Idol Leaderboard: Vote Now to Rank the Top 8!

In seven short weeks, Lee DeWyze will give up his sash and crown, and pass it on to one of the eight singers remaining in American Idol‘s tenth season. The pack is still pretty tightly bunched, a point that was driven home when Pia Toscano (No. 1 last week in both my Leaderboard rankings and in our TVLine.com reader poll) got the unexpected boot. Check out my ranking of the Top 8, 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.

8. Jacob Lusk (Last Week No. 8 ) | With a male contestant almost certain to be on the chopping block, Jacob’s going to need a major Idol moment to overcome last week’s unbearably pompous pre-performance comment: “If I end up in the bottom three, it won’t be because I sang the song bad, it won’t be because I sang the song wrong, it will be because everybody in America wasn’t ready to look at themselves in the mirror.” Sorry, kiddo, but “Man in the Mirror” was filled with sharp notes and hard-to-watch hip-thrusting. That’s why you ended up in jeopardy last week. And unless you can get your vocal house in order, you’ll be there again in less time than it takes you to sing a one-syllable word.

7. Stefano Langone (Last Week No. 9) | He put the kibosh on his crazy newfound accent tackling “When a Man Loves a Woman” last week, but his screechy falsetto nearly derailed the whole performance. The guy who looked like a front-runner killing it on “I Need You Now” back in the Wild Card round seems like a distant memory today. Might be nice to hear him do something uptempo for a change — even if the judges haven’t called him out on his ballad-heavy repertoire.

6. Casey Abrams (Last Week No. 4) | Needed the Judges’ Save to avoid an eleventh-place finish, and made the most of his second chance on his first trip back to the stage with a tender, strongly sung “Your Song.” Last week’s “Have You Ever Seem the Rain?”, however, contained fleeting moments of the Growly McAngryface antics that J.Lo warned him against after vetoing his elimination. Needs to focus on musicality and musicianship — not irrelevant “you’re so sexy” hype.

5. James Durbin (Last Week No. 6) | He’s never been in the bottom three, he’s got charisma to spare, and he’s got the rocker vibe that Idol voters seem to love. That said, three of his last four performances ( “I’ll Be There for You,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”) have been a little rough around the edges, vocally speaking. True, that never stopped Lee DeWyze, but with seven long weeks ahead, there’s definite room for improvement.

4. Paul McDonald (Last Week No. 7) | Has looked like a more viable contender since he’s picked up his guitar and put the kibosh on those drunken-uncle dance moves. Gruff, sentimental “Rocket Man” landed him in the bottom three, but got the pimp slot — and a huge crowd response — for last week’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Flashes of brilliance and had moments of utter ridiculousness (i.e. that whispered “long, long time” at the end of “Rocket Man”) could carry him to the Top 3 or get him ejected by Thursday.

3. Lauren Alaina (Last Week No. 3) | Week after week, she’s maintained her position in the upper half of the season 10 pack, and her twangy twist on “Candle in the Wind” was one of the highlights of Elton John week. Took a step backwards on “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” but it’s hard to hold it against her considering she was forced into a hideous L.A.M.B-branded diaper by Gwen Stefani and was tackling a song that wasn’t entirely age-appropriate.

2. Haley Reinhart (Last Week No. 5) | Two weeks running, Haley has given joyously soulful (albeit a little unpolished) performances of “Bennie and the Jets” and “Piece of My Heart” that have captured the imaginations of Idol viewers who love a talented underdog. That said, as a contestant who spent the first two weeks of the finals on the bottom-three stools of doom, she desperately needs to put an end to her awkward crouch-and-bounce stance and figure out what to do with her wayward arms while she’s performing. Those issues, though, can improve with time; the core talent is already there.

1. Scotty McCreery (Last Week No. 2) | Sailed through Motown and Elton John Weeks without even a whiff of “Eight Days a Week” stink, then slayed the competition on “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” Night with a corny-but-scorching cover of Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right Mama” that proved his ability to go uptempo and work a crowd into a frenzy. One of only three contestants left in the competition (along with Lauren and James) to not visit the bottom three.

Okay, TVLine readers, it’s your turn. Vote for your favorite in our Idol Leaderboard poll, then sound off in the comments on how you’d rank the whole Top 8. Ready, set, prognosticate!

