American Idol: Predictions and Rankings

It's about time that I do another American Idol ranking. In my previous post, I mentioned my top five contestants after Hollywood week (I'm still bummed Tim didn't make it further), but since then we've seen three weeks of great performances and now I need to update... slightly. :) First off, here's a prediction I made on March 4th right after the Top 13 were chosen. I do this every year. I guess you could say it's like my Idol-bracket "March Madness."

Top 13 elimination prediction (pre-finals)

13th. Ashton Jones (eliminated March 10th) 12th. Haley Reinhart 11th: Karen Rodriguez 10th: Stefano Langone 9th: Naima Adedapo 8th: Jacob Lusk 7th: Paul McDonald 6th: Thia Megia 5th: James Durbin 4th: Casey Abrams 3rd: Pia Toscano RUNNER-UP: Scotty McCreery 2011 WINNER: Lauren Alaina

So far I'm 1/1, yay! But, I have a feeling that Haley won't be going home tonight. She's impressed me the past couple weeks, and she sang a lot better than I initially thought she would. But it's a tough competition this season and the jury is still out on whether she has a strong enough fan base to keep her in it.

Now, here is my Top 12 ranking based on performances from the past couple weeks. Feel free to let me know who you're rooting for and whether you agree or disagree in the comment section. :)

12) Karen Rodriguez

She seems like a sweetheart. But I can't get past her painfully, out of tune take on Selena's "I Could Fall In Love." She's not bad, just a bit forgettable. And sometimes that's worse.

11) Naima Adedapo

Even though I kinda did like Naima's funky, reggae take on "Umbrella" ... she sang the whole thing pretty flat. But I guess she's no different than the other pop artists out there today. Auto tune will be her best friend if she ends up with a record deal.

10) Jacob Lusk

Sadly, Jacob has gone downhill for me since Hollywood. Was I the only one who thought his performance of "I Believe I Can Fly" was one of the worst of the night? I mean, he completely missed the key change and hit a bunch of flat/sharp notes. I don't think he really found the key until the last 10 seconds. If I didn't still remember his incredible Hollywood performance, he'd be at the very bottom of my list (oh wait, he is).

9) Stefano Langone

I was not a Stefano fan until his Wildcard performance, "I Need You Now." My goodness, it was beautiful! But the past couple weeks just haven't lived up to that moment for me. I still have hope for him though, especially if he brings out the piano. He could definitely move up a few spots. :)

8) Haley Reinhart

Like I said earlier, Haley has impressed me. I wasn't so sure that she would even make it to the Top 10 and get to go on tour with the other Idol contestants. But now I feel like she adds a little diversity to the group, especially the girls, and deserves a spot. But again, does she have a fan base? Is she the type of artist you'd wanna go see in concert? Jury is still out.

7) James Durbin

Another one that's impressed me lately. I wasn't a fan of Adam Lambert's screaming/singing and I didn't expect to be a James Durbin fan either for the same reason. But, for some reason I can handle the Durbinator's high wailing. I kinda like it. For now, at least. :)

6) Thia Megia

Have you ever heard a 15 year old sing with so much soul? Thia's voice sounds so MATURE for her age! I am always blown away when she starts singing. I would love to see her do something more current, like Adele or Corinne Bailey Rae. Hopefully she'll get the chance to pull out her guitar and show us that side of her as well.

5) Paul McDonald

Paul is quirky. And I love it. His performance of "Maggie Mae" was the absolute perfect song for his voice. But the past couple weeks he's just been alright. I gotta say, I prefer him singing his own originals. He's an artist ready to go, with an album out on iTunes featuring his pre-Idol band that has already hit the charts. I'm ready to buy his next one.

4) Lauren Alaina

I really love Lauren. I think she was an early favorite to win, but has been overshadowed by some great performances by Pia. I still think Lauren could win it. Some may get annoyed by the baby faces she makes sometimes (when talking about her bad performances or being sick), but we gotta remember she kinda is a baby. But at least she doesn't perform like it. She had the flu and still sounded fantastic this week.

3) Scotty McCreery

These Top 4 are pretty interchangeable to me. But one I know won't be going anywhere for a long time is Scotty. I really think he has a great chance at winning. He's got the vocals, charm, look... he's only 17! The show has never had a more commercial male country artist. I've heard people say they never liked country music until hearing Scotty. That's a pretty good sign of a great artist.

2) Pia Toscano

It's pretty evident when I have trouble choosing ONE video to showcase Pia's vocals, that she is good. She's been stunning nearly every week! I still think she's just getting comfortable up there on the stage and we are in for a real treat as the season progresses. She's the throwback diva that Idol hasn't seen in a long time.

1) Casey Abrams

So last night I dreamed I met Casey Abrams. Is that weird? Yes, probably. Anyway, we were like old friends. He came over and hung out with Josh and I and... watched American Idol. I promise, that was my dream. Since I've had such a hard time deciding between Pia, Scotty, Lauren And Casey for the number one spot, the dream solidified it for me. Casey is my favorite. And this performance of "With a Little Help From My Friends" is my favorite too.

What about you? Which contestant is your favorite this year? Maybe your reason is better than mine. Vote in the poll below!

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