When we all sat down to watch the previous episode of American Idol, there were some things most of us assumed: one, that either Tyanna or Rayvon would be going home, and two, that Clark was still the frontrunner, as he’s been for weeks and weeks.
But once the night was over and we assessed what happened, some things changed: One, could Rayon possibly make it as far as the Top 3 at the rate he’s going? And two, Clark is no longer the definitive frontrunner. What happened? Well, Clark sort of pulled a Quentin and put himself in the most danger he’s been in this entire competition. Is that a big enough of a game-changer that it’ll upend who makes it to the finale? Let’s take a look at the remaining singers and their chances of staying, being in danger and going home.
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Jax: Last time around, I said that Jax and Clark are the only two guaranteed safety. But this time? I can only put Jax on that list. While her first performance, “Empire State of Mind,” wasn’t the best in terms of pitch, there was something about the overall feel that I really liked. However, when she came out and sang “Human,” that was when I and many others thought, that’s the Jax we love! By that point, we already knew that Jax was hoarse, but it didn’t really matter because she still delivered one of the top two performances of the night and solidified a spot in the Top 3, if not the finale.
In the Middle
Nick Fradiani: During “Arena Anthems” week, Nick had two very solid performances. In the Top 4, “Bright Lights” continued that trend of really showcasing who he is as an artist and how marketable he is. On the flip side, I didn’t care for “What Hurts the Most.” It’s in first place in our recap’s poll as of this writing, which I don’t understand. It felt like too much of a cover performance without doing anything to make it his own or to make himself stand out. But considering that I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this particular performance, I’m sure Nick will be safe.
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Clark Beckham: These contestants should have taken notes of what not to do when Quentin sent himself home after Whack Gate. Now, in Clark’s defense, his defiance was not nearly as bad as what Quentin did, when you compare the two situations. But here’s the deal: when you’re on a show like this, you need to be open-minded and be willing to take advice from people who know what they’re talking about. That doesn’t mean you have to implement every single thing they say, but if you continuously stand your ground and refuse to accept that maybe there are some things you can do to improve, that’s a problem. And Clark is in that situation right now. Considering that he’s been the frontrunner all season and has built up a big fan base, he might not go home. But he did himself no favors.
(I’ve spent a lot of time talking about everything but Clark’s performances, so I’ll say this quickly: “Livin’ for the City” was okay but got better towards the end. And despite what the judges said, I actually really liked “Your Man”; it was interesting to hear it as more of a soul song instead of country.)
Rayvon Owen: Rayvon just keeps on surprising us, sticking around longer than anyone thought. Then again, maybe it’s not surprising since it keeps happening. If Clark had come out with strong performances and departed the stage without any controversy, I’d say Rayvon would most likely be going home. So in a way, Rayvon might just benefit from what Clark did. “Need You Now” was average, but “Believe” was fantastic. Along with Jax’s “Human,” this was one of the top two performances of the night. And what added to that was the fact that Rayvon infused the song with some emotion, in a way that we really haven’t seem from him before.
Clark Beckham: I’ll be honest: I didn’t fully commit to an elimination prediction until just now as I’m writing this sentence because I kept going back and forth between two of the contestants. Clark really has thrown everything up in the air, hasn’t he? If he ends up being safe, then it all was for nothing and we can continue to follow the trajectory of him winning. (If that’s the case, then it proves that he really has built up a big enough fan base that’ll likely take him all the way to the end.) But at this point, I don’t know. We’ve seen frontrunners go home before. It could happen again. So I’m just going to go out on a limb and predict his departure. If he does go home, the person who benefits the most will be Jax since she’ll end up winning, which I would love to see. Clark would still be a deserving winner, but we need to see some performances that really stand out and that prove to us that he is deserving of the title.
By the way, I’ve predicted Rayvon’s elimination a lot this season, so maybe that’s part of why I am deciding to switch things up this time. But regardless, both Clark and Rayvon are most in danger and I wouldn’t be completely surprised either way. I still think a Clark/Jax finale would be great, though.
Who do you predict will be eliminated? Do you think Clark sent himself home by standing his ground and refusing to take advice from others? Or has he built up enough support that it doesn’t matter and he’ll still be here next time? Share your predictions in the comments section below.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)