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136 Comments
  1. Jake D. says:

    Haley could make the Top 3…biggest Idol comeback ever?

    • Larry says:

      It would be like Syesha from Season 7. No one expected her to stick around until the top 3, given that she was in the bottom three a lot toward the start of the season. But she beat Carly and Brooke, as well as Jason Castro, Michael Johns, etc.

    • Erinn says:

      I know. I am recently really digging Haley! And unlike Michael, I don’t hate her dancing – maybe because that is how I dance in my kitchen when no one is around. Try it, it’s fun.

    • Leila says:

      Haley would be great if she didn’t have to growl on every verse… She has natural talent and a fun personality.

    • stevenjaba says:

      All the Haley love is perplexing. Yes, she’s got a great voice but she has no idea how to use it. Stop the growling Haley – it makes me cringe every time you do it (which is every 3 seconds).

      • SpyKi says:

        She knows how to use it more than any of the other contestants and she really doesn’t growl as much as everyone says she does. I think peoples memories are being skewed by Piece of my Heart where she did growl through pretty much the whole thing.

      • famous artist says:

        I think Haley thinks she knows everything and does not need to learn from the great Idol experience. That is sad. She could be so much better than she is.

    • kai says:

      Can’t stand Haley! I don’t get. Yes, she doesn’t sing off key, but she has no soul, can’t dance, is awkward on stage, and doesn’t know who she is. Can’t believe she is one of two girls still here. i hope she goes home soon.

  2. Tereza says:

    lol, no love for Jacob ;d
    I’ve pretty much lost interest in the show at this point, but will stick around for Haley… and I’m curious to see which songs they’ll pick for Movie night. I don’t really want/need to watch most of them perform tbh :)

    • Joe says:

      I really like good Jacob (House Is Not a Home, You’re All I need to Get By, God Bless the Child) but I’m having a hard time with bad Jacob. That said, he’s still better than Stefano who seems to have the musical IQ of a guy locked in solitary confinement with no radio. That said, that list of 8 minus Pia really does nothing for me now.

    • djm says:

      I agree – they need a “None of the Above” button for this survey.

  3. Erin says:

    Once again, what the hell is wrong with you people?

    Haley far from the most talented singer in this competition. Her growls and warbles are headache inducing.

    I don’t understand how she keeps leading these polls.

    This season is ridiculously wrong.

    • jen says:

      Thank you. I was sick to my stomach listening to her Janis Joplin song.

      • Brittany says:

        I didn’t like that performance at all, too, but I loved and still love her Bennie and the Jets. I haven’t written her off, but if she doesn’t start performing like that again she’ll just be a one hit wonder (for me).

    • jessiesk says:

      well you are probably a country fan or brain dead. Haley is the only reason to watch this show.

      • Erin says:

        @jessiesk, No to both, actually. People like you are the reason Lee DeWyze won last year

        (SERIOUSLY – LEE DEWYZE WON LAST YEAR?? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY?

        @Brittany, her Benny & The Jets was nothing but growls and groans, and only helped solidify my hatred for her.

        • funkycoldmedina says:

          @Erin Hatred??? Seriously?? That’s a pretty stong emotion for someone you DON’T KNOW. Wow, that’s just so WRONG. I suggest you seek counseling and very strong meds.

          • Kim says:

            Oh, get over yourself, Medina. That girl can hate whoever she wants, and I agree with her COMPLETELY

    • stevenjaba says:

      Amen on Haley.

    • SpyKi says:

      I’d say she’s the most talented singer left. She’s leading the polls because she’s the only one who’s consistently great every week.

    • Roni says:

      Thank you Erin,I so agree!! Haley shouldn’t even have made the top 12 let alone still be there. She growls and tries to act sexy (“act” being the key word), she is just awful & I don’t get why people like her. Oh well, the 13 year old girls voting 1,000 times each probably won’t keep her around much longer.

    • mc says:

      She leads in the polls because these people are lemmings who follow what Slezak says. Funny, but something tells me that in past years he would not have been on the Pia bandwagon. He never seemed to like sleepy performers in the past

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      One thing I’ve learned in life – it’s never good when someone calls you, “You people”, LOL!

      Well,I’m sorry folks, but I like that growly sound. I like Haley!

