Idol Leaderboard: Vote to Rank the Top 7!

The American Idol Top 7 will take the stage tonight as they try to take another step on their “journey” to the season 10 finale. Check out my ranking of the remaining singers, 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 commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

7. Jacob Lusk (Last Week No. 8 ) | The judges keep giving him over-the-top praise, but last week’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” while more restrained than his usual 1-800-TOO-MUCH style, had all kinds of pitch problems. Lack of Top 8 bottom-three placement may lull his fanbase into a false sense of security on Wednesday night.

6. Stefano Langone (Last Week No. 7) | Wide-eyed kitten of a contestant has to be on or near his ninth life in the competition. “End of the Road” was passionate, but portions of the vocal bordered on aneurysm-inducing. Needs a radical shakeup in tone and tempo to make voters take a second look. That fetching white fedora he rocked in his interview package last week wouldn’t hurt, for starters.

5. Lauren Alaina (Last Week No. 3) | She’s talented and consistent, but “The Climb” represented yet another vocal that fell just below a true “Idol Moment.” She’s a single Jordin Sparks-style “I Who Have Nothing” away from putting herself at or near the top of the pack, but with only six weeks to go till the Nokia, the time has come to step up her game — creatively and emotionally.

4. Casey Abrams (Last Week No. 6) | Just said no to Jimmy Iovine, choosing jazzy “Nature Boy” over a questionable Phil Collins track, and the risk paid off with a buzzed-about performance. Followup with results-night “Moanin'” only upped his cool factor. Now if he could just dial back on the Growly McAngryface face-pulling antics.

3. James Durbin (Last Week No. 5) | 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. “Heavy Metal” cover on Movie Night was a much stronger vocal than he delivered on “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Continued forward momentum could have him peaking at just the right time for the finale.

2. Haley Reinhart (Last Week No. 2) | Momentum gained from joyously soulful (albeit slightly unpolished) performances of “Bennie and the Jets” and “Piece of My Heart” hit a giant brick wall with an awkward, weirdly sung “Call Me” on Movie Night. But her results-night duet of “Moanin'” (with Casey) was a true Idol Moment, and one of the two or three best vocals of the entire season. Bottom Three placing shows her fanbase isn’t yet solidified, but another flawless bluesy effort this week could turn her from plucky underdog to legitimate front-runner.

1. Scotty McCreery (Last Week No. 1) | You can eye-roll at the fact that his Movie Night song selection process involved little more than looking for a film with the word “Country” in the title, or you can marvel at the way he consistently delivers a solid performance that appeals to his core country fans. My inner cynic wants him to stretch his wings — maybe take a well-loved pop hit and show he has the creativity to countrify it — but the Idol strategist in me knows he’s probably locked up a Top 2 placing either way.

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 7. Ready, set, prognosticate!

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63 Comments
  1. lauren says:

    Lauren Alaina as number 5? You’re bugging.

    • Aubry says:

      Outside Lauren’s fanbase that is the consensus. I 100% concur with Michael. Good voice but meh performances. Bratty personality and she does not look or dress like a star.

      • luke2 says:

        Plus I don’t see any real passion or fire in the belly – At her age she doesn’t GET what she is supposed to do and is not developed enough personality-wise – hello, Mom! – to be able to deliver on a national tv show.

    • tarc says:

      Slezak – Seriously, that Andy guy? Wow, don’t use him again. Could you possibly get any more off-base?

    • hardlike brillo says:

      I was so mad when Stefano got voted off… So I went online and looked for an automatic American Idol voting system and I found one that can get in 20 votes every 5 minutes. It’s insane!

      If you guys want to check it out, here’s the link:

      http://autoamericanidolvoting.blogspot.com/

  2. Aubry says:

    wow who would have guess that Haley is proving to be the little engine that could.

    You Go Girl. IMO You are the only one who is current and has star potential.

    • nancylynne says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more…Haley is the total package, and she’s not your usual “cookie cutter” singer/performer. She is original, unique and amazing! I absolutely love her and would buy her music!

    • Lee says:

      @Aubry: I’m with you. Right now, my two favorites are Haley and Casey–probably because they never do the same thing over again. Those are the two I would like to see in the finale. It’ll be funny because the more the producers and judges push mediocrity onto the public, the more we want originality.

