There's been some complains in recent weeks that the live performances on American Idol this season haven't been all that good. I don't think that was the case last night -- the Top 10 sang Top 10 hits and overall it was a pretty strong show.
Obviously, there will always be those who are weak, and there definitely were. But because of how the night went, is it a given who's heading to the Bottom 3 (we all know who should be there) or will there be any surprises like last week? Let's run through all the singers and predict how the results might play out.
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Alex Preston: Alex has been one of my favorites for a long time now. But after the past couple weeks, capped off by his perfect rendition of One Direction's "Story of My Life" last night, I've now solidly place him as my number one favorite in the competition. How can you not love what he did with that 1D song? It easily could've been a mess, but he absolutely nailed it. One of the things I (and I'm sure many others) have noticed before is he can sometimes seem a little awkward on stage -- but he was totally at ease and comfortable during that entire performance.
Malaya Watson: I'll admit, Malaya is really surprising me -- in a good way. When the Top 13 began, I was ready to count down the days to her eventual early elimination, mainly because her voice hasn't quite matured yet and she wants to always belt out these big notes but ends up having pitch issues. But things have been changing for her the past couple weeks, aside from maybe last week's performance. "When I Was Your Man" was by far her best to date. She found the perfect balance of choosing a song that's more intimate while still throwing in a few bigger notes (that actually sounded great), combined with the fact that she was really feeling the lyrics. It wasn't a surprise when she ended up in the Bottom 3 three weeks ago, but I would actually be shocked if that happened tonight.
Caleb Johnson: Let's face it, Caleb's safe for another week -- obviously. Adele last week, Lady Gaga this week. What will he take on next? Honesty, I can't wait to see.
IN THE MIDDLE
Jessica Meuse: I should be putting Jessica in the Definitely Safe category because she had one of the top three performances of the night. But one of the judges -- coughHarshHarrycough -- tore it apart and I hope that didn't negatively affect the votes for her. I agree a lot with Harry, but he was dead wrong when it came to Jessica last night. Yes, understanding the lyrics is important, but the melody of "Pumped Up Kicks" has a fun vibe to it, despite the dark lyrics, so how else should it be performed? Jessica was great and Harry needs to lighten up on her.
Majesty Rose and Sam Woolf: Both Majesty and Sam were in the Bottom 3 last week, and the producers obviously don't want either of them making a return trip tonight, so they conveniently (but not subtlely) placed them in the final two spots of the night. Because of that, it's doubtful either one is in danger. And the truth is, both made improvements on Wednesday.
Dexter Roberts: Here's where it gets a little tricky in terms of starting to predict who might be in the Bottom 3. As you can see, I have my predictions below, but Dexter could end up there. It might depend on C.J. Harris' placement in the votes. Would both country (or, in the case of C.J., sorta country) singers be in the Bottom 3? I'm not so sure, though anything's possible. "Cruise" is a fantastic song, and if Dexter's safe, it'll be because of that song choice.
BOTTOM 3 PREDICTIONS
M.K. Nobilette: M.K. was safe last week after being in the Bottom 3 two weeks in a row. Because of how strong many of the singers were last night, it seems like a given that she's heading back there yet again. Overall, she did really well covering "Perfect," but then it wasn't so perfect near the end when she kind of lost her way. I don't know what happened there, but that issue, combined with performing first, won't help her.
Jena Irene: Jena put on quite the show last week, and I was so excited that she was going to perform "Clarity" last night. The potential was there, but she didn't live up to it. I don't really know how to explain it, but something about it wasn't right. If there had been a lot more weaker performances, then maybe I can see her escaping the Bottom 3, but she'll likely be making her second appearance there tonight.
C.J. Harris: C.J.'s one of those singers and performers who I'm a little surprised hasn't been in the Bottom 3 yet. It's not that I'm gunning for him to be there, but he tends to get lost in the shuffle even when he delivers a strong performance. But he obviously has a strong enough fan base. And like I said, at least one of the country/sort-of-country singers will be in danger, but which one? I'm going to go with C.J., but the Bottom 3 usually consists of singers who have performed in the first half of the night, which could spell trouble for Dexter.
M.K. Nobilette: I know, I know -- I'm predicting M.K.'s demise yet again. But third time's the charm, right? In a way, I have this mindset that the moment I go for someone else, that'll be the night M.K. goes home. If it doesn't happen tonight, then maybe I'll have to start rethinking my predictions going forward. But M.K. was back to almost giving up again, like she was two weeks ago. And did anyone else notice how after the judges made their critiques, M.K. did not look happy for the rest of the night? When other contestants were smiling and having a good time in the lounge or on stage, she just sat or stood there not looking too happy -- she's letting the comments get to her and she really shouldn't.
Who do you predict is going home? Should I be rethinking my elimination prediction strategy since I keep going for M.K. and she's still here? And will both Dexter and C.J. be in the Bottom 3 or only one?
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.