In my previous American Idol prediction article, I said that there’s always a singer who sticks around longer than they should. The opposite point can also be made, that there are always singers who leave earlier than they deserve to. The Judges’ Save is a tool that Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. can use to right a wrong when it comes to the results of America’s votes. If we as voters get complacent and don’t vote as much for a particular contestant who’s considered a frontrunner or otherwise is too talented to let go of just yet, the judges can whip that Save out and make a one-time correction.
But we’ve barely gotten past the Top 12 and the judges have already blown it by using their Save on Qaasim Middleton, one of the contestants who least deserves it. Yes, he’s an entertainer and it might be fun to watch him perform, but we need to get serious now and stop giving excuses to singers who aren’t up to par (I’m also looking at you, Seavey)
Because the judges have wasted the Save, especially coming a week after one of the best singers in the competition, Sarina-Joi Crowe, went home, there’s a good chance that in the coming weeks, we could be in for a shocking elimination — and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Maybe only then will the judges realize the mistake they made.
But that just means we as voters can’t get complacent, and the first test will be in the next episode, when two singers head home. So let’s take a look back at what ended up being the redux performances by the Top 11 and predict whose journey is coming to an end.
Joey Cook: I’m finding myself really looking forward to each of her performances now. First, she pulled off a jazz rendition of “Fancy,” then she took on “Mad World,” delivering the best performance of the night. I don’t see any possible way she’s going home right now, do you? Didn’t think so. Moving on…
Clark Beckham: It seems like Clark is still the person many expect will win in the end. And if “Sunday Morning” is any indication, he’s well on his way to that victory. I was really getting into this performance. Those falsettos were beautiful. And honestly, if anybody got goosebumps during this performance, it would be obvious why. He’s safe.
Jax: Jax stumbled with “Blank Space” during Party Songs week. But she made a well-deserved comeback with “Grow Old with You.” Back during the Top 24, she went with a very unexpected song choice, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” which paid off big time. Here, she’s going with another unexpected number for the Songs from the Movies theme. And again, it worked in her favor.
In the Middle
Adanna Duru: I’ve been impressed with Adanna lately, first with “Runaway Baby” then with “Love You I Do.” She’s actually improving in a way I wasn’t expecting. I’m a fan of Dreamgirls and, of course, of Jennifer Hudson, and Adanna ended up delivering a performance that really showcased her voice in a great way. What’s going against her this time, though, is the fact that she performed first.
Nick Fradiani: While I don’t foresee him going home this week, he needs to step it up because “Danger Zone” was not strong. Some of the judges might have liked it, but it was on the verge of being karaoke. I want him to do well, and let’s hope he can get back on track next time.
Quentin Alexander: I wouldn’t be surprised if Quentin’s take on “You’re the One That I Want” ended up being polarizing to voters. The arrangement he used sounded nothing — and I mean nothing — like the original from Grease. Maybe some people thought he strayed way too far from the original, with others praising him for how unique that was. I’m in the latter camp. Yes, he had some pitch problems at times, there’s no doubt about that. And while I’m not shrugging that off, it’s the arrangement I keep coming back to, not to mention he did have some beautiful vocal moments.
Qaasim Middleton: History tells us that the singer who is saved by the judges is always safe the following week. I expect the same will happen with Qaasim.
Daniel Seavey: Once again, Daniel was absolutely terrible. If you don’t have the vocal ability to hit high notes, then don’t pick a song where you have to pull off that very task. Not only that, but I heard his voice break at least one time. The song he performed is called “Lost Stars” — and he felt very lost on the stage while singing it. If he doesn’t go home now, it’ll be sometime in the next couple weeks. I don’t see how he can last beyond that.
Rayvon Owen: Rayvon also delivered one of the weakest performances of the night. Rayvon may be known for his falsettos, but when he continued to stay in that upper register for possibly 90% of the song, it made me want to mute the TV. He should have lowered the octave he sang in a little bit, which would have improved the performance.
Tyanna Jones: If Rayvon’s known for falsettos, then Tyanna is known for her perfect song choices week in and week out. So it was disappointing to see that she missed the mark with “The Circle of Life” (despite this song being a personal favorite of mine, especially the Broadway musical version). We saw Sarina, one of the best this season, go home because she had an off performance. I hope that doesn’t happen to Tyanna, but if there is a shocking elimination after movie week, it’ll be her.
Maddie Walker: Like some of the other singers, Maddie is in a tough situation. She has shown potential before, but with being sick lately, she’s hasn’t been able to deliver on that potential. Song choice is key, and Maddie going with “Let’s Here It for the Boy” was the wrong call, and the performance itself was very karaoke. If anything saves her, it’ll be sympathy votes from being sick.
Daniel Seavey & Rayvon Owen: Ever since the Top 12 was announced, my elimination predictions since then have been for Daniel and Rayvon. With two going home, I’m bundling them both together. I got both wrong before, but with the way things are going right now, I have a strong feeling I’ll get at least one of those right this time — most likely Rayvon.
With Daniel, it’s hard to tell at what point his fans will run out of ways of saving him. Will it be now? In a week? In two weeks? If Daniel survives the double elimination, then I expect Maddie will be cut. My thinking at the moment, though, is that she’ll get some sympathy votes, which will end up hurting Daniel. Having said that, Daniel has lasted much longer than any of us were hoping, so who knows what might happen at this point, especially with the Judges’ Save no longer in play.
Who do you think will be eliminated? Do you think Daniel Seavey’s time has finally come to an end? Will there be a shocking exit? Share your predictions in the comments section below.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)