Idol Leaderboard: Vote to Rank the Top 6!

The American Idol Top 6 will attempt to weave a tapestry of magical musical moments when they tackle the Carole King songbook on tonight’s 90-minute telecast. If brevity really is the soul of wit, then check out my ranking of the remaining singers — each one in 20 words or less. Yeah, it’s a crazy idea, but I like to occasionally push the limits of my blogging “artistry.” When you’re done, 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.

6. Jacob Lusk (Last Week No. 7) | Every song performed like prelude to a crying jag, but Jacob ought to save tears for his inevitable ouster, no?

5. Casey Abrams (Last Week No. 4) | Rageful Maroon 5 + gentle kiss of J.Lo’s cheek = a truly creepy moment. Multiple musical personas not helping.

4. Lauren Alaina (Last Week No. 5) | Tried ill-fitting “insecure girl” persona last week and an woeful Sara Evans song. Song selection, confidence, are key.

3. Haley Reinhart (Last Week No. 2) | Adele cover was lovely but too carbon-copy. Judges and producers driving bus straight at her — Haley, save yourself!

2. James Durbin (Last Week No. 3) | Never hit bottom three, and marching-band mayhem on “Uprising” was loads of fun. Peaking at just the right time?

1. Scotty McCreery (Last Week No. 1) | Got first negative critique for uninspired “Swingin'” yet escaped jeopardy. Does Carole King have song title containing the word “country”?

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 6. Ready, set, prognosticate!

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94 Comments
  1. James says:

    Gotta say James Durbin is by far my fav…Thank goodness Jacob will go home this week!

  2. Mb says:

    I love Haley lots, but you’re obvs not realistic when you rank her as top 3. You have been off your rocker this season.

    • CR says:

      Doesn’t look like he’s too off his rocker, Haley is winning the poll. :)

      • Stacey says:

        Yet has been in the bottom 3 while Lauren hasn’t… Michael obviously loves Hayley so he’s biased. She did a excellent job last week, but was in the bottom which means she’s not third liked by fans… And has been in the bottom all weeks except maybe twice.

        But we all like who we like… It’s easy to win these polls…

        • corey says:

          yes. michael, honestly, you favor haley and james BY FAR! and you really don’t like casey or jacob. (i dont like jacob either but) seriously, you can’t pretend james’s performances are anything other than unpleasant.

          6. jacob
          5. james
          4. haley
          3. lauren
          2/1. don’t care b/w casey and scotty

          • Allie says:

            James performances have been great. One of the best voices/performers on idol to date. I agree with you on Jacob though,I tired of him weeks ago. Lauren also has a good voice & tons of potenital. I’d like to see both of them in the final. Here’s my currentline up. Should definately be an interesting night. Carole King’s catalog is full of wonderful covers, just hope song choices are good!!

            6:Jacob
            5:Haley
            4:Casey
            3:Scotty
            2:Lauren
            1:James

          • ugh says:

            Did you really put Lauren Alaina that high Allie? She is boring!

          • The Wheeze says:

            106.Jacob

            5.Haley
            4.Lauren
            3.Casey
            2.Scotty
            1.James

          • algalhi says:

            Haha @The Wheeze: Jacob 106. Aw, poor guy is getting done over by Randy telling him to oversing and everyone else telling him to tone it down. I listened to his studio version of Dance With My Father and he was quite restrained. But live, he can’t contain himself!

      • Sue says:

        Yes, Haley is winning this poll but this isn’t the one that counts. Please be sure to vote for HALEY tonight!!!

        • Carly says:

          I wish I could vote for Haley! I unfortunately can’t vote because I don’t live in the US but I am really frustrated that she always in the bottom. She does not deserve to be in the bottom every week!

      • @galaga6846 says:

        “Doesn’t look like he’s too off his rocker, Haley is winning the poll”

        That’s because a lot of folks watching Idoloonies are swayed by Michael’s opinion. I love Mr Slezak, and he makes great points, but I don’t always agree with him.

