For several weeks, I have struggled about the top two positions in this ranking. Joshua and Jessica have been THAT close, at least in my Idol-aholic mind. I had patiently waited for a subpar performance from one or the other that would separate them — either cement Joshua as No. 1, or allow Jessica to overtake him.
I feel we had that Wednesday night when Jessica threw down another gauntlet, and this time Joshua could not match her.
IDOL NATION RANKINGS FOR THE SEASON
(Last week’s rankings in parentheses)
1. (2.) Jessica Sanchez
Song: “Stuttering,” by Jazmine Sullivan *MOMENT*
Comment: Does this girl lose herself in a song or what? This was another marvelous effort from the finest female performer we have seen in (at least) several years. Akon, who served as this week’s mentor, said he truly believed Jessica could one day be a legend. My gosh, this girl is just so wonderful of a talent. It’s a pleasure just to listen to her every Wednesday night. I will sincerely be sad when this season ends and there are no more Jessica or Joshua offerings to appreciate. One other thing … welcome to the No. 1 position, Jessica.
2. (1.) Joshua Ledet
Song: “Runaway Baby,” by Bruno Mars
Comment: This was not the Joshua I prefer. He is not nearly as effective in an uptempo arena. I want Joshua and the church choir back. The judges fawned all over him, but sorry, it didn’t work for me. And for the first time this season, I have removed Joshua from the catbird’s seat. (In fairness to Joshua, he made a nice comeback in the trio with Jessica and Hollie.)
(3.) Elise Testone
Song: “You and I,” by Lady Gaga
Comment: Overall, she gets a passing grade, but there were — once again — some major hiccups during her performance. Jessica passed Joshua this week, and now Colton is zeroing in on Elise for that No. 3 spot. I’m beginning to think she peaked with Led Zeppelin a few weeks ago.
(4.) Colton Dixon
Song: “Love The Way You Lie,” by Skylar Grey
Comment: Colton’s been riding a great wave of momentum, and this week figured to be one of those make-or-break moments. And he nailed it. He absolutely nailed it. Colton is at his best when he allows us to appreciate his voice. He’s more of a balladeer than a rocker, although I’m not sure he realizes that yet. This was a quality performance. J-Lo referred to him as an artist, one of the few times she has made sense in recent weeks, but that is a perfect description of this kid. I once thought he might be the second David Cook. Instead, he’s the first Colton Dixon, and that, I think, is even better.
5. (5.) Phillip Phillips
Song: “Give A Little More,” by Maroon 5
Comment: Once again, this was the same performance we have seen for more than a month. Even J-Lo and Randy are coming around to my thinking. At this point, Phillip is light years behind Joshua and Colton, who have continued to grow in this competition. There’s probably an outside chance he could get ousted.
6. (6.) Hollie Cavanagh
Song: “Perfect,” by Pink
Comment: For weeks I have been trying to figure out who Hollie looks like and Wednesday night it hit me — Jodie Foster! And what about this song? Well, it was less than, less than perfect. Hollie might want to start packing.
7. (7.) Skylar Laine
Song: “Don’t Know How Much I Loved You,” by Kellie Pickler
Comment: I think this was a colossal mistake by Skylar. A big part of her appeal is her energy, and standing in front of a microphone strumming a guitar seemed to suck all the wind from her effort. In addition, she seemed bent on screaming the lyrics than singing them. Like Hollie, Skylar’s in danger of going home. The judges, of course, loved her, but they are completely out of touch with reality these days. Remember when Steven Tyler used to be Steven Tyler?
TOP PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR
1. “When A Man Loves A Woman,” Joshua Ledet. *MOMENT*
2. “I Will Always Love You,” Jessica Sanchez. *MOMENT*
3. “Stuttering,” by Jessica Sanchez *MOMENT*
4. “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me,” Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez *MOMENT*
5. “Whole Lotta Love,” Elise Testone *MOMENT*
6. “If You Don’t Know Me By Know,” Joshua Ledet *MOMENT*
7. “The Power of Love,” Hollie Cavanagh. *MOMENT*
8. “How Will I Know,” Jessica Sanchez
9. “Edge of Glory,” Erika Van Pelt.
10“Vienna,” Elise Testone
SEASON NIELSEN RATINGS
1. American Idol (Wednesday shows), 20.2 million viewers
2. NCIS, 19.5 million
3. American Idol (Thursday shows), 18.9 million
4. Dancing With The Stars, 18.5 million
5. The Voice, 17.5 million
6. Dancing With The Stars (results), 16.5 million
7. Big Bang Theory, 16.3 million
8. The Mentalist, 14.6 million
9. Person of Interest, 14.3 million
10. Criminal Minds, 13.6 million