This week on American Idol, the Top 13 performed songs that define them as both artists and as people in a theme called “This is Me.” Did our current batch of contestants step up and show who they are and who they want to be post-Idol? As always, some did and others floundered.
Heading into tonight’s results show, we have a few questions to consider: is there room for more than one male country singer? Did M.K. Nobilette bring the “Satisfaction” and live up to the hype? Will any of last week’s three Wild Card picks avoid the Bottom 3? And will tonight’s elimination be an easy call?
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M.K. Nobilette: There always seems to be mixed reactions from fans online regarding M.K. Some people absolutely love her and want her to have a shot at winning, and then others just don’t get all the hype. I’m about in the middle of that spectrum — I’m not a fan, but neither am I a hater and automatically count her out. During her performance of “Satisfaction,” I really made a deliberate effort to listen closely to her voice to try and figure out why people love her. There were moments where her tone really sounded great and I liked it, so I’m going to take a week by week approach with her, and maybe I’ll start to get on board and become a fan.
Majesty Rose: Majesty may have performed “Tightrope,” but she wasn’t on a tightrope last night — she absolutely knew how to put on a fun performance. ‘Fun’ is the best way to describe it. Her vocals weren’t perfect (especially her lower register and sometimes her mid-range), but her energy was fantastic. She’s picked an upbeat number two times in a row now, and both times there have been some slight vocal issues. Will that problem keep coming up every time she does songs like these? Regardless of that, she’s still one of the frontrunners and is sticking around.
Jessica Meuse: I’m almost worried to put certain contestants in the Definitely Safe category after I did just that with Briana Oakley last week — and where is she now? Exactly. But Jessica proved herself last night as a contender. She went back to rock, and boy did she go all out. She and Caleb are the rockers of season 13, but both distinguished themselves from each other. For Jessica, her rock performance was dark and infused with this haunting mood that I loved.
Caleb Johnson: Caleb stole the show Wednesday night. He deservedly got the pimp spot and went out with a bang. I’m not familiar with the song “Pressure and Time” or the band whose song that is, but I don’t care because when you can do what he just did on that stage, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes a contestant comes out and puts on a show in a way that doesn’t feel like they’re competing on a singing show, but rather that they’re an actual artist, performer and entertainer. That’s what Caleb did, and I can’t wait to see what he does next week.
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IN THE MIDDLE
Ben Briley: I went back and forth on whether to put Ben In the Middle or In Danger. I personally might not have been a fan of his Johnny Cash performance, but I’m sure his fans loved it. There was something about his voice that sounded really strange to me during that song — does anyone else agree?
Jena Irene: Until we start seeing the results from America now that we’re in the Top 13 portion of the season, I’m unsure of how much support she has. We all know viewers didn’t vote for her and the judges had to end up choosing her as a Wild Card pick. Since she’s still here, will she start getting the support she deserves, or will she always be in danger? I think she did enough to stay out of the danger zone with her rendition of “The Scientist” that provided one of the best performances of the night.
Alex Preston: Alex deserves to stick around for a long time because he’s that talented. One of the things I worry about, though, is if some people will be turned off or even bored by him singing something like “A Beautiful Mess,” which wasn’t a mess in the slightest. And I wonder if he would ever be the victim of a shocking elimination.
Emily Piriz: Last week, I was surprised that America voted her into the Top 13, not because she doesn’t deserve it (she totally does), but I just didn’t think she would have garnered enough votes to make it. I’m curious to see how much fan support she really has. If she ends up in the Bottom 3 anytime in the next few weeks, then maybe she’s on her way out. But she took on a song by Pink and delivered it beautifully, and deserves to be here next week.
Sam Woolf: Here’s the deal: even though I pegged him earlier this week as having the best chance at winning season 13, he doesn’t deserve it. And last night proved why. He didn’t have command of the stage and went with a safe song choice. I’m sure he’s safe for now, but if he keeps this up, then maybe a visit to the Bottom 3 in the next several weeks is in order.
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Dexter Roberts: It’s unfortunate that I’m putting all the country singers at the bottom of the list, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. I’ve used this word to describe Dexter many times before, and I’m going to use it again because it still applies after last night: he is a generic country singer. I don’t know what America saw in him last week. At some point, if not right away, Dexter and Ben will be splitting votes, resulting in one of them leaving early. I initially had him in the Bottom 3 instead of C.J. — I could make equally strong cases for either — but no matter, it’s likely that one of them will be in the Bottom.
BOTTOM 3 PREDICTIONS
Malaya Watson: Who is a fan of Malaya? Can anybody tell me why they think she’s good? Why did she have to butcher a perfectly good Bruno Mars song? She was hitting flat notes throughout the entire performance. It might have been decent or good if she just would have been in tune. She can’t skate by on just her personality alone this entire time. At some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, voters realize she’s average at best and maybe mediocre at worst.
Kristen O’Connor: Kristen is absolutely guaranteed a spot in the Bottom 3. She took on the Idol Queen, Kelly Clarkson. You don’t do that unless you’re going to really bring it. She had one of the most forgettable performances of the night and deserves to be in this spot.
C.J. Harris: I don’t want to predict that C.J. will be in the Bottom 3. If not him, it will be Dexter. (See my comments on Dexter above for more on that.) I worry that what he has going against him far outweighs what he has going for him. He was really good last night singing “Radio,” but going right after Ben and before M.K. won’t help him. Plus, the whole Wild Card situation needs to be taken into consideration, like with Kristen. Here’s how I see it: if Dexter’s in the Bottom, then America decided to vote based on talent, and if C.J.’s in danger, then it’ll prove he doesn’t have a strong fan base.
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Kristen O’Connor: Kristen didn’t deserve to perform during Rush Week (especially since Kenz Hall was cut). And after being tossed aside by America, she also didn’t deserve to be chosen by the judges as a Wild Card. Idol fans don’t want her around, and this should be an easy elimination.
What are your predictions? Who do you think is absolutely safe, and who’s in danger? Is Kristen going home an obvious choice or will it be someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)