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!