  3. Idolme922 says:

    CASEY!! So, far in the lead. He is a true musician. Musically trained, plays several instruments, he understands music as his second language. His bluesy performances are just the best. They show his exceptional range of talent. I think the top two in the final will be Casey and Scotty and Scotty will likely win because the south picks the Idol winners (7 of the last 9 seasons, southern contestants)

  4. Henrique Mendes says:

    Haley is making this season exciting for me!
    I think she could sing a Norah Jones song tonight and really blow everybody away.

    And she still hasn’t received much credit for being the most versatile of the pack. She has done R&B Country, soul, rock and Jazz

    • haleys comet says:

      Haley is a singer’s singer. Like The Original Idol (TM) Kelly Clarkson, she can sing any genre w/o needing to “flip it” to her genre, yet she still “makes it her own” with her unique vocal timber & vocal stylings.

      Haley singing Norah, seated on a stool, accompanied by just a piano or acoustic guitar – that would be an Idol Moment (TM).

  5. loosie goosie says:

    I think Slezak is letting is bias get in the way. Despite lukewarm performances for scotty and lauren last week they should still be 1-2-3 in the power list with James. Unfortunately, going by performance night vocals Haley is 6, Stefano should be last because he’s always in the bottom 3 and I think Jacob has more of an audience than Slezak would like to believe so I’ll pout him 5. Casey stays at 4 becaus ehe really hasn’t broken from the middle of the pack despite the cool jazz performance.

    7. Stefano
    6. Haley
    5. Jacob
    4. Casey
    3. Lauren
    2. James
    1. Scotty

  6. The Wheeze says:

    Haley at 2? Granted her duet with Casey was awesome, and one of the best performances of the year, but and that is a BIG but her performance the night before was not so good. I will hold my offical jumping on her band wagon until after tonight performance. Let’s hope she can be consistant.

  7. blah blah says:

    After the disaster that was ‘Call Me’ last week, how is Haley #2, when Lauren sounded great and is #5?? Haley’s continuous growling annoys me even more each week, I hope she gets eliminated soon.

  8. lauren says:

    Also we have to take into account that today is 4/20 so Haley and Casey’s performances might suffer.

    (KIDDING. Maybe.)

  9. Believe All good things start with Haley says:

    Based on reports: Expect blues/jazzy tonight with minimal to no growls. Better as a punctuation mark than a sentence for her anyway.

  10. D says:

    Fingers seriously crossed for Haley to break out ‘Rockferry’ or ‘Back to Black’ tonight. Idol. Moment.

  11. RTW says:

    When Haley was singing, “Lord I pray, really and truly pray to find some relief…” I hope she was singing about Jacob going home.

  12. Haley's Comet says:

    HALEEEEEEY! HALEEEEEY! HALEEEEEEY! She’s an underdog with a whole heep of talent. I have been saying for two weeks now that she has the best recordings out all the contestants on itunes. Haley just seems to get nervous on performance nights. If she can shake her nerves she WILL be a force to be reckoned with.

  13. Stacey says:

    Um… Haley was in the bottom 3 last week. How is she in second place on your list. Her momentum was clearly weak given at the first chance, she was voted in the bottom. She might stick it out because she and Lauren have the positive of being two females against five men. But she could be on borrowed time. She did well on the results show but that is the results show, and not everyone liked the jazzy side she displayed. She’ll have to do a lot better tonight.

    Lauren has yet to be in the bottom 3. So she should be in the top 3 at least. Just because she hasn’t had a “moment”, she has done great and bucked the girl hatred so far trend. But we’ll see what she does tonight. I hope she does something uptempo.

    • wendeeloo says:

      “Not everyone liked the jazzy side she displayed” Where are you getting that from?! You are literally the first person to say anything like that – And I read (too) many of these postings so I’d have seen the negative.

  14. Tahoe Mike says:

    I can’t really guess at “Power” rankings because it is impossible to really estimate their respective fan bases. I ranked them in order of who I am most interested in seeing what they do this week.

    7. Stefanjaya
    6. Jacob
    5. Scotty
    4. Casey
    3. James
    2. Lauren
    1. Haley

    BTW. Michael you keep referring to Stefanjaya’s hat as a Fedora, I think it’s more of a Panama, or a porkpie.
    I think that “Nuts Of Wonder” would make a great name for Scotty’s first album.

    • Cat says:

      “Stehanjaya”! Ha! He’d have to have a true “Bathwater” crapfest to cash in on that title, though. At least he can sing on pitch.

