Idol Leaderboard: Help Rank the Top 9!

We’re down to single digits when counting the number of folks who have a chance to be American Idol‘s Season 10 champ, yet it’s still a pretty tightly bunched group. Check out my ranking of the Top 9, then head to our poll to vote for your favorite, and hit the comments to justify your pick. And for all my Idol news and views, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

9. Stefano Langone (Last Week No. 10) | Bizarre cadences and pronunciations marred his Motown and Elton John Week covers of “Hello” and “Tiny Dancer,” leaving him as the most vulnerable male contestant in a week where it seems likely a guy will be getting the boot. Needs to channel the depth of feeling and vocal excellence of his Wild Card “I Need You Now” to have any hope of returning to front-runner status.

8. Jacob Lusk (Last Week No. 8) | Jacob’s two latest efforts — “You’re All I Need to Get By” and “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” — were studies in restraint compared to the caterwauling catastrophes of “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Alone.” Still, he’ll need to conquer his penchant for strained facial expressions and iron out his overly quavery tone if he’s going to have any chance of taking a confetti shower at the Nokia next month.

7. Paul McDonald (Last Week No. 5) | Has looked like a more viable contender since he’s picked up his guitar and put the kibosh on those drunken-uncle dance moves. Still, his gruff, sentimental “Rocket Man” landed him in the bottom three, and if his voice fails to hold up to the rigors of the brutal Idol schedule, he could soon go the way of Ashthon Jones.

6. James Durbin (Last Week No. 3) | He’s never been in the bottom three, he’s got a massive voice and, as the sole season 10 rocker, he maintains a real point of differentiation from his rivals. Still, two of his last three performances ( “I’ll Be There for You” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”) have been been a tad sloppy from a vocal perspective. Can’t sacrifice his singing on the altar of showmanship if he wants to go all the way.

5. Haley Reinhart (Last Week No. 6 ) | Miracle of miracles, Uncle Nigel gave the much maligned growler the pimp slot for Elton John Week, and she absolutely killed it with a joyously soulful cover of “Bennie and the Jets.” Her awkward crouch-and-bounce stance will need work if she wants to transform into a true contender for the season 10 crown, but the Idoloonie Nation loves a talented underdog, and Haley brings tons of momentum into Top 9 performance night.

4. Casey Abrams (Last Week No. 7) | Needed the Judges’ Save to avoid an eleventh-place finish, then wisely put the kibosh on his Growly McAngryface antics when he returned to the stage with a tender, strongly sung “Your Song.” Would still love to see him break out the upright bass and give us a vocal on par with his terrific Hollywood Week work — something he’d be wise to do sooner than later.

3. Lauren Alaina (Last Week No. 4) | Week after week, she’s maintained her position in the upper half of the season 10 pack, and last week’s slightly twangy twist on “Candle in the Wind” was her best effort yet. If her passion can begin to match her vocal horsepower — and she keeps the wittle guwl whining to a minimum — she could make Steven Tyler’s audition-round predictions come true.

2. Scotty McCreery (Last Week No. 1) | Not only did he survive Motown and Elton John Weeks without even a whiff of “Eight Days a Week” stink, he managed to choose songs that fit his down-home country style and maintained his rock-solid fan base in the process. Still, if Pia has to take hits for her reliance on ballads, it has to be pointed out that Scotty has done little to mix up the tone and tempo of his performances over the last five weeks.

1. Pia Toscano (Last Week No. 2) | Queen of All Ballads promised on air she’d mix it up this week with “River Deep, Mountain High,” and that bit of variety ought to go a long way in spicing up the poised beauty’s Idol run. Has yet to hit a bum note in five weeks of live performances, and while her personality seems a little low-key, from a vocal perspective, her “All in Love Is Fair” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” are two of the season’s high points.

Okay, TVLine readers, it’s your turn. Vote for your favorite in our Idol Leaderboard poll, then post your personal ranking for the Top 9 — and tell me where I got it right, and where I got it wrong — in the comments. Ready, set, prognosticate!

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84 Comments
  1. Liam says:

    Wow Hayley taking an early lead. Can’t say I’m disappointed, she rocked it last week. I’m still loving Pia and want her to really shine tonight.

