title. Sure, that doesn't mean he couldn’t find another path to win it all, but the one he is currently walking will not lead him to that - if you know what I mean. Who knows? Jacob Lusk lasted until the freaking Top 5. Haha.

08. Heejun Han

In the world of reality competitions, likability is a precious commodity. However, I have a funny feeling that Heejun is playing up the silliness too much in the hopes of extending his run on the show. He has a decent voice with a pretty stellar tone, but with a competition as fierce as this season, Heejun has to have more than just that. He has to step up BIG TIME, find his musical identity and work on his diction, because I'm pretty sure his shtick will grow old and will no longer be as amusing - see, Casey Abrams.

07. Colton Dixon

Tim Urban, Sanjaya Malakar, Stefano Langone, and Ace Young - everyone finished 7th in their respective seasons. Somehow, I feel like Colton Dixon would fit just fine in this mix no? Haha. It's silly, I know. But kidding aside, I'm well aware of Colton's massive fanbase. He's good-looking, marketable and I don't doubt that he drives the girls crazy - something I don't completely understand, but whatever. That being said, I think that he's just a very small threat to win the whole thing. At best, he could go far a la James Durbin - a perceived frontrunner - then all of a sudden, gone.

06. Erica Van Pelt

I would've ranked her a little lower if it wasn't for her gorgeous version of Lady Gaga's Edge of Glory. That performance alone might have made Erica a serious dark horse because while she wasn't voted in by America - mostly because of an early performance slot  - I still think that she's one of the better singers in the competition. She has the maturity that gives her the ability to phrase her song appropriately and has the power to actually make an impression. Likable personality. Compelling stage presence. Interesting tone. I still have faith in her if she can deliver a couple of strong performances from here on out.

05. Elise Testone

While I honestly think that Elise could make a run similar to Haley Reinhart from last season, I somehow feel that it will all depend on how smart she is on her song choice and her ability to relate to the typical American Idol viewers. I don't think she has the mass appeal to immediately garner a crazy fanbases like some of the perceived frontrunners, but I think that if she hits her stride in the competition, she will go deep based on the quality of her performances. I think that she has one of the more distinct voices this season, has a good sense of musicality and I find her coyness kind of adorable.

04. Skylar Laine

I never considered her a front-runner until her spunky performance last week. I like that Skylar's a bit diffeent from the usual country singers American Idol had in the past Authentic. Talented. Country. We all know country voters are a loyal and powerful weapon, and she's the only country option this season. So, if Lauren Alaina can get to second place against a very charming and well loved Scotty McCreery, I think this girl could go very far as well. She has some serious firepower, that's for sure.

03. Hollie Cavanagh

Yes, I honestly think that Hollie has the most potential for a tremendous growth arc that could do some real damage in the competition. That story of a sweet likable dorky girl who's been struggling with nerves since Day 1 of Season 10 is what America likes to eat up. Add to the fact that Hollie actually has a strong voice - there's something about her that reminds me of a pop version of Carrie Underwood - and a remarkable ability to do great things with it. I'd say, Hollie could be fun to watch get better in the next coming weeks. She just needs to stay away from trite ballads or else, she'll get Pia Toscano'd.

02. Phillip Phillips

Single. 21. Good-looking. All American Boy Next Door. Creative song choices. Plays a guitar. Tell me, how could we forget the biggest threat to a female winner? As I've said before, I'm terrified of Phillip because he's the exact opposite of what American Idol needs now, but somehow, his path to the Finale is practically a straight line. I mean, he is arguably a mixture of the past four winners and that makes me nervous. Phillip, to me, has taken the aww shucks Lee Dewyze demeanor, combined it with Scotty McCreery’s southern charm, Kris Allen’s boy next door looks, and David Cook’s eagerness to switch up a song. The girls are seriously going to have to step up to bring him down. I believe it can be done… but this year, we’re in for a fight! One thing's for sure - Kristy Lee Cook curse is complete, unless her maiden name is Phillips! Haha.

01. Jessica Sanchez

I actually believe that a girl can win American Idol this year. In the past two seasons, I wanted a female winner, but I couldn't personally find a female contestant that could put up to Lee DeWyze's momentum and Scotty McCreery's massive fanbase. This year, all that's changed. Jessica has a big voice, but more than just being a belting pageant robot, she seems to have a strong artistic vision for herself. That makes her more Jordin Sparks and Allison Iraheta than Thia Megia or Katie Stevens in my books - the restrained beauty of The Prayer sealed that opinion for me. All she has to do now to win over the casual votes is to deliver a stellar and passionate vocals night after night and we might be looking at a winner. I'm not sure though if she peaked too early - see, Melinda Doolittle - but I still think she's the one to beat.
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