  15. Tucker says:

    Wow. This love for Haley is just ridiculous to me. I just don’t see it. She’s cute and she’s not untalented, but she’s needs significant vocal training and I find it sad that she’s expected to used that pseudo-bluesy growl to register every week.
    My own personal leaderboard:
    7. Haley
    6. Jacob (“1-800-TOO-MUCH style” – Love it!)
    5. Scotty
    4. Stefano
    3. Lauren
    2. Casey
    1. James
    As I’ve said before, I think Scotty could easily be out recording and touring and doing quite well. I just find his thing quite boring for this particular competition. There’s no variety and no particularly evident challenge for him. (Though his wedding-chapel-esque Elvis number was a bit of a challenge to taste.) I find it sad that so many people keep giving him a pass each week when far more adventurous performers like James and Casey don’t get more notice for what they are doing.

  16. AJ says:

    who is voting for Jacob? why? deaf, depressed, or wanting to suffer??? that guy makes me want to cut my ears off. arrogant drama queen

  17. Hmmm... says:

    Getting her in ears set and ready to rehearse her song from the 2000’s, @HReinhartAI10 http://t.co/QnypPCc
    (photo on stool behind the judges table)

    Do you think she’s going to sit there the entire performance?

  18. Joseph says:

    I would ask what are you smoking with that ranking because it is way off.

    I think it is best to say that the field is divided into 3 packs right now.

    Back of the pack would be Stephano and Jacob , both would need to be so unlike who they are to pull ahead.
    Middle of the pack are Casey and James, these guys have each had good performances but neither has shown they have the goods to make it, with James it is his singing talent and with Casey is maturity.
    Leading the pack would be Scotty, Lauren and Haley,
    Scotty is consistent and safe and has showed growth when he stopped using that gimick low note at the end of a song,
    Lauren has talent, looks, energy but she has not convinced me that she has a story to be told,
    Haley has it all but she needs to get to telling her story and drop the gimicks, we saw this during the last result show but she has yet to do this on a vote night.

  19. GSOgymrat says:

    I also question Haley being so high. I still don’t really know who she is as a singer. Honestly I don’t think I have ever been so ambivalent at this stage of the season. They are all good but no one really stands out. I try to think of whose album I would want to buy and I can’t think of any of them.

  20. jrs says:

    Please non-Sunday-go-to-gospel-sing-praises-and-fire-and-brimstone Amercans, please, please, please, DO NOT vote for Jacob. That oaf with the hamburger mouth must go home. He simply must. As for the comment about Stefano (ugh) wearing that stupid hat…I said to myself 6 weeks ago that one of these episodes noneother than Stefano will show up with that kind of hat. Too predictable for boy-band lounge singer. Jacob this week, Stefano next.

  21. Sabrina says:

    You left out the famous option from Brewster’s Millions – NONE OF THE ABOVE…

  22. stevenjaba says:

    This season is weird in that I really don’t have a favorite. Previous years I felt very strongly. Sorry, Haley just hasn’t convinced me yet. The only performance I’ve enjoyed is Bennie and the Jets. I guess James is my favorite.

  23. Hawk I GUY says:

    The bad part or this season is any of these kids could have won this in any other season, with the exception of Clarkson/Underwood. I know this is a singing competition and I think everyone has lost sight of that a little bit. I just voted Casey as my favorite but I think Jacob far and away has the best voice. Jacob gets out there and just sings his heart out, We have all felt his emotion as he sings. Jacob may not survive to be an American Idol but as all that are left will have awesome careers if they want. I would also like to say while Randy is the last of the original judges, I really like Jennifer and Steven and I hope they all return next season.

  24. Phill says:

    james its a bad copy of adam lambert.
    scotty its boring and forgettable.

    lauren, haley and stefano F3.

  25. Scott says:

    I’m just not on the Haley bandwagon yet. I think she has promise (diamond in the rough), but is so inconsistent, I just cannot get behind her. Lauren may have been pushed too hard by Idol producers at the start of the season (not her fault), but has been far more consistent. That said, Lauren needs to get better too.

  26. Sophie K says:

    First of all: TEAM HALEY FOREVER.

    But let’s talk about Scotty McCreery. I had high hopes for him at the start of the competition, but he’s shown little to no desire to expand his range, which is troubling. That’s all fine, though, because 19 is going to laugh all the way to the bank with this kid, BUT. Will someone PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD teach him how to hold a microphone? It’s a small thing, easy to fix, but week after week it is a serious visual distraction. It’s not going to break if you hold it with more than your fingertips, Scotty!

