Depending on who gets the pimp spot during any given performance episode, sometimes it's obvious that the producers want to make sure certain singers stick around. And then there are those cases when they truly want to save the best for last -- which is what happened on Wednesday with Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene performing in the final two spots on "I'm with the Band" night.
But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Will the Bottom 3 end up being a given, or could there be any shockers (or semi-shockers) on the way tonight? You never know on a show like this. So let's get right into it with a rundown of all of the Top 9 finalists from those who are definitely safe all the way down to those who are most in danger.
Caleb Johnson: Let me get right into it: Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene stole the show last night with their performances of "Dazed and Confused" and "Bring Me to Life," respectively. They're the only two I see being guaranteed safety. With Caleb, we weren't watching a singing competition show, we were watching the Caleb Johnson concert. He was absolutely brilliant. I was getting worried for Jena because how could you follow that?
But then Jena came out and completely held her own. These past three weeks have proven that she now knows who she is as an artist, taking on songs by Paramore, Evanescence and the like. That's the kind of music she should be making post-Idol
. And if she continues this trend, she might very well go far in this competition, if not all the way to the finale going up against one of the white guys with guitars.
IN THE MIDDLE
Alex Preston: If Alex had performed during the latter half of the night, I'd be more confident in calling him safe. I'm not saying he's heading home or anything because I don't see that happening. But it wouldn't be out of the question if he made a visit to the Bottom 3 -- if that happens, it'll be because he was first out of the gate combined with a tepid response from the judges. Having said all that, he still has a strong enough fan base that should be more than enough to keep him around.
Malaya Watson: Like I said last week, if you said to me during Rush Week that Malaya's vocals would be as good as they've been lately, I would've laughed in your face. But I love that she's proving me wrong. Some of those notes she belted out near the end of "The Long and Winding Road" were fantastic. I will say, though, that most of the performance was quite boring, to be honest. And if she's at all in danger, it'll be because of exactly that.
Jessica Meuse: I was so excited for Jessica to do a Stevie Nicks song. And I realize that she didn't get the reaction she (or I) was hoping for, both from the judges and from viewers. I personally thought she sounded great, but I guess I understand why some were hoping for a bit more.
C.J. Harris: Last week, I was debating whether to put C.J. or Dexter in the Bottom 3 because I didn't think both country singers would end up there. I had C.J. there, but it ended up being Dexter. This time I'm flipping it and saying C.J. is safe, but barely. Now that I've said that, it'll probably be the opposite again. C.J.'s rendition of "If It Hadn't Been You" was pretty good, but he performed right before the showstoppers of Caleb and Jena, so voters might have forgotten about him. Even if he lands in the Bottom, I doubt he's going home because the pattern this season has been that the eliminated contestant always performs during the first half of the night.
BOTTOM 3 PREDICTIONS
Majesty Rose: Considering she's starting to work her way back up from some not-so-good performances, I'd hate to see Majesty head back to the Bottom 3 for the third week in a row, but there's a good chance that'll happen again. Her "Shake It Out" performance was really fun to watch, but will she go the way of M.K in that her elimination is inevitable during the first half of the live shows after not living up to the hype? She was a frontrunner not that long ago (just like M.K.), and look at her now. It's really unfortunate.
Dexter Roberts: At the very least, Dexter deserves to be in the Bottom 3. Whether that actually happens, we'll have to wait to find out tonight. Even though we all think he's a generic country singer, we were still surprised by his placement in the voting last week because I think we all assumed he had a huge fan base that would make sure he's safe for a long while. After last week, his fans might have woken up and realized they need to work extra hard to keep him around. That could keep him out of the Bottom 3 tonight, but if it's not enough, we might see him heading home in the next few weeks.
Sam Woolf: The producers weren't subtle at all last week when they gave Sam the pimp spot following a trip to the Bottom 3 the previous week. But he doesn't have that luxury this time around. He performed right in the middle of the show, his stage presence is still lacking and his performance was kind of slow and not all that exciting.
Majesty Rose: I really don't want to predict her demise, especially since she showed so much promise early on and I know she has the capability to deliver great performances (I guess we've been saying that a lot about many of these singers). I kept going back and forth between her and Dexter. Because most of the girls are doomed this season (three have already gone home versus just one guy), the chances are high that Majesty's time on the show has come to an end. (Again, I wouldn't be surprised if it's Dexter either, or even Sam.)
The big question is, would the judges use their Save on Majesty? Most of these contestants wouldn't even be considered for the Save, but Majesty is a maybe. If she received the lowest number of votes a few weeks or so ago, she probably would have been saved, but now? It's a toss-up, especially since we've got other really good singers who would deserve it even more if they ended up in the same position.
What are your predictions for the Bottom 3 and who's going home? Is it a given that another girl will be eliminated? Or will it be a guy (Dexter or C.J.)? Take the poll below and let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments section.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.