Which of the contestants leads the “American Idol” pack and gets top billing in the power rankings? Who looks to be the most likely candidate to win “American Idol” Season 10? At present, it seems to be New York native Pia Toscano. But James Durbin’s consistently powerful deliveries are showing him to be a versatile and surprisingly strong challenger.
The “American Idol” Top 11 hit the Hollywood stage for another go-round Wednesday evening in a rematch of last week’s contest. Thanks to the judges using their one and only “Save” of the year to keep Casey Abrams, who, shocking as it seemed to everyone (including the judges), the same group will line up once more to see who can do justice to the song catalog of Sir Elton John. The difference this week — besides the music, of course — will be that two of the contestants will be eliminated. Will one of them still be Casey Abrams? Or will two others hear David Cook’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”?
Even though she somehow eluded the Bottom 3 for the first time last week, Haley Rinehart seems to be still favored to be sent home, at least according to TV Guide. Her style and vocal stylings are not setting well with the judges and it seems to be reflected in low voting. However, she may be the dark horse this season and last week’s non-Bottom 3 finish might not be her last.
The No. 10 slot is held by Naima Adedapo, who also has been hanging on by the thinnest of margins, even though she did seem to find redemption last week in her Motown rendering. Since there are two to be sent packing this week on “American Idol,” it would appear that it just might be Naima, according to the Guide.
Stefano Langone is their No. 9 spot-holder, one back from Thia Megia. However, the one thing Stefano has going for him is his effervescent personality, whereas Thia seems an old person possessing a very young person’s body. At the same time, Thia Megia has the added advantage of having a two-year head start on a national fan base due to her quarter-finals finish on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009. That cannot be underestimated.
In the middle of the pack are Paul McDonald, Lauren Alaina, and Jacob Lusk. Lauren has fallen from her frontrunner status as “The One” (judge Steven Tyler’s appellation following her audition in Nashville), but looks in no real danger to be going home anytime soon. And her personality is a winner. A couple of strong songs and she’ll be fighting for the Top 3.
Casey Abrams, the howling bluesman who nearly saw himself eliminated last week, makes the Top 4. A strong contender and a judges favorite, he seems to not be connecting with the television viewing — and voting — audience. That will probably change, at least for this week (precedent has shown that a finalist whom the judges “Save” experiences extended life on the show — for the most part).
Scotty McCreery has taken his folksy charm and his country vocal stylings to the No. 3 position. He’s definitely got the young girl vote (he’s just 17). And he’s done well with his song choices, altering them enough to keep them in his comfort zone.
The biggest surprise of the contest, apart from Casey Abrams being voted off the show, might be the strength of James Durbin’s stage presence. His confidence and clear delivery make him a strong contender for Season 10’s American Idol title.
The No. 1 position is held by 22-year-old New Yorker who has shown a stunning control and ability to sing anything she’s given. But the judges want Pia Toscano to step out of her comfort zone in her performance, so it should be interesting to see how she handles the Elton John catalog as well as other themes going forward. Still, if any of her performances in the group numbers are indicative, she’ll slide through a rocker as easily as she has the ballads she’s performed.
“American Idol” Top 11 Power Rankings
1. Pia Toscano
2. James Durbin
3. Scotty McCreery
4. Casey Abrams
5. Jacob Lusk
6. Lauren Alaina
7. Paul McDonald
8. Thia Megia
9. Stefano Langone
10. Naima Adedapo
11. Haley Rinehart
“American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 11,” TVGuide.com