        • The Wheeze says:

          ITA. I think Haley wins this poll every week (or ever since Slezak jumped on the Haley train.) and yet on Thursday she is ususally in the bottom 3. Go figure. ;-)

          • bean99 says:

            I don’t know if the voting public likes her as much as people online. I have her in #5 before Jacob but it’s so hard to tell. Look at Pia.

        • Katt says:

          Haley was my favorite before Slezak was on the “Haley Train”. I’m excited that more people are seeing the awesomeness that is Haley. Not everyone is swayed into liking people because of what a recapper says.

  3. samanthafromitaly says:

    casey is still my favourite. so eclectic and talented, but I prefer his jazzy version tho

  4. Karen says:

    My rankings:

    1. Scotty McCreery
    2. Casey James
    3. Lauren Alaina
    4. James Durbin
    5. Haley Reinhart
    6. Jacob Lusk

  5. Fra says:

    HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY HALEY YOU’RE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Martha says:

      Thank you Fra….she is fabulous and much better than Lauren or S cotty….my favorites Casey/Haley, James, Scotty, Lauren and Jacob.

  6. Karen says:

    I would love to see James and Haley in the finale, although it’s a long shot.
    Also I would love to NOT see Scotty in the finale – even bigger long shot.

  7. John says:

    I clicked on results and laughed my face off when 0% picked Jacob as favorite. HA!

  8. N says:

    0% for Jacob. ouch!

  9. D. says:

    I loved Lauren at the beginning but now i’m just crazy about Haley! I’m surprised she’s winning this poll, though

    • Lee says:

      Wait…do you even read Slezak’s stuff? You are surprised Haley is leading the poll? Slezak probably voted a few 1000 times himself just to assure she would be leading. ;)

  10. blingedup.susan says:

    Am I the only one in Loonyland who does not like James Durbin? Now that Casey has left his jazzy-self behind again, Hailey FTW!!!

    • JBanana says:

      you’re not the only one. I don’t hate James but I think he is pure karaoke and it will become painfully obvious when the show is over and he makes a terrible album. His voice just isn’t that good and his style is pretty much just little-kid-playing-rock-star.
      Casey has been my favorite since early on, but once Haley started to break out (for me that was starting with “Blue”) she has slowly but surely overtaken Casey as my #1. Haley and Casey are definitely the only ones I even care about here. I still think Casey is capable of good performances.. but he’s so hit or miss. Haley is pretty much just pwning everyone else at this point. Too bad the votes are not there for her.

  11. Tucker says:

    Bottom three this week will be Jacob, Haley and Casey, though Scotty should actually be there. And Jacob will be gone.
    My ranks:
    6) Jacob
    5) Haley
    4) Scotty
    3) Lauren
    2) Casey
    1) James

  12. 125 says:

    Haley is awful. She’s got no humility or graciousness. She’s haughty and arrogant and has no diversity in her voice. No overtones, highs, lows or dynamics. It’s all growl, growl, shimmy, growl.

    Go home, Haley. Go home.

    • Leslie says:

      What show are you watching? That isn’t the Haley I’m seeing every week!! The Haley I see is kind, easy going, goofy, full of diversity in her tone and dynamics. And she occasionally throws an appropriate growl in there, too. I think you’ve either got the wrong show or the wrong Haley!! ;-)

    • KristenV says:

      125: What?! “No humility or graciousness”? Not to my eyes and ears. She’s always smiling – and I haven’t heard her whine or complain yet. And as for “no overtones, highs,…” etc., I don’t get that, either. I’m thinking this must be a sham post just to get a riled response. You can’t really be serious.

      • RD says:

        To 125-
        Haley doesn’t pout or whine.She takes all the negative feedback and deals with it.I don’t see any lack of grace or humility there at all. Interesting how different folks read things.You probably think Scotty hasn’t got an ego at all and sings great too,huh?