      I always liked Wynonna Judd’s growly voice on certain songs as well.

      I guess it’s a personal preference. I find her entertaining, interesting, and I like the way she sings.

    • kai says:

      Thank you! A voice of reason! Her Janis Joplin performance was pathetic and I can’t believe Slezac gave her a pass on that one. I don’t know what he’s smoking! Just because she says Hard core bangage doesn’t make her a great singer. Even Bennie and the Jets. Her slinking off the piano and subsequent dancing was laughable. There is no sex appeal there, except a fake put on “sexiness” that is so hollow!

  4. Wendy says:

    I want Jacob gone!!!!! He hurts my ears!

  5. Irie says:

    Casey is my favorite. His performances during Hollywood week were memorable and awesome enough that they kept me on his bandwagon all throughout the competition so far, even though I’ve been disappointed in him these past few weeks. I’m holding onto the hope that he’ll drop the attitude and antics and go back to the amazing jazzy singer I fell head over heels for before all the praises and platitudes got to his head.

    • Lunakit says:

      Irie — ITA. Those are my exact sentiments towards Casey. I am still pulling for him as well.
      I am concerned that the reason why his Hollywood songs were that polished and resonant is because they were well worn songs for him. He needs time to develop a performance and let it age like a fine wine and the Idol grape crush format does not suit him.
      That bodes well for a future album, though!

      • wendeeloo says:

        I agree with both of you. I think people forget that Casey is only 19 and needs some guidance; and maybe some years to develop. But his Hollywood auditions were the best of anyone’s so, for me, his potential is huge. If the judges would give him specific and worthwhile help -

        • dctoronto says:

          Good comments. I agree that he needs to some guidance to figure out what kind of singer/artist he is. I just don’t know who that would be. I don’t think it should come from the judges because they will just be inconsistent. I don’t get the impression though that he has anybody from his pre idol life (vocal Get out of the shot Mrs Alaina), music teachers, etc helping him out.

  6. Jackie says:

    I am rooting for Scotty!

  7. Michael says:

    Scotty is the most marketable singer left in the competition. He needs to stop holding the mic our our left like he always does when it’s not on a stand, and maybe being just “Scott” would make him more adult; not 8. He should wear a stetson too, become a real country star!

    • Brittany says:

      Agreed! It looks like he is playing the flute!

    • sue says:

      scotty you are a star.you can sing.just fowlow you heart because god knows where you are going.you have the voice of a strong country singing,and we need you so fowlow you dreams always in are heart .

  8. darclyte says:

    I just don’t get the love for Haley from Slezak, Jason (the Idoloonies editor,) and some people on here. She just isn’t that good. I do like her personality and she seems fun and a bit kooky, but last week was a mess. Listen to it again. Not only did she growl constantly, but her whole tone throughout seemed very gruff and full of gravel. It was harsh, and not pleasant. She performs like she’s a drunken karaoke singer, and at times seems like she’s not taking it seriously…like she just thinks she’ll end up in the bottom regardless.

    Haley pretty much has no chance of winning. She’s neither the best vocalist left, nor the best performer left. She was in the Bottom twice, and nobody wins having been in the Bottom twice. Fantasia is the ONLY winner to have EVER been in the bottom at all.

    While I had hoped for a woman to win this season, I can’t see Haley winning, and Widdle Wauren CLEARLY isn’t ready. She can’t even remained focused on the stage, and she almost always sings age inappropriate songs. Lauren should have waited until she was 18 and had more life and singing experience. If Haley were to win, she’d be the worst winner ever in my opinion, and with Taylor and Lee that’s saying something.

    I still think Scotty will win this barring a spectacular fall. I’ve been saying for years that Idol would LOVE a male country singer to win as country artists have lifetime careers and if they can make him country/pop (which Scotty didn’t exactly seem ready for until last week) they can sell TONS of albums and singles. Right now he probably has the best shot of winning. Had Stefano been able to maintain the way he sang in the Wild Card slot and the next week or so, he’d still be “in it to win it,” but ever since “Hello” he’s pretty much fallen away.

    I’d currently rank their chances of winning this way:
    Scotty
    James
    Casey
    Lauren
    Paul
    Haley
    Jacob
    Stefano

    • Leila says:

      I agree with you power list, it’s more realistic and less biased than Slezak’s.

