American Idol 7: Top 10 Guys Power Rankings
The ten remaining men on season 7 of American Idol range from extremely talented to “what the hell are they doing here?”  My problem with the audition episodes is this: there's no excuse for American Idol to not show at least some of the auditions for each of the top 24.  I know there are copyright issues for the initial auditions, but in Hollywood the contestants are all singing approved songs.  I want to know what convinced the judges to put Jason Yeager, Garrett Haley and Luke Menard into the top 24.  These rankings are not based on my preferences.  I'm a realist – the list is who I think has the best chance to advance far in the American Idol competition this season. 

#10 - Jason Yeager

We're only going off of one performance here, but I'm pretty confident that Mr. Yeager will be heading home on Thursday.  Even if he picks a better song and sings it well, the way he performs is so incredibly cheesy and off-putting that he can't remain in this competition for long.  It's not his fault – his smile and mannerisms are unbearably corny.

#9 - Chikezie Eze

The facts are these: Eze is a pleasant and charismatic enough of a guy, but his voice just doesn't cut it.  It's not very strong, he sings out of tune and as long as he stays in the competition, the other singers are going to blow him out of the water.  Maybe if he keeps talking back to Simon he'll get some love from the voters, but that can't last forever. 

#8 – Luke Menard

Luke's first performance was lame, but I'm holding out hope.  Since we didn't see Luke in the audition episodes, we still don't know how good of a singer he is.  That first song gave us very little to go off of.  He's going to have to change gears and really rock out this week if he wants to continue.  Menard is my sleeper pick for a god performance this week.

#7 – Danny Noriega

How long can Middle America deal with Noriega's overwhelming flamboyance?  I almost agree with Simon's comments about his Elvis performance last week – it was bordering on obscene.  Some people think that the simple fact that Noriega is out there and so different will clear a path for him into the top 12.  I'm not so sure.  He has a good voice, but he's going to have to tone it down and give some more straight-forward performances.  Don't get me wrong – I'm not saying he needs to be someone he's not.  More Freddie Mercury, less Richard Simmons. 

#6 - David Hernandez

I've decided that David Hernandez is this season's Phil Stacey.  A solid singer who makes good song choices, always receives OK reviews from the judges, but is devoid of personality and charisma.  This led Stacey into the top 6, but given the increase in talent from last season to this season, I don't see Hernandez getting past the top 12. 

#5 – Robbie Carrico/David Cook

For me, Carrico and David Cook are a toss-up.  There will be one male rocker to make it deep in the competition.  Carrico is more versatile (I think), better looking and is more comfortable on stage.  He is kind of a fake rocker, though.  Cook is, simply, a better singer.  But, can he do anything else? 

#3 – Jason Castro

If this were a list based on my favorites, Castro would be number one based on just one performance.  Maybe he doesn't have the biggest and most powerful voice in the group, but he has a way about him on stage that can't be taught.  He's humble, unique and from what we saw last week, should be able to cross genres with ease and make every song his own. 

#2 – David Archuleta

Contrary to the judges' opinions, I didn't think Archuleta was all that good last week.  He was sloppy, out of tune a lot, and his lack of age showed.  Still, he's got a voice well beyond his years.  It's powerful, but it's also a little weird.  However, quality isn't always the basis for America's votes.  His teenage cute-ness will propel him into the top 5 easily.  That's fine – he'll get the Sanjaya vote and he's a million times more talented than Malakar. 

#1 - Michael Johns

The most polished singer and performer in the competition.  As Simon said, he's got “it.”  Charisma is very important, and Johns oozes charisma.  He's the favorite to win the whole thing at this point.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)