    • sue says:

      WHAT???? This is not the Haley that I have watched every week on this show. Nothing against Lauren, but IMO, she is too young. It shows (painfully) as the weeks go by. Haley ROCKS!!

    • debi says:

      I’ve suspected Hailey of a haughty attitude as well. She has a super dose of confidence, but she comes across like she doesn’t care what wee mere mortals think. I do like her voice though, and I have bought several of her singles. James is still my fav. Never liked Casey. Love Scotty and Lauren’s duets. Jacob is barely worth mentioning. I have yet to enjoy a single performance of his. My sister says when he sings, she hits mute and does the dishes.

  13. Lindsey says:

    I have come to the conclusion that the Slezak readers are not a good representation of the voting public… On these ranking poll things it always seems like Haley is voted the favorite, yet on the show she ends upon the bottom three again and again… And Lauren seems to be a favorite of the voting public, but not very well liked by Sleziaks… How curious. Is the Haley-loving/Lauren-hating a result of Slezak’s prompting or just coincidence?

    Oh, and it’s all irrelevant to me cause I’m for a James and Scotty top two!

    • dctoronto says:

      Lindsey, your “conclusion” may have more to do with the fact that Michael’s readers are more interested in artistry than the boring middle of the road types that America eats up. If there is any “prompting” going on I believe it would be the producers at Idol who have been manipulating the audience to like Lauren since her audition in Nashville.

      • dkw says:

        I would agree with this. And it’s not just this site, many other places with civil Idol discussions have large Haley followings. Several Idol alums and major Idol writers cite Haley as their favorite.
        But yeah, not representative of the voting public.

    • Lily says:

      I think that’s an exaggeration to say “Lauren-hating.” Slezak’s said how he enjoyed Lauren’s Candle in the Wind, and expressed concerns about unfair ways Lauren was treated in some of the packages. I like Lauren, although Haley is my favorite, but even for those of us who like Lauren it gets a little tiring how blatantly the producers are trying to cram Lauren and Scotty down our throats. That’s why I get a little chuckle out of Averett’s “This is My NOOOOOOW!” coronation song playing every time we see Scotty and Lauren together in a clip.

    • Jason S says:

      It’s because of unlimited voting. While Haley is looking to be the favorite in polls the polls only reflect that each person is voting once. While in the actual voting the rabid Scotty, LAuren, JAmes fans (most likely the tweens and women) are voting hundreds of times. To me it means that Haley’s fans are most likely more adult and only vote a few times. She has more of an adult contemprary style that doesn’t appeal to the power voting blocks but has more fans altogether. SHe is also selling the most at itunes as demonstrated she regularly has more comments. She’s going to need perfect unbelievable song choices and performances to break into the top 3 though because of those damn power voters.

      • Tucker says:

        Or they recognize that she’s a rather limited singer at this stage of her career and hasn’t shown her personality as a singer as much as taken on the one fed to her by the judges. She’s cute and has some marketability but she leaves a lot to be desired in her actual performance. She needs some serious vocal training to take advantage of a talented but raw voice.

        • Jason S. says:

          Possibly true but I was trying to explain why she dominates in the polls and on Itunes but is still behind in the Idol voting process.

    • wendeeloo says:

      People who loiter here probably don’t vote enough -or don’t vote at all – I hardly ever read about voting experiences as a topic of interest. And since Haley and Casey appeal to an older and – dare I say it – more sophisticated viewer – Those are the types who don’t vote. As the show ages – it’s voters are skewing younger – and texting is a young girl’s game.

    • Yo says:

      Yes, Lindsey, the Idoloonie voters have exceptionally good taste.

  14. Merrilyn says:

    I am hoping against hope that Jacob goes home this week. Enough of the horrible vibrato and crying faces already! And then if Lauren and Scotty could go home the next 2 weeks, we would have a great Top 3 with Casey, James, and Haley. I wish, I wish, I hope.

