Sunday, March 10, 2013

American Idol 12: Ranking the Top 10

I think we were spoiled by the past two seasons that this group of 10 seems a bit underwhelming. Logistically, not every year is going to be better than the last year and historically - no matter how coincidental - seasons divisible by three are the weakest seasons on American Idol EVER.

Season 3 had the weakest group of guys EVER with George Huff, Matt Rogers, Jon Peter Lewis and the incomparable John Stevens. This season also saw the shocking eliminations of Jennifer Hudson and LaToya London.

Season 6 also had a weak group mostly because the show decided to stack the group with big-voiced belters - Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones and Stephanie Edwards and a couple of lackluster guys with Phil Stacey, Brandon Rogers, Chris Sligh, and the infamous Sanjaya Malakar. Blake Lewis added a hint of diversity, but he's not great of a vocalist.

Season 9, to me, was the weakest Top 12 ever on American Idol though. Sure, it had Crystal Bowersox, but she's an antithesis for a cheesy show like American Idol. It had mostly mediocre singers from Lacey Brown to Aaron Kelly to Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban. Heck, even the eventual winner Lee DeWyze was not ready to carry on the tradition of vocal spotlessness forged by Kelly Clarkson all the way through to Kris Allen.

So yes, there's so much cynicism this season, but I'm not willing to throw this show to the wolves and give up on it. But yes, this year will be very tough for predictions across the board. Not because Season 12 has a strong group - it's a bit lopsided, to be honest - but because outside Amber Holcomb, each contestant has had a lot of pimping at one point or another and there are no wildcards to actually predict who will get cut first based on America's votes.

Oh, and I must say that with a STRONG field of women, this might be one of the weakest field of guys in the history of the show. So, if a girl can't win among this strong line up, WE WILL NEVER SEE A GIRL WIN AGAIN. Unless, the show decides to do a girls only edition. Haha.

American Idol 10: Ranking the Top 13
American Idol 11: Ranking the Top 13

So, on a mildly more serious note, let’s take a look at these finalists and decide where they really stand. After all, we are about to embark on a ten-week sprint to the finish line. Let’s take a deep breath before hand..

10. Devin Velez

This is a tough one. I don’t think Devin is a bad singer. In fact, I think he's one of better male singers this season. That said, Devin is going to have a trouble selling his inherent musicality to every day American voters if he keeps on switching his songs to Spanish. Yes, it's smart to separate himself through his ethnicity, but I can't remember any American Idol contestants who highlighted their differences and ending up taking the gold. As I've said before, this will polarize a lot of people and will not do him any favors.

09. Amber Holcomb

She has been fantastic the last two weeks, but she has to be. Amber doesn't have the story and the proper amount of screen time - the only contestant left that had zero exposure coming into the Sudden Death rounds - to build a fanbase large enough for her to be out of danger in the next coming weeks. Her trajectory seems to be good, but with someone like Candice to fill the spot of the resident diva, she has to do ten times as much to scrape by every week. That said, I can see her being the real dark horse in the competition.

08. Curtis Finch Jr.

Ugh. Curtis Finch Jr annoys me to high heavens! True, talent can still get you somewhere, but he's incredibly obnoxious. He's remotely likable and he's NOT as good as the previous male Idol divas - Joshua Ledet and even Jacob Lusk. I somehow think he has a good following, but there's no way the public will consistently vote for him. Unless, he suddenly becomes Jesus right in front of our eyes, but that's not going to happen. So..

07. Janelle Arthur

Honestly, I never thought Janelle would have struggled like she has over the past couple of weeks. I knew last month that she would be a Top 10 contestant, but I assumed that her place would have been more assured and earned than Kree Harrison. I was dead wrong. After a couple of mediocre performances, her momentum fizzled. Either that or she's not as great as we've been led to believe. Janelle has the capability of winning this competition, but she needs to rethink her song choices because it's important especially for someone like her who has a voice that can be bland if showcased incorrectly. This week needs to be her week or else she won’t be around for much longer.

06. Burnell Taylor

I think Burnell is a brilliant singer. His pitch, control, phrasing, and ability to make the viewer at home root for him are powerful assets. So, why smack him right in the middle of my rankings? Aside from the fact that I honestly don't think he has nearly the support as compared to the people after him, American Idol has never rewarded a singer like him with the top prize since Season 2. I’m not sure if it’s demographics, style preference, or whatever, but I can read the past results and I can look at similar contestants. What's working for him though is that his voice is so memorable.

05. Lazaro Arbos

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I can't stand to see contestants skating by on a sob story. Unfortunately, America eats them up most of the time and I wouldn't be surprised if Lazaro get as far as Top 5. Look, Lazaro seems like a nice kid, but his mediocrity irks me. His song choices were karaoke and uninspired, his vocals were mostly uneven, and he has poor diction. But that doesn't matter because Lazaro can literally defecate on stage and America will still love him. Prove me wrong, America!

