American Idol Leaderboard: Which Singers Look Most Promising After Two Weeks of Auditions?

Two weeks/seven hours in to Season 12 of American Idol, we’ve seen footage of a whopping 49 contestants scoring Golden Tickets to Hollywood.

While that’s made for some very compelling television, it also means that after two more audition episodes (tonight and Thursday, 8/7c, on Fox), we’ll bear witness to scads of hopefuls forgetting their lyrics or veering off pitch or being cut without any context or explanation during Hell Week.

VIDEO | Idology: Diva Contestant Deluge on Idol! Plus: Nicki Vs. Mariah — Who Was Right? (Not Randy!)

Before that bad mojo kicks in, then, let’s rank the Top 21 auditioners so far. Check out my Leaderboard rankings, take our poll below and vote for your faves, and then hit the comments and tell me who I overrated, who I underestimated, and whether I’ve egregiously snubbed some awesome contestant you fancy! And for all my Idol news, photo galleries, recaps and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!




Comments (30)

  • Candice is a good singer, but there’s nothing original about her. That’s why she got cut last time imo.

    Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2013 09:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • On the back of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, not original? Are you kidding me? I checked her youtube channel, where she talked about her Hollywood song and how she changed it up. And she did take liberties with the melody during her audition. I do fear some wonky song choices, but only based on the fact that we know so little about her.

      I really like Brandy Neelly. She just under the radar at this point, so we’ll see how much she will be portrayed during Hollywood week.

      Comment by Vetle – January 30, 2013 10:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Original isn’t about making up your own melody. It’s about having an original tone, style, etc., something that stands out on the radio. I don’t think I could pick out her voice if I heard it. Not like say, a Charlie or a Seretha.

        Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2013 10:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Brandy Neelly was my fourth choice. Completely on the basis of her voice, which was more memorable to me than Candace’s. With Candace, it’s a combination of voice and story.

        My first two choices were a combo of voice, song choice, and personality: Kez and Charlie.

        Comment by Montavilla – January 31, 2013 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Watch her cover of “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube. It’s amazing.

      Comment by HT – January 30, 2013 12:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The fact that she likes that song enough to want to make a cover of it makes me even more concerned.

        Comment by Timmah – January 31, 2013 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh yeah, cuz the likes of Holly Cavanagh and Shannon Migraine (not a typo) were SO original.

      Comment by Jase – January 30, 2013 05:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Candice Glover is definitely making the live shows. I can see her getting far in the competition.

    Comment by Aaron – January 30, 2013 09:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t see her getting very far into the live shows, actually. She’s not going to appeal to the moms and grandmas who decide the outcome.

      Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2013 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She’ll get to the live shows for sure, but once the White Guys With Guitar hormonal voting bloc starts wielding their ungodly power, she’ll be luck to make it to the halfway mark (and I’m including the Judge’s Save being used on her).

      Comment by Jase – January 30, 2013 05:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Candice, Charlie, and Angela!

    Comment by Elizabeth – January 30, 2013 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Ashley Smith (Blondie), but something tells me we’re being set up with another Tatiana Del Toro incident.

    Comment by Louie – January 30, 2013 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Tatiana? Aye caramba!

      Comment by Leena – January 30, 2013 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Janelle Arthur – and I’m not a country fan. But I could make an exception for Keith Urban!

    Comment by Fran V – January 30, 2013 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does it really even matter who the best is? We all know that the moms and grandmas are going to dial their fingers off for some cute, no-talent assclown, and that’s who’s going to win. Probably Johnny Keyser.

    Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2013 11:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Substitute ” texting tweens” for the old farts and it makes more sense. This old fart stopped voting about 3 years ago when we figured out our 10 votes couldn’t keep up with “power texting”.

      Comment by Alienate – January 30, 2013 01:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Teens don’t watch the show anymore. The average viewing age is something like 45.

        Comment by Timmah – January 31, 2013 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • so true. My granddaughter is 14 and she nor any of her friends watch Idol anymore even with Nicki who she loves on it. Her mother loves Idol and watches every episode.

          Comment by MB – January 31, 2013 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You make my point. The average VIEWING age is 45. The average VOTING age is prolly 17.

          Comment by Alienate – January 31, 2013 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where is Jimmy Wilson? Josh Holiday? Your power rankings oddly feature 15 singers who are no longer in the competition, but left off at least two who are. What’s the deal?

    Comment by John Clayton – January 30, 2013 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Janelle has the whole package – great voice, natural beauty, and a sweet personality. Reminds me a little of Carrie Underwood when she was on Idol.

    Comment by CK – January 30, 2013 12:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree with you. I was going to write exactly the samething.

      Comment by MB – January 30, 2013 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My favorite, by far, is Kez. But I know she’s too quirky to win. I just hope we get to hear her more because I love her voice.

    I never understood why Candace was cut last year. If one of those three had to be cut, I think it should have been De’Andre. He was cute and likable but she definitely out sang him. All I can think is she was cut because of her appearance – if she had been a cute skinny girl I think she would have made if through.

    Brandy Neely’s voice was very strong and clear. I think she could go far in this.

    Comment by Linda – January 30, 2013 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Candace as well. Agree with Michael about Charlie.. I think his vocal abilities will diminish as this goes another couple of rounds.

    Comment by forwarddad – January 30, 2013 04:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Kez will surprise people. I could be wrong but I’ve noticed something that might be a trend. As evidenced by the resurgence in popularity of Sixto Rodriguez (he of “Sugar Man” fame), the world is hungry for the philosopher/bard/poet. I think Kez might eventually fill the void.

    Comment by BarbL – January 30, 2013 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Slezak, Kez Ban’s original Song is ‘Azure Sky’, not Wandering.

    Comment by Kittyeatdog – January 30, 2013 07:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And the only reason I know is because I’ve been bloody obsessed with it. Haha

    Comment by Kittyeatdog – January 30, 2013 07:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here’s who I was glad to see on this list: Angela Miller, Christina “Isabelle”, Curtis Finch, Johnny Keyser, Lazaro Arbos, Candice Glover, Janelle Arthur, Burnell Taylor, and Charlie Askew. I’m so glad we only have one more week until Hollywood. Then it’ll be time to separate the contenders from the pretenders!

    Comment by IdolFlash-7-9-35 – January 30, 2013 07:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about that hot Griff guy? “Bieber don’t do this to me!”

    Comment by JPRausch – January 31, 2013 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • New commenter!
    My favorite is by far Kez Ban. I doubt she will win, but I hope to hear from her again. My second favorite was definitely Candice. Her voice and range are amazing. She may be the first female winner in a LONG time.

    Comment by Dan – January 31, 2013 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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