  15. JVC says:

    Here is the ultimate longshot: Lauren vs. Haley. I gotta say, I think these 2 girls have been more consistent and entertaining than the other contestants (w/ exception of james). Scotty while it clearly seems inevitable that he’ll make it to the finale needs to wow us ASAP. Out of all the contestants last week, his song pick was the weakest and most cowardly, since it was a cover of the original that came out 30 years ago. But scotty has proven to have the ultimate fan base needs to step it up, same goes for lauren. Will the judges ever give Haley a break? Save haley! And Jacob at 0% that sucks. But I feel the judges have been setting Jacob up for failure since they constantly set him up for failure by praising him for going over the top even when it’s intolerable.

  16. Leslie says:

    My ideal ranking is this:

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

  17. Pinks says:

    I like HALEY and she has moments of brilliance, but I just have the feeling she’s not polished/consistent enuf to go much further.
    JAMES has been a huge surprise! Not such a fan of his taste, but he does it all sooooo well, can’t help but love him and hope he wins it all!
    CASEY already got voted out once, too bad it didn’t stick.

  18. Karrie says:

    I’m still hoping that Scotty takes his Karaoke machine home with him this week; I thought he was okay at first but I cannot stand this kid any longer but sadly he’ll probably win this thing! James is my absolutely favorite with Haley coming in a very close 2nd as she is finally finding herself!

  19. A Fan says:

    I’ve loved Haley since about top 10/11. She’s unique, has a great voice and brings something special to the stage.

    I’m not sure if the above poll is any indication, but Haley got a BIG boost this week when Adam Lambert declared her his favorite. He’s said it before in interviews, but after her Adele performance he tweeted his love for her to his over 1 million followers. I’m just hoping that he got people to at least give her a real look if nothing else. She deserves a lot more respect than the judges or the producers are giving her.

    • Algalhi says:

      I hope that Haley gets an Adam bump also. She’s being treated somewhat badly by AI and she’s a talented gal.

    • Martha says:

      The judges are ridiuclous with her….Randy needs to check his damn hearing and shut his mouth up about Haley. He has been relentless with his remarks. Haley is by far the best and her duets with Casey are great. About Haley being haughty it could not be further from the truth….she has taken more criticism than anyone else.
      Top 6
      Haley
      Casey
      James
      Scotty/Lauren – either of them should go next week.
      Jacob

  20. PHILL says:

    SAVE HALEY!!!!

  21. Mel says:

    I love rock, and I actually like heavy metal, but James really doesn’t do it for me. Yes, he tries to do exciting things on stage and I appreciate the effort, but if you cover your eyes and just listen, he really doesn’t hit his notes and the music almost drowns out his vocal. If you are going to put on a huge theatrical show, the vocal has to deliver or then it just seems like karaoke. I think Season 8 showed us that a performer can make a song their own, be unbelievably theatrical, have amazing stage presence and still deliver an impeccable vocal. It’s sad that a singer can hide their vocal behind loud music and pomp & circumstance.

  22. Oz says:

    I’m voting for Haley a billion times tonight. If she’s still in the bottom 3 this is rigged.

  23. Beri says:

    Scotty — Mrs. White, my 2nd grade teacher, would give you a D for effort, with a stern lecture. Show some respect for Nashville, yourself, and the other contestants who are busting their butts here, and deliver, already. Otherwise, you might win the show but you’re no star. Give me the Bearded Bass Jazz Genius; my musical heart belongs to the eccentric. Kudos to the field this year for putting on concerts each week instead of wince-fests.

  24. Sarah says:

    Love Haley!! She’s awesome and I hope she blows the rest of them away tonight :D
    This is my ranking:
    1. Haley
    2. Scotty
    3. James
    4. Lauren
    5. Casey
    6. Jacob

  25. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    I have a friend with psychic abilities. She says Casey is going home this week, and she was right about Stefano and Paul the last two weeks. I can see it happening, but I would prefer to lose Jacob before Casey. But as much as this show gives me what I want in terms of performances, it’s not known for giving me what I want in terms of results.