04. Paul Jolley

Paul, to me, is the biggest threat to a female winner this season. He's relatively attractive, has a powerhouse vocals, has all of the voting demographics needed to become the next American Idol - he just needs to pull out a guitar, and maybe he's good to go? - and happens to represent a music industry (country) that has a fiercely loyal voting base. The question is, will his goal to become the guy version of Taylor Swift be a problem? Let me not sugarcoat things: Paul is a bit flamboyant, for lack of a better term, for fraus to get behind in the long run and I actually wonder if the country demographic will actually vote for him. The picture will become clearer in the next coming weeks.

03. Candice Glover

I think Candice is one of the best vocalists of the season. Her control is indisputable, her tone is gorgeous and her vocals are in a different league from the rest of the girls. But, we all know the resident diva each year falters for some reason. At most, these type of singers end up third - Vonzell Solomon, Melinda Doolittle, Syesha Mercado and Joshua Ledet. Of course, that doesn’t mean she couldn’t find another path to take to the crown, but the one she is currently walking will not lead her to the grand prize. She has to work hard, and show more of her youthful personality, and I think we might be looking at a winner.

02. Kree Harrison

She probably can be called one of the frontrunners after her two incredibly solid performances with a powerful, soulful voice, and a carefree personality that makes her a joy to watch. There's an easiness to her that's quite endearing. It's obvious that Kree loves to get on stage and swing away. There’s no fear in her. The problem Kree has is that she is going to have to fight her way with another country singer in the pack. If she can latch claim to the country label he could do a lot of damage. If he can convince viewers that he is a more viable country star than Janelle Arthur, well, we could easily see our second female country winner.

01. Angela Miller

Angela is in a very nice place to win American Idol despite being pushed down our throats. It’s also early, and we all know how dangerous it is to be the frontrunner, but paired with widely well-received performances, plus initial screen time and high buzz, she's "the one to beat" and I think that’s a pretty close assessment. She is personable, writes her own songs, and despite being young, Angela, to me, is mature enough to phrase her songs appropriately with a voice strong enough to bring power to the emotions needed. The others are going to have their hands full trying to bring her down. So, as long as Angela maintains her momentum, it's hers to lose right now - although just ask Tamyra Gray, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolittle, David Archuleta, Adam Lambert, Crystal Bowersox, and Jessica Sanchez, how easy it is to fall unexpectedly behind.


dizzygirl said...

i hope to god ur wrong. id love to see amber and/or burnell on the top 5 atleast. this season is so bad, adding 2 wildcards wont help. though it'll be awesome if they surprise us next week with a double elimination axing lazaro and jolly.
i dont dislike curtis, but i cant take the judges pimping him like joshua. wtf, i believe i can fly was horrible!

Shawn Jang said...

My Top 5: (in order)

1. Amber - WINNER!!
2. Candice
3. Devin
4. Angela
6. Burnell

destinyscayin said...

"if a girl can't win among this strong line up, WE WILL NEVER SEE A GIRL WIN AGAIN" -- so true!

They already had a very mediocre top 10 boys to begin with then Lazaro ends up being in the top 5? Whaaat?!!

I really hope Amber continues to deliver outstanding performances. I'm definitely rooting for her!

benj said...

oh. thank God i found some good comments for amber.. though the placement you gave her is not what im expecting her to be in. atleast 4th or 3rd place would be better dam. im seeing another vonzell solomon type in her. an underdog.. i remember vonzell being in the bottom when the semi finals started but when she performed i have nothing she flipped it out.. she became a strong contender.. i think amber can do that too. she just need to nail each and every performance she will do for atleast 2-3 weeks.. ballads will be ok as long as she'll deliver great performance like with her version of my funny valentine. then she can try doing upbeat songs.. i really LOVE AMBER.. to death.. i love candice but there's a bit arrogance when she perform sometimes.. unlike amber who smiles alot and the dimples? i love! i love kree too. and for me shes my winner.. with the guys only burnell has what it takes to go further along with the other girls.. i hate curtis, paul and lazaro.. i dont like janelle, her past performances were so weak. heres my own ranking..

lazaro 8-10
curtis 9-10
janelle 7-8
devin 6-8
paul 6-10
burnell 5-6
amber 1-5
candice 1-4
angela 1-3
kree 1-2

DAM said...

Benj: I don't see any hint of arrogance in Candice. Maybe because he's trying to emote the song. I mean, if you're singing "I'm Going Down" a fairly angsty song and "Ordinary People", which is a mellow song, you don't expect the singer to be all smiles because that would ruin the connection of the singer to the material.

I give Amber a pass on that because the three songs she performed were all light and about love and whatnot, so smiling is ok.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...