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.

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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 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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  1. Mark says:

    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.

    • Ben says:

      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).

  2. It’s funny that you made an Ace Young comparison to Spencer Young, because I was thinking the same thing.

  3. tewence says:

    cj first. interesting.

    • 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.

  4. deedee says:

    Briston Maroney looks like Corey Haim. His voice drives me nuts, too, so I won’t cry if he’s cut.

  5. james says:

    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.

  6. Kris says:

    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.

  7. Jaclyn says:

    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.

  8. Danny says:

    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.

  9. Ben says:

    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).

    • JM says:

      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.

  10. JM says:

    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.

  11. Lauren says:

    The only ones I care about are C.J., Alex and Malcolm at this point.

  12. Lauren says:

    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.

  13. Lauren says:

    Other pointless observation: Malcolm and Spencer are the only two guys with any fashion sense. :P

  14. Ryan says:

    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…

  15. darcy's evil twin says:

    Here’s who is going through based on last night’s train wreck –

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

    And a couple of other guys

  16. Ryanne says:

    I feel like Jordan Brisbane will be called. He’s the absolute worst. Worse than Ethan Harris, that’s for sure.

  17. Louis says:

    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.

  18. Stormy says:

    Off point, but WTF happened to Chris Daughtry? He looks like an AIDS patient! I hope he’s OK.

  19. darcy the slutty twin says:

    Michael Slezak: I am OUTRAGED that you would mention Spencer Lloyd in the same sentence as the ultimate Idol fertility god, Phillip Phillips!

  20. shar says:

    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.

  21. GB says:

    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!