American Idol: Ranking the Top 15 Guys Heading Into the Live Shows

After a somewhat shaky Tuesday-night showing by the ladies, American Idol‘s Season 13 live shows continue tonight — with J.Lo, Harry and Keith brutally whittling down the Top 15 guys by a third, then turning it over to the voting public to decide the fate of the 10 singers left standing.

VIDEO | Reality Check: Biggest Injustices of Idol‘s Top 30! Plus: Four Singers Who Must Advance This Week

To get you ready for this jelly, we’ve ranked the gentlemen in question from least- to most-promising, with a little dollop of analysis explaining their strengths and weaknesses.

RELATED | American Idol Top 10 Girls Recap: I’m Sorry, Mr. Jackson, Are You for Real?

So click through the gallery below to see how we’ve handicapped the race, then hit the comments with your own thoughts! And for all my Idol recaps, news, interviews and exclusives, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (44)

  • I saw very little of the audition shows and Hollywood week, so I don’t have much to go on. By default I’m going to have to through my support behind Caleb as the sole rocker. And if memory serves me correctly, I caught some of Maurice and he sounded pretty good. Other than that, I can only expect to be surprised and ultimately disappointed if this show is as bad as last night’s.

    Comment by Mark – February 19, 2014 02:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Bound to be just as bad. How can anyone sing well when they start singing 15 seconds after their main thought process was nerves about whether or not they would get to sing at all. On the bright side, I don’t think these semis will be indicative of hwo the top 13 will go generally (depending on who gets through, I guess).

      Comment by Ben – February 19, 2014 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s funny that you made an Ace Young comparison to Spencer Young, because I was thinking the same thing.

    Comment by Matthew Richards – February 19, 2014 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Spencer Lloyd. Apparently I have the two of them so connected in my mind I thought they had the same last name. Lol.

      Comment by Matthew Richards – February 19, 2014 02:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They are about equally useless. lol

        Comment by Lauren – February 19, 2014 04:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • cj first. interesting.

    Comment by tewence – February 19, 2014 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Very interesting. I don’t know if he’s in my Top 5, let alone first. I think he is good, but I feel we still haven’t heard anything that standout at this point. I do hope he makes the live round and people like Emmanuel, Briston, and Jordan do not come close to making it. I’m also gonna be really upset if Maurice doesn’t make it. We haven’t seen a lot of him, so that makes me nervous that he won’t perform tonight. I really hope that’s not the case. Everything I have heard of him has been great.

      Comment by idolbethejudge.blogspot.com – February 19, 2014 03:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m so with you on Maurice. They better not cut him!!

        Comment by JM – February 19, 2014 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Maurice is my fave, so far. Spencer [Elvis and Erik Estrada's love child?] is like Fabian in the 50s, all looks no potential. I took an instant dislike to Sam for some reason. Hopeful for Caleb and Casey.

          Comment by Stormy – February 19, 2014 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • :/ no such luck. i’m not really excited about the way this season is looking.

        Comment by tewence – February 21, 2014 10:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Briston Maroney looks like Corey Haim. His voice drives me nuts, too, so I won’t cry if he’s cut.

    Comment by deedee – February 19, 2014 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am not feeling these “Bama Boys”, and especially not CJ. I just find him really hard to watch with his painful faces. But I’m also not a country music fan.

    Comment by james – February 19, 2014 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I got a Darius Rucker meets Ne Yo vibe from him. Not bad.

      Comment by Stormy – February 19, 2014 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hopefully tonight’s top 10 picks wont be as bad as last night… but I have a feeling 3 or 4 of the bottom 5 on this list are going to get called. A very bad feeling.

    Comment by Kris – February 19, 2014 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree, Kris. The bottom 3 or 4 wouldn’t have made it this far if the producers didn’t feel like they filled a particular casting need. Therefore, I doubt they will be cut at this point.

      Comment by LB – February 19, 2014 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The bottom three on MY list got called yesterday. So I also wouldn’t be surprised.

        Comment by Ben – February 19, 2014 03:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I should elaborate, I wouldn’t be surprised since my bottom 2 today are the same as Michael’s.

          Comment by Ben – February 19, 2014 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yea, you’re instincts are right.
      So we have to vote extra hard on the most deserving top 5 guys.

      Comment by Name That Tune – February 19, 2014 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It will be interesting to see how the judges work on Sam’s “confidence” arc. I thought his modesty in auditions was charming and it was funny that Harry was essentially saying that he had to of known he was going to be picked. Did he? Because Idol passed on Candice flippin Glover twice! So nothing is certain.

    Comment by Jaclyn – February 19, 2014 03:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve got Maurice as my #1 guy. After yesterday though, I’m not quite as excited about todays show. I hope the guys do better than the gals. If they don’t it’s going to be a long season for AI.

