With the stakes higher than they have been all season, the contestants on the show continue to step up their game. This is making it tougher and tougher to rank them. Also, my wife raised an interesting question: are the rankings based solely on the current week’s performances, or are they based on everyone’s work up to this point? Well, in my first post I stated that I would “rank each contestant on overall performance (singing, stage presence, and musical talent), song selection, and likability,” and I want to try and stick to that.
However, while the rankings are meant to be based off a single performance, to some degree I’ve been drawing from past weeks to influence me. If the Power Rankings were the order I like the contestants, then they would only change very slightly from week to week. But, the contestants do move up or down in the rankings based on their position from the previous week. For example, Jacob was second last week, but had a horrible performance (for me, not the judges) last night. James had one of my other least favorite performances of the week, but because he was lower than Jacob last week and both performances were about the same for me. Therefore, Jacob got the nod over James. Also, it’s typically easier to drop than it is to rise.
Another thing is, one’s likability (a factor in determining the rankings) unavoidably comes from every experience you’ve had with that individual. I can’t separate previous impressions from a contestant from my overall opinion of them unless they do something to completely override them.
The point of the Power Rankings is not to say the bottom person in is necessarily the contestant that should be voted off. Does one dismal week for one of the consistently top performers mean he/she should go home? I say no. Votes should be cast based on the performers’ complete body of work. Anyone can have a bad week, but if someone is consistently near the bottom, then they are less deserving to stay on. And I will speak my mind.
1. ↑Haley Reinhart: I’ve never understood this song, but she knocked it out of the park. If this doesn’t keep her out of the bottom 3, then I don’t know what will.
2. ↑Casey Abrams*: Way to bounce back. I liked seeing a softer side of Casey. It just goes to show how diverse he is, but he always has his Casey-ness.
3. ↑Lauren Alaina: Just as I started thinking she may not be quite ready for this competition after all, she pulled this performance out.
4. ↓Thia Megia: I disagree with the judges; I thought she sounded so good. I don’t see how she doesn’t make it to the Top 5 at least.
5. ↑Pia Toscano: The girl can obviously sing, but to do a ballad the week after the judges called her out for doing it and two people are getting sent home, she needed something big to knock our socks off. This was a good performance, but not what she needed.
6. ↑Scotty McCreery: Who knew Elton John had a country song? He looked more comfortable with the guitar. This week he stepped it up, but he’s going to have to continue finding ways to keep it fresh.
7. ↑Stefano Langone*: He did a nice job with it, and you could tell he doesn’t want to get sent home. In a week when the others are making songs their own, his felt a little karaoke.
8. ↓Paul McDonald: This is the first performance of his I just didn’t absolutely love. Some of it was classic Paul, but others were a little boring.
9. ↑Naima Adedapo*: She’s confident, you’ve got to give her that. I actually kinda liked it. She wasn’t as pitchy as she has been, but I still don’t think she’s on the same level as everyone else.
10. ↓Jacob Lusk: I didn’t really care for the performance. The last note is keeping him from the bottom spot. This doesn’t mean he deserves to go home.
11. ↓James Durbin: When I heard the song he chose I thought it seemed like the right song for him, but this was not his best performance. It just felt noisy.
Even though they are both improving, I think Naima and Stefano are the two who should be voted off tonight. I guess we’ll see.