      • Robin says:

        I have been saying for weeks that Scotty is going to win this thing. He is the most marketable by far. Country is not my first choice on the radio or on my Ipod, I must say that I am sick of some of this pop music that is being played lately. Country music has cranking out some good singers and groups ..Lady A, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Thompson Square. Can’t wait to hear Jason and Kelly tomorrow night!

        • GSOgymrat says:

          Honestly I am not thrilled by any remaining contestant at this point and I am hoping someone will blow my socks off in coming weeks. They are all good. I would have to say Scotty is my pick at this point. Casey and Haley have potential but they need to pull it together: both need to lay off the growling and get a refine their styles. I think Lauren has a lot of good qualities but needs more experience and confidence. I like James but he needs to convince me he is not Lambert lite. Paul, Stephano and Jacob are vocally inconsistent and sing in styles that do not appeal to me. Anyone could change my mind in coming weeks though.

    • jessiesk says:

      scotty number 1? give me a break, this is a pop music show not country.

      • Templar says:

        Wrong! This is American Idol. Nothing is more American than country music.

      • chistosa says:

        Where in the by laws is it written that this is a pop music show? The fact that they have theme nights speaks to that fact. Otherwise they would sing pop music every week. You obviously are not a country fan. Neither am I. But I do believe that Scotty is the most marketable contestant left. Country is big in America and this is American Idol, the idol is determined by the voting public and they can vote for country, rock, pop, or jazz.

      • darclyte says:

        Riiiight.
        And where did Carrie Underwood come from? What type of music does she sing?
        What about Josh Gracin, who has had a very successful albeit much less hyped career? He’s a prime example of how country music artists can have lifelong careers. He developed enough fans after his season to be able to perform shows all over the country. I would imagine that he’ll be one of those country singers who is part of “old timer” package tours when he’s in his 60s. There are plenty of such tours right now featuring people who had less careers than Josh back in their day, but still draw out the fans to their shows.

        Idol has had several theme nights involving country and country stars such as Dolly Parton night and Shania Twain night.
        This isn’t “Pop Idol,” it’s “American Idol.”
        BTW, I don’t like country and I’m not a country music fan, but I am a fan of any type of music that is done well from bluegrass and country to R&B and speed metal.

      • dp says:

        I have to disagree, out of all the winners, the only pop singers are Kelly(who falls into other genres as well), Jordin (+R&B)and Kris.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        don’t tell Carrie Underwood that, jessiesk!

  9. Georgia says:

    I love Casey but I miss his attitude. I want him to bring back some of the growl and the effortless musicality and making the song into a unique Casey performance like in the semi finals. I Put a Spell on You. I swooned. He’s been playing it too safe since the save… understandably. But now it’s time to bring the fire.

    • Georgia says:

      I’ve liked Casey since the beginning, and a notable performance for me was the “Band On The Run” quartet. It was obvious that Casey was having a great time while the other guys had that “WTF am I doing singing this stupid song” look on their faces.

  10. Anyd says:

    This will suck without Pia. I wish that the judges would have stopped the show last week and changed their save. Booted Casey off the show and kept Pia. Horrible move America. Horrible judging Randy/Steve/J from the Block.

    Going to be tough to watch!!

  11. Jake says:

    I’m so depressed that Pia is gone I’m not sure I can watch with any enthusiasm, but my two favorites left are Casey and Haley. I don’t think either will win – does any woman really have a shot? – but I’m hoping both can at least survive to the Top 3. Unfortunately it looks like Scotty is a heavy favorite at this point. I don’t dislike him, but I’m just not a fan of country music in general and especially his brand of country. He’s good though, no question.

  12. Jason S. says:

    Love that Haley has gone from dead girl walking to top of the poll!!! I still say her “blue” was underrated and she has been my favorite since then!!! Wouldn’t it be great if Casey and Galeyxwho are now a couple were in the finale!!!!

  13. AMO says:

    I just want a girl to win, which I highly doubt. I’m rooting for Lauren now, since Pia got voted off. I won’t be watching it from now on probably, but please don’t let another guy win

  14. Lizbeth says:

    Michael–why is Haley given the OK for growling, but Casey gets called out for it. Haley growls a lot more than Casey ever did–LOL But, I like both of them so I don’t care if they growl or not. I have seen you tubes of both of them from high school–and there was no growling going on–LOL Casey made a video of himself playing like 6 different instruments and singing and then mixed it together in a one man band kind of thing. Very cool. He is talented for sure.Haley was singing a standard with her school’s jazz orchestra and it was very good.