  2. Debbie M says:

    I think the fact that I do not have one clear favorite this year at this point in the season speaks volumes for the quality of the contestants. I would be happy to see just about any of them go to the finale, except Jacob and Stefano. Liked them both at first but now Stefano’s weird pronunciations and Jacob’s facial expressions both annoy me to the point where I fast forward through their performances.

    • allie says:

      you have a more optimistic idea about the lack of a frontrunner than I do. I don’t have a favorite either… which means I am not voting regularly. I agree that it is a pleasure to not have to mute any of the contestants this year but I also don’t know if I find any of them interesting enough to purchase CD’s when this is over. I suppose it will come down to how the producers package them. Pia, Haley, Casey and (maybe)Paul have interesting potential but the rest? Not my taste.

  3. jrs says:

    Oh PUH-LEEZE, let these results be a harbinger of thing to come and America sends Jacob home!!!!!!

  4. Giselle says:

    I think Pia is sooo boring. Ok, she has an amazing voice, but that is it. Shes always standing there during the performances, and week after week, she hasnt brought anything new to the show.

    Casey is by far my favourite.

    • Deb says:

      Giselle, exactly right! There are tons of people with amazing voices who never make it in the music industry because they cannot distinquish themselves from everyone one else in a memorable way that is good for their careers. This season’s contestants seem to be lacking a sense of self and they aren’t “making it their own” in a marketable way.

      • Michael says:

        And there are JUST AS MANY people who’ve made it in the music business who have failed to “distinguish themselves from everyone else”. Those emo bands all sound the same. The only thing that distinguished the Backstreet Boys from 98 degrees was AJs goatee. Let’s not pretend that people make it in the music business solely because they are unique. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

        • Cy says:

          I agree with Michael–whether Pia makes it outside of Idol or not will be based largely on the songs she gets. She really could be the pop music version of Carrie Underwood–the voice is SO THERE and she has the stage presence, beauty, intelligence and work ethic to do it.

          Incidentally, even though she doesn’t babble and gush like other “more personable” contestants, I think she has plenty of personality–it just isn’t an obnoxious one. You can tell she’s cool and smart and has a real passion for her music. She already deserves the win in my mind, but I fear the legions of women who vote based solely on how attractive they find a contestant will just vote another boring white guy to victory.

    • Laurel says:

      I totally AGREE !
      Pia is sooooo freakin boring I wanna scream.
      And if she does another ballad I may throw something at the TV.

  5. samanthafromitaly says:

    Casey is still my fav. I believe he can do a lot with his voice, and I’m excited everytime he hit the stage, ’cause I never know what to expect from him.

    • Delirious says:

      Same here. Now that he got the elbow-nudge of the elimination and save, hopefully, as Mike said, he’ll go back to showing us that level he showcased in his audition, and during Hollywood week.
      And regarding the rest, hopefully the audience gets tired already of Jacob’s vocal theatrics and James’ bland and insubstantial rockiness. And hopefully, Scotty grabs a song out of his comfort zone, at least an upbeat number – I’d like to see him try his luck with a rock song, perhaps? A rock ballad could be a nice fit, I guess.

  6. WhiteLady says:

    9.- Paul McDonald
    8.- Jacob Lusk
    7.- Stefano Langone
    6.- Casey Abrams
    5.- James Durbin
    4.- Pia Toscano
    3.- Scotty McCreery
    2.- Hayley Reinhart
    1.- Lauren Alaina

    I’m strongly hoping that the top 5 will be the ones I am rating, we can sort out the order afterwards…

    • WhiteLady says:

      And now my reasoning:
      – I never got the hype about Paul, and I don’t like his singing style at all.
      – I agree that Jacob has an incredible voice but he’s not really my cup of tea, and on top of that he still needs a lot more restraint both vocally and in his face expressions.
      – I liked Stephano from the beginning but he’s faltered the last couple of weeks. He’ll have to do much better to crack the top 5.
      – Pretty much the same thing with Casey. I liked him from the audition rounds but I feel like he’s been wasting his chances so far. I wasn’t totally on board with the decision to use the save on him and last week didn’t make me change my mind.
      – James has great pipes but last week lost his focus on the vocal and it was too much about the gimmicks on stage. I think he neeeds to go back to a slow song that showcases the non-screamy part of his voice.
      – Pia is undoubtedly an incredible singer but her pageanty demeanor and ballad after ballad are boring me to death. And her uptempo is going to be a Celine version? Argh!
      – Scotty’s voice is amazing and I don’t think he’s been getting enough praisee fo rpushing his register’s upper limits. Having a great country fanbase I don’t see him getting into trouble soon, but if he wants to win he’s going to have to venture into a more mainstream sound.
      – I liked Hayley from the top 24, loved her “Blue” performance, and have admired her demeanor troughout the weeks. Last week she rocked, and if she can stop making all performances about “sexy” she could really be the dark horse and stage an upset.
      – This is controversial, but Lauren has a great voice of which we haven’t seen half yet (saving it in order not to peak too soon?), is making some nice arrangement choices and is getting better behaved each week. She’s only 16 and without media training it shouldn’t be so surprising that she can make a fool of herself at times. But that can be learned. Isn’t this about finding a great singer? I for one think that’s what she is.

      • seattlejohn says:

        I’m joining you on the Lauren Alaina train, especially after last week’s solo and duet with Scotty. Just really enjoying her voice on some quieter songs…part Mindy Smith smooth and Linda Ronstadt powerful…several folks this year seem boxed in by specific formulas but Lauren (and Haley) show vocal range and mix up their song choices and styles. I think Lauren could be very successful artistically and commercially.

  7. This list is kind of bugging….just because you don’t like James Durbin doesn’t mean that America doesn’t like him. He had two good performances in a row these past two weeks and people like him. He’s not my favorite either but I think you’re a bit biased. We need to put down the Haley kool-aid for a second (even though I love that crazy beyotch).

  8. mr clean says:

    Oh, micheal! You put female singers in the top three! Silly man!

  9. Sharkey says:

    I don’t get this fascination with Haley Reinhart. She just comes across really sleazy like she belongs on the Playboy channel. Just my opinion…flame away.

    • Lunakit says:

      No flame here, Sharkey. I do not enjoy the visual on her performances AT ALL. When Steven Tyler told her “You sing sexy” I thought, uh oh, now she has an invitation to continue with all of the murky sex inuendo. It has a very “chat line commercial” vibe to it.

  10. tnygrl says:

    I adore Paul – bum notes, drunken dancing, creepy whisper and all. I love singers with distinct voices like Ray LaMontagne, and Paul is definitely in that category. I just want to see him really connect to a song…oh lord, I sound like J-Lo.

    • Yo says:

      me, too. I think it is because his voice, however flawed, is so distinctive -and directs his sound so much – that I can anticipate and album from him. I know I would probably like it. And Idol albums are usually quite bad.

  11. Deb says:

    Can I vote for none of the above? These kids are boring me to tears…as Randy used to say, “young it up.” And I HATE quoting Randy.

    • Badjuggler says:

      Then why are you watching again?

    • Mike says:

      If you think all these talented kids are boring, who out there in the music biz do you think is exciting? Please come back and give your list of exciting music stars. Or do you just hate music in general.

    • JohnDoe says:

      As someone who has enjoyed AI as a guilty pleasure, I can say I am with you. This year’s “talent” is one of the most bland groups in a long time. I see the winner of this season fading into obscurity like the some of the other winners of the past. And the judging has been a complete let-down. J-Lo is the new Paula Abdul, Steven Tyler is a nice guy, and a helluva singer, but can’t judge for the life of him, and Randy…well, he’s Randy.

  12. Dawn says:

    Pia’s problem is less that she’s not changing things up and more that she’s singing the kinds of songs that have no real place in today’s music landscape. Scotty may be a “one-trick pony,” but that trick is going to sell lots of records and concert tickets once his “Idol” run is through. Pia has a terrific voice, but there is no way I would pay money to hear her sing an album full of 1980s- and ’90s-style ballads.

    • Michael says:

      Um…what record producer would allow her to turn out an album of 80s and 90s ballads? She won’t be writing, rearranging or producing the songs on her album, so what is your point? She has a great voice and with the right material could sell a lot of albums. Are you forgetting that AI winners have to sign away their souls as well as all artistic license?

  13. Libby says:

    Paul is my absolute favorite but I concede, while he has a strong fan base, he’s too quirky to win. I’m not a Lauren fan but loved her voice last week and, if she continues to improve, I think she can win. I think Scotty’s vocals are mediocre but he has huge fan base. I just don’t like Haley. Pia has room to wow us or bore us and that remains to be seen. For all the rancor about the guys having an advantage, I still think the top three will be 2 girls and a guy.

