Ranking the Top 4 on American Idol

This week’s theme on American Idol is California Dreaming.

Somehow, I imagine the only contestant with California dreams will be Jessica Sanchez.

Phillip Phillips will likely be dreaming of Leesburg, Ga.; Joshua Ledet of Westlake, La.; and Hollie Cavanagh of McKinney, Texas.

Because that’s where they’ll be bound if they make the final three.   This weekend, they get to go home to greet fans and celebrate their American Idol success.  Jessica would have a relatively short trip home — to San Diego.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  There’s that little matter of a two-hour Wednesday performance show.

California Dreaming might conjure up images of the Beach Boys, but this this isn’t a time-specific theme.  The Idols just have to perform a song released from someone from California.   Katy Perry, Green Day — even Adam Lambert — would do just as well as the Beach Boys.  So says, AmericanIdol.com.

The song choice options are even broader for the other song the Idols will sing.  They simply have to pick a song they wish they would have written.

So, pretty much, one of their favorite songs.  If they can get it clear.

Here are this week’s rankings, with last week’s in parenthesis.  As always, follow the link and you’ll land on a page with all of that contestant’s Idol performances.

1. Joshua Ledet (2):  I won’t call him one of the top two Idol finalists ever.  I certainly won’t call him one of the best singers in the last 50 years.  I will say he’s put together two top-notch weeks of performances that have sounded absolutely Idol title worthy. He seems to have shaken the over-singing bug that was biting him early in the competition.

2. Jessica Sanchez (1):  She isn’t singing songs that are young enough.  Her outfit might be too risque for middle America.  The folks at Idol seem to be inventing reasons Jessica might not win.  I’ll give you two better ones.  She lacks what Simon Cowell would call an X Factor persona.  And she was so good so early, her Idol journey doesn’t have the trajectory of a Joshua or Hollie.  As for her appearance:  She looks like a star every time she takes the stage.

3. Hollie Cavanagh (5):  Look at the little gal with the big voice.  Five trips to Idol’s stools of danger and here she is in the Top 4, one week away from one of those coveted and triumphant trips back home to meet the Holliepops who have helped get her this far. If she performs Wednesday like she has the last two weeks, she will have earned that trip.  Oh, and when it comes to a personality you’re likely to root for, she trumps Joshua and Jessica.

4. Phillip Phillips (3):   I keep hearing comments about how Phillip is an artist and the rest of the remaining finalists mere singers.  If so, he might want to use his artistry to make a song enjoyable rather than strip it of all its character.  The last Phillip performance I enjoyed was the “Somebody That I Used to Know” duet from four weeks ago, and Elise Testone gets the bulk of the credit.

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