I was all set to write about American Idol’s “Top 10”, but Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler used the judges’ save this week. Instead of 10 singers on the American Idol summer tour, there will be 11. It’s coming down to the wire and I wanted to rank the last 11 contestants. Let’s go!
1) Paul McDonald — This guy is completely awesome. His voice is so unique — as if he were the love child of Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart. He dances like a total spaz and it’s completely amusing. He’s more comfortable with his guitar, but I miss his chicken-like flailing when he uses it. More seriously, Paul has a great smile and is handsome. I’m sure he’ll do well with ladies of all ages. If America is still determined to vote for boring white guys with guitars (Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze) then he should automatically win. I seriously doubt he’ll take the prize — his voice is unique, but pretty weak and uncontrolled — but I’m going to keep voting for him until he’s booted off the show. Also, he gets bonus points for being a pro-wrestling mark.
2) James Durbin — Another pro-wrestling mark, Durbin has a powerful voice and can belt out screams like a poor man’s Adam Lambert. He’s confident and knows how to work the stage. Due to his asperger’s syndrome, he makes all sorts of funny faces when he’s not singing. If he loses, it’s because America is weirded out by his weird squinting and random eyebrow raising. Rockers have done well recently, with David Cook and Lee DeWyze winning the competition. If the trend continues, Durbin’s chances should be good.
3) Pia Toscano — I went to high school with this girl…or girls like her. She’s pretty much what I think of when I hear the word “guidette”. There are millions like her in New York. Pia has a really powerful voice and is very polished on stage. That said, she’s kind of boring. She’s belted out great ballads, but hasn’t done anything with mid-tempo or up-tempo songs. If she can take faster numbers and show great stage energy that complements her powerful voice, she has a great shot at winning.
4) Casey Abrams — The judges are super high on this guy…and I’m not sure why. Casey has a unique voice, but often overdoes it with growls and angry faces. He’s certainly the most musically interesting and daring contestant this year, but he lacks star power. At best, he looks like some hack barista or a stock boy at Home Depot. At worst, he looks someone you wouldn’t want your niece to be alone with. He’s probably going to get some sympathy votes for finishing last and being awarded the judges’ save. That “scene” was awesome btw — he was cursing on national television, had a seizure, and fell to his knees as he was hugging Ryan Seacrest. It looked like he was trying to get into Seacrest’s pants.
5) Jacob Lusk — This guy has the most powerful voice in the competition. He brings a lot of soul and gospel-infused vocals, but (until this week) he hasn’t shown much control. You can tell that he wants to belt out everything at 11, even when the song doesn’t call for it. I’m not sure if he’s gay, but he’s definitely effeminate. America has shown that it will vote for boring white guys (Kris Allen) over talented gay men (Adam Lambert). I expect him to yell his way out of the competition. If not, homophobes will get rid of him.
6) Scotty McCreery — I love this kid. He looks like Alfred E. Neuman and his crazy deep singing voice reminds me of Giant Bomb’s Brad Shoemaker (I’m convinced they’re related. I’ve told Brad this.). He’ll do well with voters that love country music — and Idol has lots of those — but he’ll probably be voted off during a week where the songs don’t fit his style. For example, this week he butchered a Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life” by tunring it into country. I’m excited to see how he’ll country-fy Elton John next week.
7) Lauren Alaina — This young lady seems to be on the decline. She showed early promise with rocker vocals, but she’s been really flat over the last few weeks. She reminds me of a poor man’s Allison Iraheta. The judges, particularly Steven Tyler, seem high on her, but I don’t expect Lauren to make the top five.
8 ) Stefano Langone — This guy has the looks and the voice, but he seems caught up in his own little world. It’s hard to connect with the audience — and get votes — when it looks like you’re singing in the shower. His looks will keep him around for a little bit, but I don’t expect him to last long.
9) Thia Megia — An obvious product of Filipino stage parents, 16-year old Thia is adorable and has a great voice. She’s also extremely boring and can’t do anything other than ballads. In five years I expect her to be singing in theme parks and on cruise ships, making people wonder, “She has such a lovely voice. Why isn’t she doing better?” Like Stefano, she just can’t connect with the audience. I shouldn’t be so hard on her future though. She’s only 16 and has plenty of time to find herself. On a side note, I love when the judges question whether the contestants know who they are as artists. This girl is 16. She doesn’t know who she is as a person, let alone a recording artist.
10) Haley Reinhart — I have a huge crush on Haley. She dresses like a filthy pirate hooker — shows lots of leg and cleavage. She can sing in adorably sweet coos or sexy growls, but can’t quite bring it all together. She’s like a (really) poor man’s Christina Aguilera. She definitely lacks confidence and seems unsure of herself on stage. That will probably be her downfall. She has the potential to finish in the top five, but I don’t think she’ll make it.
11) Naima Adedapo — I love how American Idol showed videos of her working as a janitor at an arena. A quick Internet search shows that she’s also a dance instructor. Naima can definitely dance…but her singing has mostly been poor. The rumor mill says that she doesn’t get along with the other female contestants. She loses points for her voice, her BS background story, and hating on pro-wrestling. I hope she goes home next.
Anyway, those are my American Idol top 11 rankings. Let me know which contestants you like and which ones you hate. And vote for Paul!!!