    Having said that, my list: 9) Jacob, 8) Stefano, 7) Haley, 6) Paul, 5) Casey, 4) James, 3) Pia, 2) Scotty, 1) Lauren

  14. brandy says:

    Whoa, go Haley! I want these Power Puff Girls to take the top 3 spots!

  15. Libby says:

    Not sure why a smiley face showed up in earlier my post. Definitely disregard.

    • RTW says:

      It’s because an “eight” and a “parenthesis” create a smiley-face. Supposedly, there’s a number/symbol combination out there that, when posted, resembles a Jacob Lusk going home, but I forget what that is.

      • Skitty says:

        Haha! If you find the number/symbol combination for Jacob Lusk going home, please share it. His vocal histrionics and facial distortions are cringe inducing.

  16. samanthafromitaly says:

    Slezak why didn’t you comment on Casey? :(

  17. y says:

    james durbin…1…love you

  18. Georgia Girl says:

    I absolutely loved Stefano’s wildcard performance. Unfortunately, every performance since has been another step backwards. I keep wanting him to do well, but it looks like this might be his last week. The bottom 3 will definately be Jacob, Paul & Stefano, and if I had my way, Jacob would be the one to go, but….unless Stefano really delivers tonight, his outlook doesn’t look good. I think Scotty will go really far in the competition. Having said that, I personally can’t stand to watch him perform. The sideways leaning gets on my last nerve. Lauren’s a great singer, but she has got to stop the whining. I started off not really caring for James or Haley, but I have to say, they are winning me over. Hayley was awesome on “Bennie and the Jets” even if her movements are a little awkward. Loved Casey last week, but my favorite by a mile is Pia. I agree with Slezak, I see a pop version “Carie Underwood” type career in her future.

  19. Music Muse says:

    Haley had one debatably decent performance and suddenly she is in the top tier of the season? She is second in the “favorite idol” poll? Fickle people. Pia has a chance of winning as does Lauren (as much as I don’t like her)- but Haley? Don’t see it. The two males that belong in the top four are Scotty and James. The rest just aren’t the same caliber. By the way, I think America got it right when they voted Casey off. Were it not for the save we would still have one more female in the contest, one who has just as much, if not more, potenial of growth as Casey.

    • karen Anderson says:

      Haley had a great performance during Motown week, and her rendition of Blue was memorable also. She has been steadily building up steam. She’s my favorite of all, and she is definitely unique and packed with personality. Pia is too conventional, Paul’s voice is feeble, Stephano is boy-band bland, James is a generic wannabe, Casey fumbled big time on his Nirvana disaster and Motown week, Scotty is a niche singer, and Lauren has a strange off-stage personality. Haley for the win.

      • idolidol says:

        I agree Karen

        Hailey has been my favorite since the beginning. Everyone else is boring

        Hailey brings excitement to the show and hits every note

  20. Media Ho says:

    Pia is going to deliver an amazing version of “River Deep, Mountain High” tonight. Tina’s version is the definitive one, of course, but have any of you actually HEARD the Celine take on the classic song? It’s not what you’d expect from CD, and that’s what you’re going to hear tonight. And you’ll be amazed. Trust me on this!

    • dctoronto says:

      No No No!

      The last time I looked, Celine was not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

      Tina’s is not just the definitive version, it is the original.

      There are a lot of people out there (including a woman who sat beside me at a Tina Turner concert) who only know the Celine version. I wish Pia had picked an Ike and Tina song not associated with another singer.

  21. Beanbag says:

    I don’t have a favorite right now, only favorite performances. They are: Pia’s I’ll Stand By You, Jacob’s You’re All I Need To Get By, Paul’s Tracks of My Tears, and Lauren’s Candle in the Wind

  22. heelarryous says:

    haley and scotty and lauren AHEAD of james, HELL TO THE NAW!

  23. jessiesk says:

    I’m sorry I can’t stand watching Scotty, he reminds me of a mini me George Bush and I puke a bit every time I see his squinty little busheyes

  24. Badjuggler says:

    Wish: Scotty “Side of the Mouth” McCreery goes away. For reasons I cannot fathom I seem to be in the minority there.

