In Sunday’s blog, I called Nigel Lythgoe delusional for denying that there’s a gender problem on Idol.
Today, I’ve decided to be delusional — by ranking two girls among the top five remaining contestants on the show.
After watching five females go home and not a single guy, the odds seem stacked against Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart.
But I figure there’s no way viewers can send home six ladies in a row, right?
Someone, please tell me I’m right.
Meanwhile, I have a little format change to suggest to Nigel. Since we have three judges who refuse to do anything but hand out compliments, how about putting them on the spot at the end of each show.
Force each judge to name the three strongest and the three weakest performances of the night. No dodging. They have to produce names.
The show might never end on time, but it would be fun to watch them squirm.
And, for the first time since the finals began, they’d earn their fat paychecks.
On with this week’s ranking: (last week’s in parenthesis)
1. Scotty McCreery (2): I didn’t need to see girls storming the stage last Wednesday to understand that Scotty has become one of Season 10′s heartthrobs. And Ryan might have acted surprised, but I suspect that bit was staged, or at least encouraged, by Idol producers. Regardless, Scotty has been Mr. Consistent through the first five weeks. You won’t find a more distinctive voice among the remaining cast and, with Pia gone, he just might be the best singer left.
2. James Durbin (4): I wasn’t a big fan of his decision to dial it back during rock week, a week he should have owned. But I am a big fan of James’ ability to please a crowd. And to entertain as though he’s been performing on the Idol stage for years instead of weeks. The fact that he showed his tender side last week, however ill-timed, will likely only boost his popularity.
3. Haley Reinhart (9): While the rest of the contestants have been standing still or sliding backwards, Haley has improved every week. Last week, she tore into “Piece of My Heart” and turned in one of the best performances of the season. And if Idol viewers need to see personality in their female contestants, Haley seems to have personality to spare. Suddenly she, not Lauren Alaina, looks like Miss Fearless on stage.
4. Casey Abrams (1): That judges’ save must have scared all the fun out of Casey, because his last two performances have been anything but. Watch Haley growl, young man, then get your growl back. Because your first three performances in the finals were a blast; the last two have been simply bland. And last week’s vocal was highly overrated by our easy-to-please judges.
5. Lauren Alaina (5): What happened to the young, fun, carefree Lauren Alaina we saw in Hollywood and Vegas? Her last carefree performance was Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” in week one of the finals. More recently, she’s tackled grown-up themes, like “Natural Woman.” Advice to Lauren: Be young and fun with your song choices and your performances, and a bit more mature when the music stops.
6. Paul McDonald (6): This was supposed to be the year Idol contestants wouldn’t be allowed to hide behind instruments. So said Nigel Lythgoe. But Paul has gotten to take his guitar on stage three straight weeks. Hmm. He’s also very lucky Simon Cowell wasn’t on the judging panel when he turned “Folsom Prison Blues” into a rollicking good time, flashing that smile of his all the while. But I still think he’s capable of pulling off an Idol moment that puts him back in contention.
7.Jacob Lusk (8): If Jacob was so opposed to singing “Let’s Get It On,” what were all those hip thrusts during in the middle of “Man in the Mirror?” He’s coming off his first bottom three finish, despite rave reviews from the judges. That seemed to shock Randy Jackson. Not me. I’ve been thinking there might be a disconnect between the judges’ opinion of Jacob’s performances and those of the viewers at home.
8. Stefano Langone (7): While they were sitting on the stools in the bottom three, Pia Toscano said Stefano kept reassuring her that she wouldn’t be going home, that he would be eliminated instead. Nice gesture, Stefano. Fact is, you were right. You should have been. Especially after deciding to sing “When a Man Loves a Woman” on rock week.
Editor’s Note: Past performances from the finals are now on the site. Go here, then click on the contestant of your choice to watch.