  27. Chase says:

    7. Jacob is one of the worst this show has ever had in the top 12, much less top 7. But i’m sure he’s beloved at Ebenezer Baptist.
    6. Stefano – talent just not there
    5. James – if you sing metal, it’s probably because you can’t sing anything else, which is proven every time he doesn’t scream.
    4. Scotty – Scotty on the stage has about as much range as Steven Seagal on the big screen. Can’t put him higher due to that.
    3. Lauren Alaina – There are 50-100 Lauren Alaina’s on youtube.
    2. Haley – Underrated, but wouldn’t be in top 10 just 5 years ago.
    1. Casey – Cocky, and faces are horrible. But he’s the lesser of all of the other evils. Could’ve been really good if he’d sung a jazzy version of ‘In the Air Tonight’…that’s what a true ‘artist’ would do Randy!

  28. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    This is how I predict the rest of the season will play out. Either Stefano or Haley is going home this week, and whichever one survives this week will go home next week. Then either Casey or Jacob will go home, and whichever one doesn’t finish fifth will finish fourth. The Top Three will be Scotty, Lauren, and James, with Scotty as a lock for the finale. Not sure who will be joining him yet. What say you?

    • Laurel says:

      I tend to agree with you on the Final 3.
      However I don’t think Haley will be going home just yet.
      She will probably be in the Final 4.

  29. ErixN says:

    Stefano is still one of my favorites when it comes to the guys. Haley and Pia were my favorite girls, but since Pia is gone, I am now rooting for Haley overall. I just can’t get into James, Casey, Jacob, or Scotty. I keep going back and forth on Lauren.

  30. J. says:

    1. Casey 1. Haley (Having such different strengths, they cannot be compared. Both have great raw material, have seriously worked on their art, but both need to grow up and deepen, and let go of the gimmicky affectation crutch.)

    2. James (for knowing who he is and doing it right)

    3. Stefano (for being in possession of a good, on-pitch voice — that needs to be educated)

    4. Scotty (if the judges got him to push himself who knows how good he could be, right now, he’s seems content to be just “o.k.”)

    5. Lauren (Yawn. I wish the judges had made her wait a few years. As someone said, she has soul. But doesn’t yet know how to express it interestingly… too bad the judges haven’t helped.)

    6. Jacob (Horrible pitch articulation. He doesn’t do himself any favors with all that gospelly ignoring the notes that are written and trying to go for his own, then ending up sharp or flat. He gets himself in over his head every time. It would be a good exercise for him to have to sing a song straight, stick to the true melody, and see what he can do with THAT. A good singer doesn’t have to warp a song to sing it expressively.

  31. Jonathan says:

    My ranking of who I enjoy watching/listening to the most:
    1. Haley
    2. Casey
    3. James
    4. Scotty
    5. Lauren
    6. Jacob
    7. Stefano

    My ranking of how the voting bloc probably rates them:
    1. Scotty
    2. Lauren
    3. James
    4. Jacob
    5. Casey
    6. Haley
    7. Stefano

    Let’s hope I’m right and Stefano goes home tomorrow night! I’m really hoping doom does not befall Haley soon, because I think she’s about the best they’ve got right now.

  32. Maritess camiso says:

    James is number one no matter what…
    Go james….go james….james….the next american idol.

    • N says:

      Haley,the best, Give me a break! I agree with Maritess. James is the better singer and performer he’s the best. Simon Cowell would tell haley to quite singing kareoke! Haley, Have you ever thought of an exciting career in electronics?

  33. julie says:

    To hear some real Moanin’ go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmAKPHYJMwc for the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross version.
    While I enjoyed their up-tempo duet of this song last week, musically, Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhardt paid absolutely no mind to the lyrics in their delivery or phrasing. I think this is a sign of their immaturity, that they didn’t even try to get across what the song was about, with Haley’s sexy voguing and Casey’s put on “black cool”. They should learn to let themselves be who they are — well I guess they’re young and happy and that’s how they sang it.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I disagree with you entirely. I think Casey and Haley hit it out of the park. They really made it contemporary and fun. Loved every minute of it. I’ve listened to many versions of this song, and I really think these kids did it justice and actually created a definitive version for 21-century tastes. Casey did not have a put-on black cool, either. He showed a swagger that was appropriate for the song. Haley was just pure soul and very entertaining. Loved, loved, loved it….