    Prediction: Buh-bye, Stefano “Boring” Langone!

  25. gin and tonic says:

    Although not a frontrunner all season, the past two weeks stellar performances have vaulted her from almost gone, to this season’s dark horse. She’s likable, she’s got a fantastic voice, never sings off key and is easy on the eyes. Now, if she could just work on her performance delivery, she’d be at or near the top.

  26. GSOgymrat says:

    I really like Pia. I hope that she will sing a more contemporary, upbeat number just to demonstrate that she can switch it up and be “commercial”. I look forward to her singing “River Deep, Mountain High” but I think she needs to sing something like “Born This Way” to lose the “boring” label.

    Casey is interesting but I really doubt his ability as a vocalist. He seems to be unable to sustain a note and uses growls and “mmm” to cover up. He needs to get back to jazz because that plays to his strengths. I am glad he was saved.

    Scotty is consistently good and I love his voice but I wonder if America will get bored with his traditional country interpretations. I am not bored with him but I can see other people feeling that way.

    Haley really annoyed me but “Rocket Man” was so odd and entertaining that I am completely rethinking her.

    Paul really needs to tighten his vocals. I like what he tries to do with his songs but he goes off too much and his voice seems to be getting weaker.

    I know I shouldn’t compare James unfavorably to Adam Lambert but I can’t seem to help it.

  27. SpyKi says:

    My clear favourite is Haley. Seeing her second in the poll brings me so much joy.

    • idolidol says:

      I agree Spy K

      You and I were ahead of our time in Hailey being our favorite

      Now many are catching on

      Go Hailey!!!

  28. Tara says:

    Pia will be eliminated soon, maybe before Casey. It’ll be a shocker, but not really, because she’s not that great. Good pitch doesn’t translate to success. She’s boring and the demographics that votes on Idol cannot relate to her. The final 2 will be Lauren Alaina and Scott. Slezak, you’ve been a little mean spirited in the idolloonie videos. Some of your readers are just agreeing with you blindly, when they’ve forgotten how much you dissed Carrie Underwood during season 4. Remember that?

  29. Linda says:

    Watching these vlogs made my day. I’m hoping for more Casey turnaround in the next couple of weeks. I’m enjoying the season, but I don’t think I’d buy a record from even one of these kids. I kinda miss the year David Cook won. There was a crazy ecstasy to it all. Nothing like that this year.

  30. Tahoe Mike says:

    I agree with your bottom three Michael. I can only hope that is how it goes. I do think that Stepfanjaya is the worst of the bunch, but he will last longer than he should. Either Paul or Jacob can go and I won’t miss them. Haley should be rated higher than Casey. You have Pia too high, and a wake up call trip to the bottom three could be coming her way if she doesn’t change her tune this week. I think Scotty is the man to beat right now.

    (Where I think they stand as of now, Haley and Lauren are my favorites)

    9. Stefanjaya
    8. Paul
    7. Jacob
    6. Casey
    5. Lauren
    4. Pia
    3. Haley
    2. James
    1. Scotty

  31. agrimesy says:

    I have ranked the top 9 but not according to my own personal preferences. This list is how I think the season will play out.

    9. Stefano ~ He won’t do anything this week spectacular enough to strengthen an already fickle fanbase.
    8. Paul ~ His fans are loyal, but they are smaller in number than the others.
    7. Casey ~ The “save our Casey” vibe will have worn off, and he won’t be any better than he ever was.
    6. Haley ~ She will gain too much confidence and do something to offend new voters who will go elsewhere.
    5. James ~ The fans of those from 6 to 9 will not adopt him as their new leader.
    4. Jacob ~ I know . . . I know! Folks, I think you are all sorely underestimating the size of his fanbase. They do not post on these boards. Mark my words!
    3. Pia ~ THIS WILL BE THE SHOCKER! OMG, what happened!? She will go home before the finale unable to attract the wholesome vote.
    2. Lauren ~ I predict an incredible artistic growth spurt that stuns legions of new fans into hysterical worship.
    1. Scotty ~ Come on! Sweet, Southern athlete with a sexy innocence who loves his grandma and Elvis. Who can beat that in the voting pool!? Plus, I call a four year in a row “white male guitarist” winner pattern that Idol will never be able to break.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    **small print** All the above comments are subject to ammendment due to unexpected EPIC level “moments” and/or “trainwrecks” as the case may be. Side effects may include a change of heart not to exceed Slezak’s own level of indecisiveness where these particularly confounding contestants are concerned.

