This week the American Idol Top 9 are taking on songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, chosen for them by Will.I.Am because he may or may not live underneath the American Idol stage. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is vast, and the more I choose songs for the Idols, the more disappointed I become when they choose something else. So instead of choosing songs for the contestants this week, I’m creating my own Hall of Fame for the Top 9.

Without further ado:

Most Likely to Succeed: James Durbin

Jamesmostlikelysucceed.jpgI’m calling it now. With or without the big win, James Durbin will be successful after American Idol. It’s still relatively early in the competition, but the kid has yet to hit a sour note. The judges love him, the fans love him, and he’s doing so well that I find myself secretly hoping for him to have one astoundingly bad performance just for excitement.

Most Improved: Haley Reinhart

Haleyredlipstickmassacre.jpgHaley went from being in the bottom three twice, to pulling it all together with a great performance of “Benny and the Jets.” Let’s hope she’ll continue to bring more performances like that to the table. Also, check her out in this interview from the Entertainment Weekly shoot, where she sort of sounds like Steven Tyler while answering a somewhat passive-aggressive question about her signature “growl.”

Most Fun to Imitate: Paul McDonald

Ryandoesthepaul.jpgHe’s got a distinctive sound, and drunken, floppy movements that caused Ryan to try to dub it “The Paul,” and my mom to call him “the Leprechaun.” Be honest, haven’t we all tried to imitate Paul in one way or another? If you haven’t, you’re missing out, because it is really fun.

Best Performance in a Ford Music Video: Scotty McCreery

Scottysaveshisownbutt.jpgIn my mind, Scotty could sweep all of these awards, including “Leaniest” and “Most Likely to Also Have a Bar by the Same Name” (“Hey guys, let’s all go to Scotty McCreery’s for Happy Hour, their onion rings are half-off on Tuesdays!”); but Scotty really won me over with his performance as “guy who drives a Ford Focus out of the way of a falling tree,” last week.

Biggest Mood Swings: Lauren Alaina

Laurenitwasjustokay.jpgOne week she’s fine, having fun with Ryan and Steven Tyler, and the next week Jimmy Iovine is helping her work on her “confidence issues.” Then, when she’s not even in the bottom three, Lauren starts crying uncontrollably during an elimination episode. She’s up, she’s down, and yet she’s never quite in the top or the bottom.

Most Consistent: Pia Toscano

Piaconsistency.jpgWhile Randy sort of had to backtrack on the whole “don’t sing more ballads” thing, we can all acknowledge that Pia is nailing those ballads every week. Her song choice is so consistent because she knows what songs suit her the best, and what sort of artist she’d like to be. She promised us “River Deep, Mountain High” this week, which I am really looking forward to. I think it will be a nicer change of pace and tempo than “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” (the week of the jumpsuit).

Recipient of the 2011 Dentist’s Choice Award: Stefano Langone

Stefanosteeth.jpgYou don’t need to tell Stefano to open wide, because if you go with his definition of “wide” (or if he’s singing a really emotional Stevie Wonder song), you’ll lose your little mirror, and a toothbrush, and possibly a glove. Lucky for dentists everywhere, you can tell from TV that this guy has no cavities.

Most Capable of Singing The National Anthem for a Full Stadium Without a Microphone: Jacob Lusk

Jacobbelting.jpgThat boy can SING! His voice is so big it needs its own zip code! Do I need to go on? I bet Jacob wouldn’t forget the lyrics, either, then hope that the “true spirit” of the song came across.

Most Relatable But Also Sometimes Scariest: Casey Abrams

ScaryCasey.jpgCasey just seems like a cool guy you could hang out with, that is, when he’s not performing Nirvana. Casey had a couple weeks there, before his redemptive performance of “Your Song,” where he was truly terrifying. Don’t believe me? Here.

What awards would YOU give them?

(images courtesy of FOX)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).