    I would not underestimate the power of the southern and country music vote. I think it will be a Lauren/Scotty finale and I believe TPTB will push for it. It will prove that bringing in younger contestants was a smart thing–and the country market is a little more receptive to the idol crew. I also wouldn’t doubt that there will be a duet single from the two of them.

    Scotty
    Lauren
    Casey
    James
    Haley
    Paul
    Stefano
    Jacob

    • SpyKi says:

      Haley does it in a way that works with the music and has melody behind it. Casey does it just because he can’t sing the parts properly and he does growl a lot more than her, Piece of my Heart was by far her most growly performance and I’m guessing that was because it was rock week and she wanted to put a little more edge on it.

    • Yo says:

      How odd, just last week or so I as wondering why Haley’s growl was addressed and Casey’s was not.

  15. denise says:

    My 6-year old is a HUGE Elvis fan, thanks to her Pap….she was watching with me last week and wanted to know “why is that boy making fun of Elvis”…..

    Haley is my favorite….i’m so glad she’s pulled things together…would love to see her sing some Jewel, Joan Osborne, Joss Stone….. and agreed on the dance moves…maybe try a stand still and sing…lose bandzilla….be confident!

  16. LadyBug979 says:

    @Erin I agree 100%!!!

  17. LadyBug979 says:

    @Erin, I agree 100% I don’t get why Haley is leading this board either.

  18. KBC says:

    MEH. I miss Pia in this list….

  19. Mimi says:

    This is a hard choice. Lauren is coasting off of a reputation that was built up by the producers and judges, and not one that’s built on previous performances. Jacob is good, and improving, but the attitude needs to change. Durbin has shown that he’s not as good as he thinks he is. Scotty is good, but still has a lot of room for growth. They are all good, but there really aren’t any frontrunners. It’s nice that they are all good, but someone really needs to stand up, and separate from the rest of the pack.

  20. Wally says:

    Scott McCreery CANNOT sing. No range, no projection, no real voice other than that impression Elvis baritone he cops when he’s in a pinch. He slides by because of the judges’ collective inability to critically evaluate country music and they’ve instead succumbed and even bolstered his ah-shucks-who-me Elvis Presley / George W. Bush impression. Nashville Star (in its first 4 seasons) turned out far better country singer contestants. Listen to Chris Young belt out a tune from NS season 4 then try to listen to McCreery. “Chris Young – Dust on The Bottle” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XM2bOvMfZg

    • Templar says:

      BS! Nashville Star had Buddy Jewel as its’ 1st winner. Miranda Lambert didn’t win. Where’s B.Jewel now? Then there was Erica Jo. Who? Yes Chris Young is good. He’s also 10 years older than Scotty. Get real.

    • Daniel says:

      Thank you!!! I cannot stand all the Scotty love. It boggles my mind how many people like him. He is far from a great country singer! Sadly I feel he has a good chance of winning this season.

      • Amy says:

        (I don’t know why my “reply” posts don’t seem to ever post beneath the original, but at the end of the thread?)…but this is in response to Wally and all the others that aren’t on the Scotty bandwagon. (not saying he won’t still pull off a win, since many others disagree.) And I never watched Nashville Star, so I’m not speaking to that. But I have been a longtime country fan, old and new, and I almost wonder if many people who like Scotty (not all) may not be…so they’re kinda buying his “imitation” of a country singer. I’ve said on another thread last week…besides his lack of dimension, kind of “one-note” quality both in singing and personality, presence…his country twang baritone has been done MUCH better by the likes of the great Randy Travis, and then Josh Turner… without all the stiff posturing. I personally don’t even find his aw-shucks, Howdy Doody look appealing. All that said…the IS my personal feeling on it…not saying Idol might not be able to market him…mainstream/country crossover pop….mayyyybe some spin.
        But diehard country fans…have better to choose from when buying music.

        now about the others…..another post…

  21. Jeff says:

    Love the use of the Buffy musical throughout the show, Michael!