    • WhiteLady says:

      Cool post. I can’t say I totally agree but I understand where it comes from! Could sadly be true…

    • Anna says:

      I could see this happening. But if it comes down to Lauren and Scotty, I think either could win.

    • Yonofoco says:

      9. Stefano – will continue to flounder – no real career after AI
      8. Paul – his disintegrating voice will blow a comeback. He will have a long term low key successful career in singing and writing.
      7. Jacob – Will not be able to restrain his caterwauling. His career will be non-existent.
      6. Casey – to small of a loyal fan base. His career will be about the same as Taylor Hicks.
      5. Haley – might have one good idol moment that will propel her to top 5. She will find a small niche audience post AI that she will be able to make a living entertaining.
      4. James – Don’t like him but his fan base is strong, cuz they buy into showmanship rather than singing quality. His career after AI will crumble
      3. Lauren – Her immaturity and splitting the country vote with Scotty will eventually stop her rise to the top of AI. Her career after AI will be mediocre and fizzle after a couple of yrs.
      2. Pia – Will eventually end up being the biggest seller in AI history on the pop charts.
      1. Scotty – will end up being the biggest seller in AI history since Carrie on the country charts.

      Nigel will have his money making top two.

    • Yo says:

      VERY good!

  32. ohbabs says:

    I was trying to fall asleep while watching Idoloonies (sorry michael) but everytime i heard BBBBBBBB bennie I was rudely and frightfully jarred awake. to my ears haley’s rendition of this EJ song is equivalent to torture. like maybe you could scare the terrorists out of the caves with the chorus on repeat.
    But i do think she is cute and love her curly hair!

  33. ohbabs says:

    Is the number of twitter followers an indication of popularity. My personal ranking is
    9. Stephano
    8. Jacob
    7. Paul
    6. Pia
    5. Lauren
    4. Haley
    3. Scotty
    2. Casey
    1. James

  34. 9.- scotty
    8.- lauren
    7.- Stefano
    6.- james
    5.- jacob
    4.- stefano
    3.- haley
    2.- casey
    1.- pia

    That’s a rap

  35. Kelm says:

    1. Haley ! She’s the only one that stands out : voice, look, personality.

    2. Stefano
    3. Casey
    4. Jacob

    5. Lauwen
    6. Paul
    7. James
    8. Pia
    9. Scotty

  36. killercub618 says:

    Did everybody miss when Pia said she is doing “River Deep Mountain High” this week? She is not doing another ballad this week people!

    As far as her doing the Celine Dion version- if you watch hers (Celine’s) and Tina Turner’s- there is not a huge difference.

    My personal rankings (not necessarily by favorite, but how I think it will play out); Lauren indeed may go sooner because I think her nerves might get the better of her.
    9) Paul
    8) Stefano
    7) Haley
    6) Jacob
    5) Casey
    4) Lauren
    3) James
    2) Scotty
    1) Pia

  37. takakupo says:

    WHY IS CASEY STILL RANKED TO HIGH!?
    This is unbelievable. You keep ranking the boys up there and giving them credit where they don’t deserve it and everyone wonders why the girls are going home. Are you just trying to channel the dumb that is America or does your opinion favor really bad singers to begin with?

  38. Cy says:

    9) Paul – can’t stand his creepy dancing & hate his “male Macy Gray” singing style
    8) Jacob – he’s a cute kid w/ great potential, but his over-the-top schitck is starting to bore me
    7) Haley – sounded much better on “Benny” than she ever had before, but her voice still grates on me like nails on a chalkboard
    6) Casey – his McGrowly faces have turned me off for good
    5) James – the kid has a good voice but there are plenty of rockers doing the exact same thing out there. Yawn.
    4) Scotty – amazingly seasoned performer despite his age. But I doubt I’d ever buy a country CD, so I’m not overly invested in him.
    3) Lauren – I strongly, strongly dislike her as a human being. But vocally, the girl has mad talent.
    2) Stefano – beautiful, radio-ready voice. I’d buy his CD.
    1) Pia – To quote a fantastic High and Mighty Color song, “There’s no other…”

