Idol Leaderboard: Who Is Your Favorite from the Top 6? (Take Our Poll!)

The American Idol Season 11 Top 6 hit the stage tonight with two numbers — one from the Queen songbook, another filed under “contestant’s choice — and I’d argue it’s the most evenly matched half-dozen vocalists in Idol history.

Yet while that means each week’s performances count more than ever in determining who stays and who goes home — the vocalist I ranked at No. 1 last week just got eliminated, for Pete’s sake! — it’s still fun to look in at who’s got momentum heading into the live show, and who’s already shopping for a lifejacket to wear for a special editing of Thursday Night Plank-Walking with Ryan Seacrest.

Check out my contestant rankings below, then take our poll and vote for your own favorite!

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6. Hollie Cavanagh (Last Week No. 7) | Landed in the Bottom 2 last week despite the fact that “Rolling in the Deep” marked her best-ever performance. One of the judges’ favorite punching bags is definitely stepping up her game, but is it a case of too little, too late? Definitely needs more careful song selection if she wants a Top 5 finish.

5. Elise Testone (Last Week No. 6) | Awesome one-two punch of “Vienna” and “Whole Lotta Love” seems like a distant memory in the wake of a strained “I Want to Know What Love Is” and awkward “Let’s Get It On.” Not entirely unjustified complaints about judges’ tough critiques might have played better had her vocals been spot on in both performances last week, but “No One” was nevertheless a pretty fabulous vocal. That said, Elise seems to have fared better — artistically and with voters — when she’s leaned toward rock/soul moreso than pop/R&B. (A good harbinger for Queen week?)

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4. Jessica Sanchez (Last Week No. 3) | The Judges’ Save certainly gave her some added exposure and momentum, and put her fan base on high alert. Plus she’s hit so few bum notes this season that even Randy Jackson would be able to keep count. Yet while “Fallin'” was perhaps her personal best since Top 13 night, J.Lo has a point that Jessica needs to become a more dynamic stage performer — and avoid any missteps in song selection (i.e. “Try a Little Tenderness,” “Turn the Beat Around”) — if she wants to pull a Jordin Sparks and have her “This Is My Now” moment.

3. Joshua Ledet (Last Week No. 4) | “Runaway Baby” may have landed him in the Bottom 3 two weeks back, but it proved he can handle contemporary uptempo material with style and sex appeal to spare. Hopefully, that brush with elimination didn’t scare him into spending the rest of the season solely on soulful ballads backed by Gospel choirs, as “I Believe” and “A Change Is Gonna Come” were a little samey-samey. Perhaps a stripped down, intimate performance — think Fantasia’s “Summertime,” or Bo Bice’s “In a Dream” — would solidify his position as the season heads toward hometown visits?

2. Phillip Phillips (Last Week No. 5) | Only contestant this season to never land in the Bottom 3 — not that it did Colton Dixon much good — and he’s been very consistent at delivering growly, guitar-driven twists on a variety of artists’ tunes. Would be nice to see Phillip stretch his range a little — maybe something sparse and deeply romantic, or upbeat and bursting with good vibrations — but then the question becomes: Is it smarter strategy to remain rigidly in one’s wheelhouse and play to one’s base, or does an Idol winner need to spread his wings and make certain his fan base doesn’t get bored or apathetic?

1. Skylar Laine (Last Week No. 2) | Country has become a key component of the Idol landscape, and not even prior winners Carrie Underwood or Scotty McCreery could’ve matched this Mississippi firecracker’s stage presence and/or party-startin’ skills during their respective Season 4 and Season 10 runs. Skylar needs to be extra careful about maintaining vocal control — “Heard It Through the Grapevine” was right on the edge of disaster — but she’s wisely mixed up tempo and lyrical content over the last nine weeks without ever losing her sense of authenticity.

Who is your Season 11 favorite? Vote in the poll below, then explain your picks in the comments!


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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240 Comments
  1. FreeHaley says:

    Bah!! Randy being Randy again. JLO actually great comments all night long though, pretty much spot on (maybe a bit too high on Sklar round one but otherwise) and insightful. It was the like the JLo of very early last season again, the one long missed.

  2. FreeHaley says:

    Wow so Philip goes and does wild stuff and it’s true colors and he is an artist but Elise gets slammed by him? WTH Randy!

    • Marsaili says:

      I know—he got accolades for doing an unknown song and Elise gets slammed for it—and they performed one after the other—WHAT???? I thought Phillip was great—but I think Elise won that round and she slayed that “unknown” Jimi Hendrix song.

