Ranking the Top 6 on American Idol

Sure looks like we’re in for an exciting finish to American Idol Season 11.

The results of the last two weeks added an air of uncertainty seldom seen this late in the process.

I mean, if Jessica Sanchez needs a save and if Colton Dixon can be eliminated, is anyone safe on this show?

This week, Idol dusts off another old theme, the songs of Queen.

Though, in answer to a question posed on Twitter on Friday, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe indicated the final six would “sing one Queen song and any song they want to sing.”

Here are this week’s rankings, with last week’s in parenthesis.

1. Jessica Sanchez (1):  She’s got talent and poise beyond her years, but now Jimmy Iovine says she needs to sing “younger” songs to connect with the audience. Translation: No power ballads for you this week, Miss Jessica. No matter, she’ll still sound great.

2. Joshua Ledet (3): A little “Bohemian Rhapsody” anyone? I don’t know that Joshua will be singing that tune, but he seems the most obvious, if only because so many other Queen hits seem ill-suited to his vocal style. And it’s provided an Idol moment for contestants in the past.

3. Phillip Phillips (5):  The Season 11 contestant with the reputation for putting his own stamp on songs is in danger of losing that status to an upstart named Skylar. This would be an excellent week for Phillip to remind us how well he does it. After two weeks in the doghouse, Phillip was suddenly back in the good graces of Jimmy and the judges last week. Go figure.

4. Skylar Laine (6):  On one hand, you could say Skylar can’t catch a break on themes. Twang and Queen? On the other hand, she now seems to realize imitating Miranda Lambert isn’t the path to success on Idol. She had a chance to go country last week. Instead, she put her twang on Gaga. And made it work. Suddenly, it’s not so hard to envision Skylar making a run for the finals.

5. Elise Testone (2):   She has one of the best three voices on the show, yet is maddeningly inconsistent, as last week showed. A fine take on Alicia Keys’ “No One” followed by an overdone “Let’s Get It On.” Jimmy says she just needs to rock out. And here comes Queen as a theme. So at least one of Wednesday’s performances should be Elise at her best.

6. Hollie Cavanagh (7):  She’s working on some sort of all-time American Idol perseverance award. Three trips to Idol’s stools of danger in four weeks, and she’s dodged elimination every time. Even Kristy Lee Cook from Season 7 went home in seventh place. If Hollie does as well as last week, she’ll further muddle a very muddled top six.

Check back Wednesday night. I’ll be live blogging as usual and providing song by song grades.

And if you follow the links attached to the contestants’ names above, you’ll wind up on a page featuring videos for all of their performances since the voting shows began.

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