  26. jrs says:

    I honestly could not vote on the poll…I don’t have a favorite out of these that are left. NOW, if it had been a poll on who to send home, you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be voting for Mr. Jacob Lusk and his huge hamburger mouth. Surely, the gay gospel bloc of voters is going to not be enough to save him this week. Oh, lawdie, pleeze, let him go home.

  27. HappyDays says:

    Three cheers for the amazing amusing Haley whose vocal adroitness made us fans.

  28. Davey says:

    No favorites here. I won’t buy albums by anyone remaining. I’m switching to the Voice but will read Michael’s recaps.

  29. Petra says:

    Recently 46%-55% by poll are most interested in tuning in to see Haley perform. That is staggering! Closest to her are Casey, James, and Scotty in the mid-teens!

    I remember last year a similar poll had Siobhan Magnus (28%)and Crystal Bowersox (29%) neck and neck in contestant viewers were most interested in watching at Top 7. Casey and Lee were in the mid-teens.
    When Siobhan got a surprise boot the next week, producers also got a big surprise to plummeting ratings the week after Magnus left until the Finale. They learned again the general audience and their tastes are different than the power text-voters and their tastes. Power textvoting has caused a significant disconnect, and I think it hits the bottom line ratings. A 12 year old may vote 300 times for “My Scotty”, but she isn’t buying 300 times more Coke and Ford cars and 100 times the CDs as a regular audience member. (Who lately has been saying that they havea life outside Idol and if their 1-4 votes a night are 100 times less significant than a powertexter’s, why bother??
    Predict if Haley gets booted, the ratings impact will be even greater than Magnus going before the audience thought she shold have.

    My ranking:
    1. Haley
    2. James
    3. Scotty
    4. Casey
    5. Lauren
    6. The Lusk.

    My rankings by effort put in each week to do the best performance possible:

    1-2 James (a tossup)
    1-2 Haley (a tossup)
    3. The Lusk
    4. Casey
    5. Scotty
    6. Lauren

    The voters, with the powertexter’s deciding influence:

    1. Scotty
    2. James
    3. Lauren
    4. Casey
    5. Haley
    6. The Lusk.

    Add in a poll of one, a friend who is a true fanatic that downloads all the iTunes and has steered me to the best year after year, and cued me on phenomenal David Cook, Lambert, Siobhan Magnus, Casey James recording work:

    Best iTunes on Word of Unfailable Friend:

    1. Haley
    2. James
    3. Casey
    4. Scotty
    5. Lauren

    (She won’t pay to hear Jacob Lusk)

  30. algalhi says:

    My rankings from best to worst:
    1. Haley
    2. Lauren
    3. Scotty
    4. Casey
    5. Jacob
    6. James

    After Haley, it turns into who I dislike the least to who I dislike the most.

  31. ab2859 says:

    I hate country music so Scotty & Lauren are out. James is a poor man’s Adam Lambert. Casey & Jacob are annoying.

    I really love Haley.

  32. Jo says:

    6. Jacob (TOO DRAMATIC!!)
    5. Scotty (I know he’ll probably win but he needs to change it up!)
    4. James (He’s definetly interesting but in my opinion a piano on fire and a marching band is distracting and it takes away from his singing)
    3. Casey (I love when he plays the bass but I’m not a huge fan of the faces he makes)
    2. Lauren (lauren has raw talent but in my opinion all of her live performances have been good, but none really stood out as amazing)
    1. Haley (Although Haley started out slow, I loved moanin’ and bennie and the jets, also she is the most entertaining to watch during the interviews)

  33. Jo says:

    6. Jacob: (TOO DRAMATIC!!)
    5. Scotty: (I know he’ll probably win but he needs to change it up!)
    4. James: (He’s definetly interesting but in my opinion a piano on fire and a marching band is distracting and it takes away from his singing)
    3. Casey: (I love when he plays the bass but I’m not a huge fan of the faces he makes)
    2. Lauren: (she has raw talent but in my opinion all of her live performances have been good, but none really stood out as amazing)
    1. Haley: (Although Haley started out slow, I loved moanin’ and bennie and the jets, also she is the most entertaining to watch during the interviews)

