Scotty McCreery, Casey Abrams and James Durbin were easily the best Top 13 performances on American Idol! Have we found our final three contestants already?
Before I even kick this bad boy off, it’s important to note (once again) the extraordinarily high level of talent we have this season on American Idol. It’s almost hard to critique these kids when they are all leaps and bounds ahead of contestants in years past. That said, three guys stood out to me the most after the Top 13 performances March 9 and I would be pleased as punch to see all of them make it to the top: Scotty McCreery, Casey Abrams and James Durbin. Meanwhile, two of my favorite girls — Lauren Alaina and Thia Megia — failed to show off their mad skill tonight. Is one of them going home?
Without further ado, here are the Top 13 contestants ranked in order of how I’d place them after their “Idol” performances tonight:
1. Scotty McCreery: To be honest, it’s impossible for me to rank my top three guys — they were equally as good as one another in their own ways. Scotty is my personal fave, so let’s start with him. Our 17-year-old “nuts of wonder” country boy sang Garth Brooks‘ “The River” and had the entire crowd on its feet. Singing country hasn’t been so cool since Billy Ray Cyrus and his “Achy Breaky Heart!”
2. Casey Abrams: Wow, oh wow! Casey’s version of Joe Cocker‘s “A Little Help From My Friends” was breathtaking. Before the song, the 19-year-old singer said he wanted to “feel” the song, which was an understatement for what he ended up doing. He might not look like your average rock star, but Casey Abrams has the makings of a music legend.
3. James Durbin: Mr. Durbin (who’s NOT Adam Lambert 2.0, thank you very much) did Paul McCartney justice with his cover of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” It was outstanding. “You have what the greatest rock singers have,” Jennifer Lopez raved. “You can actually sing.” I wasn’t James’ biggest fan in the beginning, but he’s really growing on me.
4. Pia Toscano: Pia was nervous about singing “All By Myself” by Celine Dion, but there was absolutely no need to be scared. She might have even been better than Celine herself. The only person I’ve heard sing this song live as flawlessly as Pia was the one and only Charice. Pia put her Idol competition to shame once again!
5. Stefano Langone: So THIS is the talented guy the judges saw this whole time! When Stefano was picked as a wild card, he had some of us scratching our heads. However, his Stevie Wonder song tonight knocked it out of the park. I’m officially a fan now!
6. Jacob Lusk: How can you not love, Jacob Lusk? As J. Lo said, it’s hard to judge him because he makes you feel so passionately when he sings. His rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” was beautiful and heart felt, but it wasn’t as inspirational as it was in the epic family film, Space Jam.
7. Thia Megia: Thia sounds so much older than 15 years old. Her tone is beautiful and she started her rendition of Michael Jackson‘s “Smile” perfectly. Unfortunately, it didn’t end as well as it began. Thia knew it too — the poor thing was sobbing backstage after her solo.
8. Lauren Alaina: This Georgia peach’s rendition of Shania Twain‘s “Any Man of Mine” was underwhelming at best. Typically a crowd favorite, tonight Lauren seemed out of breath and less of the Carrie Underwood/Kelly Clarkson hybrid she normally is. Even Steven Tyler — who’s obsessed with Ms. Alaina — critiqued her song choice. “I wish it would have been more kick ass,” he said. Poor Lauren, 16, looked like she was going to break down by the end of the judges’ thoughts. Not to mention, they seemed like they were bummed to give her bad news.
9. Haley Reinhart: Unlike many of my fellow Idol fan friends, I’ve been a big Haley fan from day one. I believe her solo sounded amazing in studio, but Haley’s LeAnn Rimes cover didn’t translate well on TV. It seemed bland compared to the rest.
10. Karen Rodriguez: Karen sang her her idol Selena‘s song, but it paled in comparison to last week. “It was a little sleepy for me,” Randy Jackson said. I agreed.
11. Naima Adedapo: Someone should have told Naima she shouldn’t have tried to sing Rihanna‘s “Umbrella,” while dancing AND doing her reggae thing. It just didn’t work.
12. Paul McDonald: Normally one of my top picks, Paul didn’t have a strong night with his Ryan Adams cover. His voice sounded fragile and pitchy — and his dance moves were awkward (to be polite). Interestingly, the judges tried to pick out the positives in Paul…it was obvious they want to see him stick around for another week.
13. Ashthon Jones: Tonight Ashthon did her idol, Diana Ross, no favors. A weak performance from a supposed “diva,” the judges were probably bummed they picked her for the wild card.