The Top 11 contestants sang Songs from the Cinema on Wednesday night's American Idol
. And after the mediocrity that poured out of last week's performance show, us fans were ready for these singers to step it up and prove that they deserve to be here. There's always going to be some that are average, but a few of them were stand-outs and delivered some performances that I'm still thinking about this morning.
One of the biggest questions to think about is, will it be yet another girl going home or will a guy finally be getting the boot? The girls haven't been faring all that well ever since the Top 13 began. But there's a high chance that one of the girls in the Bottom 3 last week won't be in danger this week. And if that's the case, then we have to start looking to the guys to see who's the weak links and who could be eliminated. Only 10 will head out on tour this summer -- which singer will get cut just one week short of that opportunity?
Caleb Johnson: When C.J. first sang last night, I'm going, okay, maybe the performances are going to be an improvement over last week. Then Caleb stepped out and took on an Adele song, delivering the first stand-out performance of the night. Who would have thought you could put Adele and Caleb together and it would be this fantastic? After the feedback he received from the judges after his take on "Working Man," he knew he needed to step it up and give us something new, which he more than did.
Alex Preston: Then two performances later, out comes Alex and here we've got the second stand-out of the night. "Falling Slowly" is such a beautiful song and Alex took it on with ease. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his vocals. Some people didn't like his rendition of "I Don't Want to Be" last week; and while I loved it, I can see where they're coming from only in the sense that it's not the kind of song he'd probably sing post-Idol. But "Falling Slowly" is and he's "in it to win it," as Harry Connick, Jr. kept saying last night (riffing on one of Randy Jackson's overused catchphrases).
Jena was a Wildcard pick, then two weeks later landed in the Bottom 3. She needed a game-changing performance to ensure her safety. I knew it would be hard for any of the singers to follow what Alex just did, but then Jena came to win as well. She brought down the house with Paramore's "Decode." If Jena can keep this up, she could potentially make it far in this competition.
IN THE MIDDLE
Sam Woolf: Sam kicked off the show with one of my favorite Beatles songs. And for those of us who are diehard Idol fans, we've heard it sung on the show before, including by Kris Allen and Carly Smithson. There are still some things here and there that he needs to work on, but I wouldn't consider this a bad performance. I will say this, though: I'm not a big fan of Kris Allen, but comparing the two, I actually prefer Kris' cover better. Sam should look at what Caleb, Alex and Jena did and find a way to stand out in a way that he hasn't before, because if he doesn't, at some point the Bottom 3 could catch up to him (maybe not right away, but eventually).
C.J. Harris: I went back and forth on if C.J. should be In the Middle or In Danger. That's not to say he deserves only a small amount of votes. He improved greatly over last week when he went with a safe song choice and didn't put his stamp on it. With "Can't You See," this is the kind of song I want to hear him perform. This is the C.J. I've enjoyed hearing from before. If he does end up in the Bottom 3, it will be because he got lost in the shuffle and voters forgot about him.
Dexter Roberts: On a week of mediocrity in the Top 12, Dexter had the best performance. Again, who would have thought that could happen? His dilemma, then, was to keep that momentum going and prove that he's better than we've given him credit for. "Sweet Home Alabama" is a great song, don't get me wrong, but of course he would go with the obvious. And he's once again back into generic country singer mode. But I don't see him being in danger just yet because I'm sure his fan base ate this up and thought it was the best thing ever.
Majesty Rose: We all love Frozen, and we all love "Let It Go" by the wickedly talented, one and only Adele Dazeem. (Sorry, I couldn't help it.) But it was hard to love Majesty's take on the Disney tune. Whoever is advising her behind the scenes (not just Randy, but everyone involved) needs to give her some extra attention and help her pick songs that complement her voice, because that's her biggest issue. By going with a song that forces you to belt out all these big notes, it doesn't do her any favors. Some are saying that if there's an upset with the results, it'll be Majesty going home. I'm a little hesitant to make that bold of a prediction at the moment, but you never know what might happen.
Malaya Watson: Malaya got the pimp spot, so she's probably safe, but I have her here because she could have been better. (Has there ever been a time on Idol when someone has landed in the Bottom 3 after performing last? I'd have to do some research, but it's probably rare, if at all.) I would have preferred one of the stand-outs (Caleb, Alex or Jena) to get this spot, but maybe the producers want to give the girls some extra cover so that we don't have something similar to last year where girl after girl after girl kept going home week after week.
BOTTOM 3 PREDICTIONS
Jessica Meuse: The probability is high that both Ben and M.K. will be in the Bottom 3, but the third spot is up in the air. It could be Jessica because the judges yet again criticized her. It could be C.J. because maybe people found him forgettable. Or it could be Majesty or Malaya for the reasons I just talked about. So I'm just going to go with Jessica. I want to believe she has a strong enough fan base to keep her safe, and let's hope that's the case.
Ben Briley: A country voice on an Elton John song? Maybe some singers could pull it off, but not Ben. There were moments I did like in the performance, but he needs to stick to country unless he knows for sure he can pull off something else.
M.K. Nobilette: Then we come back to M.K., who's been in the Bottom 3 every week and will end up there again. She pretty much gave up last week. But maybe after being declared safe, she realized she needs to focus and concentrate on why she's in this competition and actually try. She's heading back in the right direction....
M.K. Nobilette: But is it too little too late at this point? Has she lost the support over the last few weeks to the point where her elimination is inevitable sometime in these early weeks? Because someone like Jena went above and beyond this week, it'll hurt some of the other singers, including M.K. Now, I did predict her elimination last week and was incorrect, so I could be again this time. If one of the guys is cut, it'll be Ben. If it's a girl (barring a surprise like Majesty), it'll be M.K.
What are your predictions? Who do you think is absolutely safe and who's in danger? Do you agree that it's either Ben or M.K. heading home? Or will there be a shocking elimination? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.