The “American Idol” power rankings have been relatively simple lists to construct in Season 12 — and there’s a good reason for that. The deck was stacked. More on that as we check out the Top 7 finalists set to perform on Wednesday (April 3)…
And then there were seven… Lucky or no? That would all depend on the results show and if the contestant voted off got the “American Idol” judges one and only Save of the season. But the producers must have heard the cries of “What?! Not another freakin’ ballad!!” from all the bloggers and commenters over the past few weeks because the Top 7 have been given the task of performing a rock tune on the performance show. The theme: “Classic Rock.” Oh, and one caveat: No ballads.
(And most are thinking: No ballads? Then what will Amber Holcomb sing? Good point, but she’s got a great voice, so, hopefully, she’ll come up with something that keeps her from heading home.)
Speaking of which, with Devin Velez’ departure on the Top 8 results show, there are now only two guys left — Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos. If they follow the trend, there will be an historic five-girl run at the title. But chances are, one or both of those guys will make it ahead of Amber (although neither actually deserve it; just sayin’).
Besides, we’ve known since Episode 1 that the girls were going to win Season 12. Then the producers and judges put together a crew of 20 for America to vote for that was loaded with great female talent and good-to-great male talent (but talent that all seemed to have some type of personality flaw — or none at all). Without the judges’ over-the-top praise of Burnell and first Top 10 ejectee Curtis Finch Jr, most of the verbal accolades have gone to the girls. How could they not, given the predetermined nature of events?
That all being said, we turn to the power rankings, with Andrew Payne at Starpulse holding on to his top three and foregoing the extra typing it would take to make a top seven. His “abbreviated” list begins with Amber Holcomb at No. 5 and he notes with a fatalistic unwritten shrug that the guys are history. Period. So why write about them, even if one manages to make the Top 5. So there…
Marnie Brodersen at Wetpaint shook up her top three this week, letting Angie Miller slip a notch to No. 3 and elevating Candice Glover to No. 2. Still, her top slot-holder Kree Harrison remains solid. Why has Angie dropped from numero uno to tres on Brodersen’s list? The over-emoting (per Jimmy Iovine’s critique) and her poor rendition of “Shop Around” for her Motown Week performance.
But who’s likeliest to head home? Lazaro Arbos. Four performances, three of them close to awful (including the group performance where he forgot his lyrics), in three shows. Brodersen sees Lazaro joined by Amber and Janelle Arthur, Janelle having been handed the ultimate insult by judge Nicki Minaj (Kree flew in to sing with an “Idol” contestant during the girls’ duet) and Amber seeming to simply not make a connection with voters.
As for SirMac at mjsbigblog, he’s dropped Angie back another notch going into the Top 7 performance show due to her “off week” with “Shop Around.” His top two remained the same: Candice and Kree holding those spots. Janelle moved up to the third spot on the back of a second consecutive week of strong performances.
Like Payne, SirMac sees the bottom three as Amber, Burnell, and Lazaro, with Lazaro holding the least votes.
But there’s one thing that the power rankings listers might be overlooking. Lazaro has a solid social network following and they could make all the difference in keeping him around a couple more weeks, especially if Burnell isn’t able to pull off a Classic Rock number. So far, he’s been pretty bland and quite forgettable. And Lazaro has yet to truly step up his game. So…
Here’s the Top 7 power rankings:
7. Burnell Taylor. Another week, another boring easily dismiss-able performance for Motown Week. The Classic Rock will like sink him.
6. Amber Holcomb. The perfect package for pop R&B but simply not connecting with the voters. In fact, Amber’s Twitter following is below 19,000, which does not bode well for her chances of getting much further.
5. Lazaro Arbos. Lazaro has the sympathy factor, the good looks, the humility. He’s also got almost 55,000 Twitter followers to date. His biggest problem? He keeps making poor song choices and not executing well. After a while, voters will simply stop voting.
4. Angie Miller. The girl “Most Likely To Win ‘American Idol'” will probably prove to be the ultimate winner, but at present, she doesn’t deserve to be ranked in the Top 3. Yes, she’s a bit dramatic, but wouldn’t be so bad were it not mixed with a sort of are-you-proud-of-me-grandma? awkwardness.
3. Kree Harrison. The girl is solid and a great performer, but she’s in need of some fire. There’s something automatic about her performances for the past couple weeks, as if she’s simply there for the gig. The Classic Rock theme for the Top 7 just might light her up.
2. Janelle Arthur. Like Kris Allen back in Season 8, Janelle appears to be a dark horse slowly making her move to the front of the pack. Two weeks running she’s done a masterful job with the Beatles’ “I Will” and with the Motown classic “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” For the Top 7, she’s gets the edge on Kree on points of style.
(Watch Janelle Arthur perform “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”)
1. Candice Glover. Still the girl to beat. Although her rendition of “Heard It Through The Grapevine” wasn’t her best, it was powerful, soulful, and entertaining. She’s already proved she can do a little soulful rocking with the Aerosmith-infused Beatles (“Come Together”), so she shouldn’t have a problem with Classic Rock week.
In the final evaluation, it does appear that there will be at least a four-girl free-for-all for the “American Idol” Season 12 title. And in the end, Angie may be the most commercial of all. Maybe. Of the four, Kree seems to be having the least creative flare but that could change. Janelle and Angie seem to be working on the creativity angle. Candice is simply letting her inner soul shine through and, so far, it’s working. But what should be worrisome to Kree, Janelle, and Candice is Angie’s massive social network following, where on Twitter she outstrips the Kree and Candice by more than twice their followers.
But Twitter might not be enough if she keeps having lackluster performances…
Watch the remaining Top 7 finalists take the stage Wednesday, April 3, at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television. Then watch Thursday at the same time to see who doesn’t make the Top 6 — unless the judges save them. Also on the results show, “American Idol” Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood and Season 9 finalist Casey James perform their latest songs.