  22. Marta says:

    The producer’s not editing Jacob’s interview in hopes of putting him in the best like possible made certain to me that they want him gone. It shall be interesting to see if they give him a “redemption” angle at all this week. If they don’t…he’s totally toast.

  23. Dalla says:

    I like Casey the best because I find him to be a superior musician, however, I would love to see him surrounded by some other great musicians that he could learn from. I know he won’t win, because the AI audience is controlled by teeny-boppers and idiots who want to vote for the worst, etc. However, I believe he will have a good career if he meets some of the musical greats who will mentor him. He has talent dripping out of him and I hope he finds an outlet for it. Other than that, I don’t really care about any of the other candidates. Maybe Haley a little bit. I was a Pia person, but I have spent most of my time voting for Casey just to give him some time to grow through the experience of being on this show. But then what do I know, I was a Melinda Doolittle lover. I always wanted her to become a jazz singer — but she’s never been guided that way, so too bad. I don’t know why everyone keeps saying that this year has so much great talent in it. Granted it’s far superior to last year, with the exception of Crystal Bowersox, but I don’t think this year is all that great, either. I betcha Simon’s XFactor is going to bounce AI into the background. The judges this year are too sweet and their critiques are not on point. Enough said.

  24. Merrilyn says:

    I can hardly believe it, but I just voted for Haley. I was NOT a fan of hers at the beginning of the season, but she has really won me over, both with her personality and her last few performances. She seems to be a bit of a diamond in the rough, but with the right polishing, she has the raw material to be all sorts of amazing.

    Jacob better be gone this week or I will wonder if America has lost its collective marbles. My bottom three are: Jacob, Stefano, and maybe Casey. My top three are Haley, Scotty and Lauren (although I am not a country music fan at all, I think they will do well).

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Me too, Merrilyn. I did not like Haley in Hollywood week and was angry that the voters put her through. But she won me over with “Blue” and I’ve liked her ever since. I can’t ever recall a time when I totally disliked a contestant, only to do a complete 180 and change my mind!

  25. Amie says:

    Honestly, talent wise, I think that this is how the ranking should play out. As much as I don’t want Scotty to win, I think that with the whole Pia thing that I need to stop looking at personality and start looking at talent. Jacob and Stefano need to go, and I don’t think any of the contestants like Casey or Paul(who I LOVE) are going to have a kind of moment that could get them into the top three.
    All I want now is Lauren and Haley to do well because we could really use a girl in the the top three.

    Ok AI….now prove me wrong.

  26. Pam says:

    Still devastated by Pia’s departure, but I’m completely behind the two remaining girls. Go Haley and Lauren!!!

    • dp says:

      same here, although I’ll give the edge to Lauren as her voice is more versatile and stronger overall. (h’s growls do get annoying after a while). if it was a personality competition, haley would win hands down though…

  27. Austin says:

    I used to think Slezak’s ratings actually related to how things would turn out in the end. Then Pia went home, and I realized trying to rank the contestants is totally worthless.

  28. CarolLeslie says:

    First to the judges: puhleeze figure out how to give honest, supportive, constructive criticism before it’s too late. Oh wait, maybe it already is too late . . . just give it a try anyway, OK?
    Second: I would love to see a girl win Idol again in my lifetime. During season 9 I power texted for my favorite, Siobhan until she self destructed, then stopped voting altogether. Trouble is this year none of the girls did much for me from day one. Pia was clearly the best, but I could never imagine hearing her on top 40 radio next year.
    Third: So where does that leave me? I’ve always been a rock fan first and foremost, so I guess I’m pulling for James. That’s who I’ve thrown the most votes to so far. But I’m still not sure I’d buy his record. Maybe, but not sure.

  29. Cara says:

    This is just a weird season. Except for Ashthon and Karen, the top-13 lacked any obvious weak singers — each of the top 11 was really good and really marketable in *some* way. (Naima in poise, looks, and dance was remarkable, and her vocals were as good as Rihanna’s; Thia was gorgeous, and could have been trained.) However, not one of them has stood as as so good, so consistent, and so professional that he or she has seemed worthy of winning from the start, the way Ruben and Clay, Fantasia, David Cook, and Crystal Bowersox were. Every member of the top 11 is really good and could make it as a pro, but none of them lack some serious reason why they can’t win. Weird season!