  3. FreeHaley says:

    Elise takes the night. yeah.
    Jessica was damn good though and nabs second.
    Joshua was really close and third.
    Those three really separated themselves from the rest IMO this week.

    • Marsaili says:

      I agree with Elise taking the night—Joshua is second for me and third is split for me, I think Jessica and Skylar did spectacularly-I can’t pick one over the other. I fear Phillip may be in danger.

  4. sajinokami says:

    Not going to lie, have not watched a single episode this year. The only clip I watched in full was Kris Allen’s performance and I watch Idology. Based on this, I enjoy the way Elise Testone sings the most. Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Hollie Cavanagh have some seriously good voices though. Then Phillip Phillips, I really do not understand his popularity, he is not bad.. but he is not very interesting. I think there is a strong possibility a female will win this year. Top 3: Elise Testone, Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez

  5. FreeHaley says:

    Despite taking the night I have a bad feeling she (Elise) could ironically get set home tomorrow. Ridiculous, but it could be. :(

    • Marsaili says:

      No, no NO! don’t even think it!!! No way!

      • FreeHaley says:

        well im dialing like mad, just dial hang second it registers, redial, giving it my all this week

        • Marsaili says:

          vote online, it’s so much easier and never any problems!

          • FreeHaley says:

            I don’t like online since it nabs all your facebook data for whatever they wanna do with it and broadcasts everything. Plus you only get 50 votes. Elise is gonna need way more than that.At the rate i’m going with phone it’s crazy but I might hit 1700 votes I think. Normally I don’t wanna get all crazy about the voting but towards the end did it for Haley and now Elise sure as heck needs it this week. And she sure as hell needs every vote this week.

          • Marsaili says:

            Holy cow! WOW! 1700? damn girl, go get ‘em!

          • FreeHaley says:

            Honestly I don’t know they don’t just go one vote per phone number and that it is it or maybe one dowload from itunes plus one vote per phone. What do phone companies get out of it anyway when it’s all free calls?

          • Marsaili says:

            Well, they get a deal with Idol, however that works—and the advertising. I like the download from iTunes and one vote—I think that could work.

  6. Marsaili says:

    Well, I don’t know if Hollie deserved a standing O—she was great, don’t get me wrong—but Joshua great? Having said that, I’m glad they gave that to her–because I hate to see her thrown under the bus each week.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Yeah considering Jessica and Elise got no standing Os the one for Hollie was kinda ridiculous although it was a fine performance and they have been harsh on her before so in that sense it was fine.

      I’m rather stunned that even Steven Tyler picked Skylar as most impressive of the night? How over Elise or Jessica or Joshua??

    • ET says:

      No way that Hollie deserved the O for that performance; it was the worst of the second round. She just doesn’t have the chops that the other 5 do.

      • Marsaili says:

        No, I don’t agree with that at all. I think she does have the chops, very much so!

        • ET says:

          Hollie might have belonged in the top 6 on some of the previous seasons but NOT this one. She’s clearly overmatched by all the other singers; Colton and Deandre were also better than Hollie. I have seen amateur karaoke singers that blow Hollie away. I don’t see Hollie ever becoming a star; and even if she did, it would take YEARS for her to develop. JMO.

  7. lesliemr says:

    Kudos to Elise for singing ‘Axis Bold as Love’!!! i never thought i’d hear Hendrix on Idol. That takes chutzpah, and amidst the country and the ballads no less. Uncomfortably, I have to agree with Jennifer on that one. Go, girl! I voted a lot (for an old chick)!

    • ET says:

      Honestly, I thought Elise’s Hendrix number was THE performance of the night. Not sure what Steven/Randy were watching, but it was CLEARLY not the same performance I watched. They dissed her for doing a lesser-known song, then immediately turned around and PRAISED Phillip for the exact same thing. I raise the BS flag.

  8. Samantha says:

    I missed Colton this week :( but I did like seeing him when they were all talking about Hollie. My favorites, Philip, Skylar, Elise.

  9. josedelacruz says:

    I vote for jessica Sanchez because she is phenomenal among others……..God Speed!!!!!1

  10. josedelacruz says:

    don’t be bias in voting choose the best if not the best…..Be professional k……..in the Season 11 of American Idol…….

  11. beta says:

    top 3 should be

    Skylar

    Joshua

    Jessica….

    Im sorry to phil philips fans but we already have David, Kriss, Lee and Scotty…with the exception of scotty, the last 3 seasons winner is kinda the same.. we need to end this guy thing

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