  34. agrimesy says:

    Geez . . . I change my mind from week to week. Maybe that’s a good thing. Here are two lists: the way it WILL be column 1 and how I WANT it to be column 2
    ————————-
    Column 1
    7. Stefano (He won’t change it up or even get Paul’s votes.)
    6. Jacob (His fans will finally be outnumbered.)
    5. Casey (He’s bound to pull a doozie and alienate voters.)
    4. Haley (It’ll be one too many bad song choices.)
    3. James (Metal won’t pull votes of those gone.)
    2. Lauren (She can’t beat the grandma vote.)
    1. Scotty (He’s inevitably the fourth male to win.)
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Column 2
    7. James (He has the least musical talent.)
    6. Jacob (He needs to get far away from Idol to succeed.)
    5. Casey (He IS NOT brilliant or even close.)
    4. Scotty (He could be soooooo goooooood!)
    3. Lauren (She’s truly a victim of youth/immaturity.)
    2. Scotty (I will have to see him on my TV for years.)
    1. Haley (Musically, she has the most depth and ability.)

  35. Kim R says:

    Okay…I must confess…I’ve never watched the Idoloonies before. Totally enjoyable! Where have I been? Thanks MS!

  36. Georgia says:

    I’m so conflicted, and not in a fun and exciting way! I agree with you, Michael, on almost every comment. I don’t think that Paul ever expected to get this far, and probably was happy enough to go. I’m wondering the same thing about Casey, whom I’ve supported all along. I get the impression that his goal is to “educate” and get validation for his musical skill. I’m not sure that he expects to win. I can’t help wondering if he plans to be an orthopaedic surgeon who plays with a cool jazz band on weekends. That sort of moves me more into Haley’s corner, but I want to hear more stripped down arrangements and intimacy in her performances. As for the others, I’m almost equally repulsed by Jacob and Scotty, and indifferent to the others. I want my IDOL MOMENT! Where the heck is it this year?

  37. James says:

    Look we all know the top 3 (barring any Pia fiasco) will be Scotty – James and Lauren…

    But to take home the crown? Well thats anyones game…depends if there are more rockers watching idol or country lovers…personally I hate country so rock all the way!

  38. JayK says:

    I honestly do not have a favourite. This is the first season where I haven’t been fully behind a David/Adam/Crystal. I don’t really care who wins, which makes for a sucky season.

  39. Jason S says:

    Damn I wish the sample on this website represented the real frontrunner. Then Haley would be running away with the competition. I don’t understand why you keep obsessing on Casey’s face-pulling. You’re a weird obssesive dude Slezak. I also don’t understand why everyone is saying that Scott mcCreery is a favorite. He hasn’t had a breakout performance yet. Dependable but nowhere nead outstanding. I have a very strong feeling that he will have a surprise elimination in fourth or fifth place. My prediction is 7th Place Stefano, 6th Place JAcob 5th place Scotty 4th place James 3rd place Lauren 2nd Place Haley and First Place will be Casey.

  40. Em says:

    Haley performance was good but not great. Where was the fire?! That song needed some passion. Re-listen to the original. It is very obvious. John legend did a great edit (please check it out) with just vocal and piano. He brought power to it. But I do say kudos to the song choice. I just wanted her to hit it out of the ball park.

    James… yup just theatrics for me. Entertaining but vocally so-so. His lower register needs some major help. He is only comfortable when he goes to the high notes. I too, did not feel the passion compared to the original.

    Scotty. Judges were spot on. He had a whole list of great songs he could pick in the last few years, yet he went with something so safe. It is a good wake up call. He will do better next week.

    Lauren. I’m not a fan of country but she did a good job. I know she is holding back. I believe it is the nerves that are getting to her. She needs to take the judges advice to heart. If she doesn’t, and doesn’t do it soon, she can’t win. I am anticipating the moment when she does. Confidence girl! She just really does need to believe.

    And also Casey? crazy pimping tonight from Steven huh? That performance was good, but not to that extent.

  41. asin says:

    I love Haley! She is the whole package. As soon as she sings her own stuff she’ll be great.

  42. takakupo says:

    Scotty isn’t consistently good, he’s consistently “okay”. *Shrug* and *Move on* with that guy.

    But I think it’s good that Haley hasn’t hit #1 yet :] Peaking at the right time is a good sign of winning.

  43. Jadore says:

    These kIds are so freaking talented. It’s getting to where I don’t want to choose just one. My ranking by preference:
    7. Jacob
    6. Stefano
    5. Lauren
    4. Scotty
    3. James
    2. Haley
    1. Casey

    I’d been thinking it’d be Scotty & James in the final, but if Scotty doesn’t mix things up a little, I think Haley or Casey might pass him.

  44. flivr says:

    Scotty: bah. he’s creepy.