  30. mp says:

    I think Paul McDonald dances about as well as Elaine Benes (Seinfeld, for those of you under 20).

  31. Teena says:

    There is no one that I absolutely love like I have in previous seasons. Out of who is left, I like some better than others. I am disappointed in Casey, though. I wish he would step up to the plate and knock it out of the park with the vocal, the artistry and the showmanship. I am so tired of the wrinkled clothes, the red beard with the brown hair and the “tell me that I am sexy” crap. I am not asking for a tux, but show up and act like you care!

  32. csense says:

    don’t understand the love for haley. she cannot follow a single song’s melody nor hold notes. she has serious problems with enunciation. her “growl” is grating, particularly with the frequency of its use. i cannot imagine a whole cd of a drunken, slurring, growling interpretation of every song.

    i dislike her even more after she was too busy posing for the camera during pia’s entire, traumatic exit. doesn’t seem to be too much love lost there, especially from haley’s side. like many women in america, i’m sure she was jealous of pia and the attention pia got.

    • Alyson says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for calling out Haley on her reaction to Pia’s dismissal. Although I never much cared for her voice and sex kitten antics, I was really taken aback by her grinning and giggling while everyone else looked sad and shocked. When the other contestants surrounded Pia at the end of the show, she stood outside the circle and just looked around. I guess she was thanking her lucky stars…

      • dkw says:

        From EOnline’s in-studio recap: “Haley Reinhardt wiped away tears and prompted the audience to cheer for Pia.”

        It that sympathetic enough for you? I saw a shocked expression that might be interpreted as a smile in a one-second shot, but I certainly don’t remember any giggling.

        I guess people see what they want to see.

  33. Cy says:

    Can I vote for “none of the above?” =__= I’m still mad about Pia’s untimely ouster. Seriously, who else out of these clowns could’ve been a viable (non-country) radio hit? Idol needs to change their voting system or America is going to keep crowning irrelevant (but sweet and sympathetic, I’m sure) singers who’ll go the way of Lee Dewyze on the charts.

  34. karen Anderson says:

    Go Haley!!!

  35. passerby says:

    IMO, haley reinhart is the best!

  36. Davey says:

    I voted for Paul and he is far from being the winner. I don’t think we’re hearing his full voice. But I honestly can’t vote for anyone else. Out of the candidates left I only dislike Jacob.

    I would love a woman to be in the top three but honestly I don’t care for Lauren or Haley. Casey has lost his charm quickly for me. Stefano should have been gone already, and shouldn’t even have been a wild card pick. There’s nothing much bad about Scotty but I would never listen to more than a song from him, certainly not a concert of just him. James has a lot of spark but he seems so immature.

  37. Jason says:

    I’d love to see haley win this.

  38. Creeper says:

    HALEY REINHART IS MY IDOL!

  39. LadyBug979 says:

    @csense I’m glad I’m not the only who has noticed Haley’s dog eat dog behaviour! And is irritated by her growling. I think the growlers will not go much further this year. While their busy growling the rest will slip on ahead of them.

  40. SpyKi says:

    I love all of the people that have changed their minds about Haley and are now supporting her. THANK YOU!

  41. Mandy says:

    I’m still hoping Stefano makes a huge comeback. There’s really no one else I can muster up much excitement for.

  42. PatD says:

    Looks like the Reinhart family is out in droves… and bots.

  43. PatD says:

    Looks like the Reinhart family is out in droves.

  44. Joe says:

    I was not suprised to see Pia in the bottom three, although I was suprised to see her at the very bottom. I did not vote for her for
    most of the reasons that people gave for not liking her. I have v oted for Lauren and I do hope she gets into the top three. I am not
    a big country fan, but I have been voting for Scotty. I have also
    voted for James. My first choice to go is Jacob. Casey should not
    have been saved. At the time I did feel that there would be regret
    about that. Pia would have been saved if the save was still available. Crystal should have won last year. Lee performed poorly
    in the finale and still won. I was bummed out when Melinda lost.
    Many of the voters that year made ugly comments about her looks.
    For those who liked her she made an excellent album.

  45. Jen says:

    I love how 3 weeks ago, Haley would never have led the Idol leaderboard, and now she’s leading by more than 10% over Scotty. She’s definitley my favorite!

