It was at this point in Season 10 we lost one of the true talents of the 2010 American Idol competition — Pia Toscano. Her unexpected departure sent off a tidal wave of complaints from American Idol fans. Pia was voted off the island instead of Stefan Langone, who most figured had his bags packed before the results show even started. There were calls for an all-out overhaul of the Idol voting system, then there were rumors that Pia would be recalled and Stefan actually would get the boot … but neither materialized and we had to put up with Stefan for another two weeks.
Whew! Glad we won’t have to go through something similar this time around.
Thursday night we lost Heejun Han. It was time for him to go, but if there was a positive to the ouster it was that he went out with his best overall showing of the season. He brought some life to the early part of the season with his crazy antics during Hollywood Week. He had simply gone as far as he could have — or should have.
The judges, of course, did not use their lone save on Heejun, who obviously knew the end was coming. He handled it with a lot of class. Future contestants could learn a lot from Heejun.
And yes, Heejun was no Pia. There will be no scandal.
With Heejun’s departure, that leaves us with Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Deandre Brackensick, Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh. Skylar and Hollie were the others in the bottom three Thursday night.
A few weeks ago we handicapped who was left. Here’s our latest update on who we think has the best chance to be the 11th American Idol:
Joshua Ledet, 3-2 odds: Liek I said Wednesday, Joshua might be more of a Jessica Hudson-type post-Idol star, but he will definitely be a star. If he winds up in the pop genre, look for a reincarnation of the Otis Redding/Wilson Pickett style of soul.
Jessica Sanchez, 2-1 odds: She might be the best bet for pop stardom. Her voice, at 16 years old, is incredible. She may have the best chance to break the five-year run of guys winning this competition.
Elise Testone, 3-1 odds: Less than a month ago, Elise had no chance. Listing her as a longshot would have been kind. Now, she has a chance to win it all.
Phillip Phillips, 3-1 odds: I don’t feel America has fully embraced Phillip yet, but there is still time. He is no danger, for at least a few more weeks.
Colton Dixon, 8-1 odds: He has been gaining momentum, but not at the rate of those listed ahead of him.
Hollie Cavanagh, 25-1 odds: Hollie probably has three weeks left.
Skylar Laine, 150-1 odds: Two weeks left for Skylar. The country vote will keep her around for awhile.
Deandre Brackensick: 200-1 odds: Enough said.
LOOKING BACK: ONE YEAR AGO: THE FINAL 8
Overall, the talent (surprisingly) seems about the same:
Paul McDonald: I still think he was the class of the field.
Scotty McCreery: Well, next to Scotty.
Lauren Alaina: Whatever happened to her?
James Durbin: And him.
Haley Reinhart: I know she’s still singing. I saw her on Idol last week.
Jacob Lusk: The comment on this blog that compared Joshua Ledet to James Lusk simply was not accurate.
Stefano Langone: Not a real surprise that he faded into oblivion.
Casey Abrams: I kind of thought we’d hear something from him, but … wrong again.
ONE YEAR AGO AT THIS TIME: TOP 10 PERFORMANCES
Can you remember a year ago at this point in the competition? These had been the best individual efforts:
1. Paul McDonald (“Maggie May”), *MOMENT*
2. Pia Toscano (“I’ll Stand By You”), *MOMENT*
3. Haley Reinhart (“Piece of My Heart”), *MOMENT*
4. Jacob Lusk (“God Bless the Child”), *MOMENT*
5. Paul McDonald (“Tracks Of My Tears”), *MOMENT*
6. Lauren Alaina-Scotty McCreery (“I Told You So”)
7. Paul McDonald (“Come Pick Me Up”), Week 2 of finals
8. Casey Abrams (“With A Little Help From My Friends”)
9. James Durbin (“Living For The City”)
10. Pia Toscano (“Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”)