    Comment by Danny – February 19, 2014 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My list – a mix of personal preference and what I think the producers will do (although, yesterday, my picks for what the producers will do were off – I had Brandy at 5 because I assumed she was a definite).
    -
    1) Alex
    2) CJ
    3) Caleb (I’m not sure of the negative reaction to Caleb – I tend to think he will get votes).
    4) Malcolm
    5) Dexter (guaranteed to be in top 13, would get a wild card but won’t need one).
    6) Maurice
    7) Sam
    8) Emmanuel (like Malaya, I feel people have underrated his voice by focussing on/being distracted by his personality)
    9)Ben (no way Ben doesn’t get to sing).
    10) Briston
    11) Spencer (my hope only, really I know he probably will be in the top 10)
    12) George – every time I hear George, I like him – and then can’t remember him.
    13) Casey – my odd country boy out, think he is the weakest and so won’t sing.
    14) Ethan
    15) Jordan (only one I think has no real chance of singing – but I said that about Kristen yesterday).

    Comment by Ben – February 19, 2014 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You are right about Caleb. If AI is truly going for diversity, then they won’t cut the lone rock singer.
      Which means that at least one of the Bama boys is gone, and I agree with you that it will be Casey.
      I fear you are also right about George, and I think that’s so unfair since we’ve hardly seen him.

      Comment by JM – February 19, 2014 04:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yes but they might cast Caleb aside and not even let him sing to push through the lighter indy sounds of Alex instead.

        Comment by Lauren – February 19, 2014 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For me, as long as Maurice, Alex, Dexter and Sam make it, I’m good, even tho I would also like to see George, but I’m not sure he’ll get it, given his limited screen time.

    Comment by JM – February 19, 2014 04:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The only ones I care about are C.J., Alex and Malcolm at this point.

    Comment by Lauren – February 19, 2014 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not just pinpointing you out but what’s so grand about CJ

      Comment by Darlene – February 20, 2014 09:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Prediction: They are going to let some of the crappier ones sing tonight just to make sure the 5 or 6 they REALLY want get the red carpet laid out for them into Top 13.

    Comment by Lauren – February 19, 2014 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That is the logic of reality TV

      Comment by Name That Tune – February 19, 2014 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yes sir / ma’am!

        Comment by Lauren – February 19, 2014 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Other pointless observation: Malcolm and Spencer are the only two guys with any fashion sense. :P

    Comment by Lauren – February 19, 2014 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My top 6 guys are:
    1. C.J.
    2. Maurice
    3. Spencer
    4. George
    5. Sam
    6. Briston
    Which, of course, means that 2 or 3 of these guys won’t be singing tonight…

    Comment by Ryan – February 19, 2014 05:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here’s who is going through based on last night’s train wreck –

    Caleb Johnson
    Emmanuel Zidor
    Spencer
    Briston Maroney
    Ethan Harris
    Jordan Brisbane
    Ben Briley
    Spencer Lloyd

    And a couple of other guys

    Comment by darcy's evil twin – February 19, 2014 05:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oopsie – didn’t mean to list Spencer twice.

      Comment by darcy's evil twin – February 19, 2014 05:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • *SPOILER ALERT FOR THE WEST COAST:* I am glad you were wrong about a few of them!

        Comment by marie – February 19, 2014 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • NO, NO, NO, NO to the obnoxious douchebag Caleb Johnson! No to Jacob Lusk 2.0! No to the chipmunk!

      Comment by darcy the slutty twin – February 19, 2014 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Caleb’s not an obnoxious douchebag. A family member of mine was one of his teachers in high school. He was outgoing but really nice. Don’t play poker. You don’t read people very well.

        Comment by S. – February 19, 2014 07:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel like Jordan Brisbane will be called. He’s the absolute worst. Worse than Ethan Harris, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Ryanne – February 19, 2014 05:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Haven’t watched yet, but surprised at how many overweight or quirky people they pick for these shows when there are so many people out there that look and sound like ready made stars. But I guess people at home wouldn’t watch if they didn’t see someone “relate-able” that they could genuinely live vicariously through, without it being a huge stretch.

    Comment by Louis – February 19, 2014 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Off point, but WTF happened to Chris Daughtry? He looks like an AIDS patient! I hope he’s OK.

    Comment by Stormy – February 19, 2014 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael Slezak: I am OUTRAGED that you would mention Spencer Lloyd in the same sentence as the ultimate Idol fertility god, Phillip Phillips!

    Comment by darcy the slutty twin – February 19, 2014 07:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL. My thoughts exactly!

      Comment by karenb – February 19, 2014 07:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not that interested in the singers. All I can say is Harry Connick, Jr. He is the best thing to happen to this show in a long time. I am watching just to see the judges. I love Harry and Keith. They finally found a good fit for the show.

    Comment by shar – February 20, 2014 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Spencer wasn’t better than CJ or Calib I’ll throw down with you! Just because they scream doesn’t make them singers! Judges you missed the boat here!

    Comment by GB – February 20, 2014 07:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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