Ranking the Top 5 on American Idol

American Idol lost one of its best singers when Elise Testone went home in sixth place last Thursday.

It was a regrettable but inevitable outcome.

Elise had dodged elimination a number of times and seemed susceptible to ouster every time she  got less than a three-thumbs-up review from the judges.

Now we’re down to five singers — and just three weeks away from the season finale — as the Idols take on British Week.

And, for the second week in a row, it will be almost as interesting to see who lands in the bottom three as it will to see who gets eliminated.

The rankings …  As always, last week’s rankings are in parenthesis, and you can follow the link attached to the contestant’s name to watch all of their performances.

1. Jessica Sanchez (1):    With Joshua coming on strong, Jessica is clinging to this spot by the slimmest of margins.  Why?  Because she’s still shown herself to be the most versatile Idol over the course of the finals, even if the judges seem to have cooled on her slightly.  Throw anything at her, and she’ll deliver a sterling vocal.  Jimmy Iovine wanted her to sing “younger” songs, and she certainly delivered in last week’s heartfelt round two performance of “Dance With My Father.”

2. Joshua Ledet (2):   Joshua usually delivers a sterling vocal too.  If he has a fault, it’s over-singing and a lack of control.  Not last week.  He turned in a brilliant one-two punch with the upbeat “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” that showed he could deliver in a pop setting, then the slower “I’m Ready for Love” where he demonstrated that he can show restraint and still wow us with his vocal skills.  One word of caution: Fans sometimes rebel against the teachers’ pet.  And Joshua gets a standing ovation from these judges almost every time he sings.

3. Phillip Phillips (3):   If ever Phillip was going to land in the bottom three, it figured to be last week when he coasted through “Fat Bottomed Girls,”  then performed a Dave Matthews song that wasn’t exactly a judge pleaser or a crowd pleaser.  It’s been a while since Phillip’s been special — about a month to be precise — and if this ranking were based on recent performances only, Phillip would be at the bottom. Yet he’s the only Idol left never to visit Idol’s stools of danger.

4. Skylar Laine (4):    I could harp on the fact that Skylar can’t seem to catch a break with a theme week suited to her twang.  But, fact is, she seems to do better when forced to twist a non-country song to suit her musical inclinations.  Take last week as an example.  Her performance of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” was solid.  Her performance of Jason Aldean’s “Tattoo on This Town” was just so-so.   Skylar needs to stick to songs that allow her to stomp around the Idol stage like a woman possessed.  No one left does it better.

5. Hollie Cavanagh (5):   Is this the week Hollie’s luck runs out?  After four trips to the bottom three in five weeks, you’d certainly think so.  But Hollie has been much stronger the past two weeks.  Oh, Jennifer criticized her last week for not connecting with “Save Me” during the Queen round, but Jennifer had no idea what she was talking about.  If anything, that was a more impassioned performance than the much more highly praised rendition of “The Climb” that Hollie closed the show with.  Top 5, huh?  I had Hollie ranked 10th when the season started.




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