  39. Georgia says:

    I’m still hanging with the same top three: Casey, Haley, and Pia, but Pia has fallen to a distant 3rd for me. Vocally, she’s predictably excellent, but she just doesn’t excite me. She *could* be exciting, and I hope we’ll see that tonight. I agree with GSOgymrat that all along James has seemed like an Adam Lambert wannabe. He may be a frontrunner, but for weeks, when James was mentioned, I couldn’t remember who he was. As for Lauren and Scotty, they’re great at what they do. I’m just never going there. It has to be something I would buy, and I need to feel a personal connection with the artist.

  40. jeff says:

    its rather laughable trying to compare boring Pia to Scotty. Pia the 80s and 90s are over and no matter how much Slezball up here wants to think your version of dont let the sun go down was awesome he has no musical taste at all. she basically ruined the song and out half of america to sleep while singing. i hope she does river deep mountain high to stick with our of date guns that will land her in the bottom 3 when everyone is like wtf ? this girl has lived off of her 1st week song and i see her like another Danny Gokey fading out before everyones eyes back into obscurity. i have no idea who will buy her records. no one wants to hear huge ballads anymore. those went out at latest in the early 2000s. heres to the best 2 in the competition Scotty and Lauren steal the show like you did last week and race right to the finale.

  41. Kate from Canada says:

    I like Scotty. A lot. I hope he does something without a country flavour just so that people who automatically discount him because they don’t like ‘country’ will give him a break. I am not a huge country fan, but I like his voice and his attitude – as my nieces would say, he’s adorkable. His duet last week with Lauren was gorgeous.

  42. GingerSnap says:

    The oddsmakers in Vegas say Pia, James or Scotty for the win. That’s my top 3. I don’t care which one wins – all of them have great futures ahead of them.
    Can’t see this show becoming Country Idol so no to the Lauren A vs. Scotty finale.
    The rest of the singers appeal to niches. They will.fade away each in their own time.

  43. Kevin C. says:

    My own preference:

    1. Lauren
    2. James
    3. Scotty
    4. Pia
    5. Jacob
    6. Casey
    7. Stefano
    8. Haley
    9. Paul

  44. Ablo says:

    “Has yet to hit a bum note in five weeks of live performances . . .”

    Oh good grief – I guess you don’t count all those horrid high notes she hits.

    • GingerSnap says:

      What you call “horrid high notes” sound like Glory Notes to the rest of us. They are what make the great ones GREAT.

      • Ablo says:

        Yea . . . not so much. I promise you — if you have DVR, close your eyes and listen and you will hear the bad notes. I understand listening with your heart, but use your ears as well. :)

  45. Yo says:

    A very good entertainment night, during which we found out Scotty was a “hat WITH cattle.” He was an entire different person, a long lean teen machine who can really handle his body – and Elvis. It was a wonder to see and I was shocked, shocked! I think this boy is a winner!

  46. Andrea Ajemian says:

    I do not get the Pia obsession. She is boring. People are saying she’s so smart. How would we know if she’s smart? All she says is what she is supposed to say in a pageant. Pretty voice but not as good as Kathrine McPhee, and Kat didn’t become a star. And even though it wasn’t a ballad tonight, it was still a Celine Dion song, as Celine sung it. Boring. No artistry at all. She still should go far, but I don’t thinks she should win it.

    My rankings.

    1. Scotty
    2. Lauren
    3. James
    4. Haley
    5. Casey
    6. Pia
    7. Paul
    8. Stefano
    9. Jacob

  47. Lily says:

    Prediction on how this will play out:

    9. Jacob Lusk
    8. Stefano Langone
    7. Paul McDonald
    6. Casey Abrams
    5. Haley Reinhart
    4. James Durbin
    3. Pia Toscano
    2. Scotty McCreery
    1. Lauren Alaina

    Not what I’d like to see – if I get my druthers, it’s Haley and Casey battling it out (The Growler vs. Growly McAngryface!) with James Durbin in the top 3 and Pia eliminated in the obligatory “shocker” at number 4. But, I think this is how America will vote. All bets are off if Scotty sings “God Bless the USA” in the top two finale though, I think if he does that, he wins. Pia, Scotty, and Lauren all get signed by 19.

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