  46. Chris says:

    I don’t think that Pia should have gone home but I really don’t think it’s fair to blame the judges or Nigel. While I agree the judges aren’t doing their job, I don’t see how that’s unfair to Pia. If all singers are getting overpraised, then that puts the audience in charge. Pia may have appeared too polished to be appealing. It didn’t help that she didn’t follow the judges advice, either. Her song choices and her fashion choices were too pageanty. I do think the judges are to blame for using their save too soon. Casey really hadn’t done anything to deserve saving after making it to the top 13. I feel like a victim of bait and switch. Where’s the jazz singer that I thought would add variety to the show? My biggest fear now is that Scotty will win. I find him very corny and am disappointed that he never tries to stretch as an artist. Carrie was a country singer who dared to sing Heart, Janis Joplin, and Pat Benatar and really rocked the house doing it. I’m officially rooting for anyone now who isn’t Scotty.

  47. Tahoe Mike says:

    Team Haley!! What some call a growl in her voice, I call character. I hope she keeps bringing it. As for last week, she was singing Piece Of My Heart for god’s sake; it is supposed to be a wail.

    Scotty does have some growing up to do, but he will. That kid is 17. When he is 30 you will all be saying I remember when. The talent is there.

    It’s the same story for Lauren. She has a great voice and style that she will only continue to grow into. Something about her lets her get away with singing more mature songs. She is able to pull off something like Natural Woman in a way that Thia, and probably even Pia never could have. Again, when she is 25 or 30 she will be a powerhouse.

    James and Casey also have real talent, and will get better as they grow.

    Paul thinks he knows it all, and I don’t see him growing much. He is what he is; and I can do without it.

    My thoughts on Stefanjaya, and He Who Must Be Gone are well documented.

  48. jules says:

    I think it SHOULD end up like this:
    1. Casey (I think he was cruising to a win till they tossed him into the “exit” slot knowing the judges would save him. But I don’t believe he was ever the lowest vote-getter — they just did that to tarnish him in voters’ minds as a loser.)
    2. Haley (should’ve been Naima, but Haley is growing on me)
    3. Stefano
    4. Paul
    5. Scotty
    6. James
    7. Lauren
    8. Jacob

    But it WILL end up like this:
    1. Lauren
    2. Scotty
    3. Haley
    4. James (shocking 4th place boot)
    5. Jacob
    6. Casey
    7. Paul
    8. Stefano

    I think they are gearing up for a Lauren win, using the Jordin Sparks playbook, where she doesn’t seem pimped too much in the first few weeks until they get rid of some of the competition and then take off the gloves. Watch for “Lauren is in it to win it!” and “Lauren throws down!” and “We have a new contender for the throne!” as the weeks go by and the pesky guys are winnowed down one at a time, leaving The Battle of the Country Kids, with Haley the wacky 3rd place finisher nobody saw coming a la Syesha.

    • Georgia says:

      I tend to agree. I can hardly tolerate Jacob’s style and performances, but he’ll probably hang in there awhile longer. I’m leaning toward Haley, but while her live performances are a lot of fun, her studio recordings swayed me in her favor. I’m still waiting for a “moment” for Casey, because I think he has the potential to be a really cool recording artist if he can stick around. I try not to compare these contestants to those of past seasons, but I do compare the level of excitement to David Cook’s Billie Jean, Kris Allen’s Heartless, and Adam Lambert’s Mad World. For just a few minutes, I want to be mesmerized.

      • Georgia says:

        I should have mentioned a few more mesmerizing performances of past seasons. I’m sure that I’m overlooking some show stoppers, but these should be required listening/viewing for AI contestants: Bo Bice’s In a Dream, Fantasia’s Summertime, and What Are You Doing For The Rest of Your Life? Crystal – almost every performance. There have been so many stunning moments. I didn’t watch regularly in the early seasons, so won’t go there.

  49. Gail says:

    Haley has the most votes??? A big WTF. Obviously, a deliberate attempty by vote-for-the-worst and that ilk to undermine the real talent. Okay, divine intervention, get rid of the goldie locks girl who can growl but has no talent otherwise. Thank you.

  50. Cindy says:

    Michael, I predict the last two ladies standing will bring it on tonight. In the words of Bette Davis “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XypVcv77WBU

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