  34. Hillary says:

    Id have 2 agree w/ur ranking Mr Slezak. I pray to God that Scotty wins. Not that he’s my favorite. I hate everyone since…well, since this damn gross-ass season started, except for Sarah Sellers. *sigh* She would have really kicked it and made watching the show actually enjoyable, unlike the chore it is now. And b4 u all tell me to just not watch, I need to see how America F*CKS this season up. Like a car crash and human nature to rubber neck. Just like I NEED to see Lauren’s crying, devastated, tear-stained face when the country kicks her ass to the curb of life!! I relish the thought.

  35. Anne says:

    Jacob is not my favorite, nor my style of music, but some of the hateful comments on this board regarding him borderlines on something more than just a dislike of his genre and style. I am not just speaking of posts this week, but previous weeks. I like reading opinions and even the humorous ones too, but hateful and mean stuff is uncomfortable.

  36. AMber says:

    JAmes durbin is by far the best in my opinion!!!!!!!!

  37. karen says:

    Didi loved your song. You and Crystal were my favorites.
    Voted for just for you until you were voted off wayyyy prematurly. Glad you made the tour it is one of the reasons I went to see it in Sac. Best of luck in your furture YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!!!! Haley IMO is having the same issues that you had trying to show what you can do in all areas seems to go against you.
    good luck to you and good luck to Haley

  38. Can't Sleep says:

    1. James
    2. Scotty
    3. Casey
    4. Haley
    5. Jacob
    6. Lauren, who should go home.

  39. Anne says:

    Haley and James were best tonight.

    My bottom two: Scotty and Jacob

  40. Fight the Poop says:

    My top favorites were James and Scotty.

    My rankings are

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

    I am getting tired of Casey’s schtick of growling, plus Jazz is not a major seller of cds.

  41. Hilary says:

    Didi sounds great!

  42. v says:

    Lauren was my early favorite along with Scotty. I mean come on I’m following her on twitter LOL. I’m a country kinda gal. BUT… she is definitely the less entertaining on stage. She’s like the Stefano of the top 6. She sings great but she’s blah.

    6. Lauren
    5. Jacob – he’s good. he’s top 5 good. But top 3? Nope.
    4. Casey – Oh Casey, Casey, Casey, Casey. Casey is only 4th because well I personally believe the 3 other performers are better than him. And for that and only that does he not make my top 3.

    (which should truly be the bottom 3 purely based on last night’s performance)

    3. Haley – Haley is the opposite of Lauren for me. I wanted her to get the boot during top 13. And then Elton John week was just amazing, and it went on and on, and now I’m osbsessed with most of her iTunes recording.
    2. James – If someone should win purely based on their past performances today… James SHOULD win. But he’s lacking that charm that makes me smile everytime I hear my n.1 choice :D
    1. Scotty – Oh Scotty. He’s probably not the best contestant of the bunch, but he’s just so… he has such charisma. And I love him for that. He’s been my #1 from the start and he hasn’t done anything to fall down my rankings.

  43. Sandi says:

    Please, please make Casey go away. He becomes more annoying each week. Although this week, he at least looked like he had showered.

  44. agrimesy says:

    Jacob will go home this week. Casey will not get any of his fans’ votes, and if these comments sections on TVLine are any indication of a bigger demographic, I think he’s losing a few fans each week. That means Casey will be next to go. I want James to go home in 4th place because 1) I like the other three more, and 2)I really don’t think James has all the attributes necessary to make a successful Amerian Idol winner. For me, it would make sense for Lauren to finish in 3rd place. Haley will pick up a LOT more fans as the others are voted off thus surpassing Lauren’s votes. So, Haley will be runner up (THAT’s THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SPOT!)and Scotty can hold the title in first place.

  45. josephine says:

    I feel that jacob lusk should be leaving tonight on american idol not a good singer to make to the end

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