American Idol – Top Ten Rankings (Pre-Round 3)

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Shocker! #3 Seed Gets Ousted in Early Round!

It sounds a lot like a headline from last weekend’s opening rounds of the NCAA B-ball tournament (aka March Madness…by the way, you can check my bracket standings by clicking here). But it’s actually my headline from last weeks 2nd Round of AI. My #3 seed in the women’s bracket took an unexpected tumble last week while the lower seeds remained active. I had said in my previous rankings (which you can read here) that AO would probably never rise above her #3 ranking since she had a limited repertoire. It was kind of like Duke going down to Belmont (which is a NASHVILLE music school ironically). Duke is the better team and would win 9 out of 10. But when they went cold on the perimeter (3 pointers), they had no other alternative. Our Rock n Roll Nurse was always a one-trick pony…but it was entertaining. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t on her best game last week, and the fans didn’t get behind her. That’s not a good combo. Maybe AO should invite the Dukies over for her first post-tournament concert. Now, on to this week’s rankings:

Men’s Power Rankings

Women’s Power Rankings

1. David “Help Me With My Hair” Cook

  • Steady
  • I was surprised by some of the criticism of his round 2 performance by so-called “experts”. I think his performance was hands-down the most interesting. Besides that, it was also creative and out-of-the-box. On the one hand, the judges tell the performers to be unique, but then often criticize them when they are. They can’t have it both ways.
1. Brooke “I Dare You Simon” White

  • Steady
  • Ranked in this spot for 3 consecutive weeks, she stumbled a bit last week. I still enjoyed the performance, but it’s clear that she should leave dancing to someone else. That’s one element of “variety” she needs to live without. If she stumbles again, she could be replaced by Smithson, but with another of her solid prime-time performances, she’ll stay atop the rankings.
2. David “Aw Shucks” Archuleta

  • Moving Up
  • Re-established himself last week. His bread and butter is the ballad / anthem. He’s as good as any male contender has ever been in AI history with this genre. The teenies (and maybe a few breathless moms as well) with speed-dial will keep him as a real title contender all the way to the wire. But I still think he’s got to find another gear, another punching combo to get to the top.
2. Carly “Take 2″ Smithson

  • Steady
  • Right now, she’s a bit like the female version of Double D (Michael Johns). She’s good. She knows it. You know it. We all know it. But it’s just not “happening”. There’s just nothing engaging about her yet. And since there is an element of popularity that goes along with this competition, she’ll have to figure that out.
3. Michael “Double D” Johns – “Dingo Dude”

  • Moving Down
  • Had yet another “OK” effort. It seems like that’s my description for him week after week now. He stated during last weeks show that his highlight was Hollywood week and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I couldn’t agree more. He just has not been the same since. It’s in there, he’s got it…we’ve seen it. But he’s got to start delivering the goods again…and soon.
3. Ramiele Malubay “Barbie”

  • Moving Up
  • Malubay Barbie moves up the rankings for the second week in a row. However, this is not based on her performance in the ring, but her popularity with those with ring-side seats. In other words, she has established a very loyal following and they are voting for her consistently and I suspect in large numbers. This is what Smithson is lacking. Having a voting fan base will allow her a few more weeks to find her best strategy and deliver something that will expand her base. If not, she will not make it past the top 5.
4. Chikezie “Cheezit”

  • Moving Up
  • Cheezit is only holding steady because JC did nothing to upgrade his own status. Cheezit has the chops to set himself apart as a unique and highly enjoyable fighter in this contest. He has the ability to be a Sugar Ray Leonard. Sugar Ray completely changed the style of the game and people loved it. Cheezit has shown he can do it… but he has to pick his style and stick with it.
4. Syesha Mercado

  • Moving Up
  • Much better in Round 2, but that didn’t take much to accomplish. She moves up due to the early departure of the “Rock n Roll Nurse”. I thought early on that Mercado had some skills, but she just hasn’t established a style. Her skill level is not as good as Smithson’s, and her following is no match for Malubay Barbie. Doesn’t give her much wiggle room. ~
5. Jason “Dreading It” Castro

  • Moving Down
  • Last weeks song was dreadful. He actually called “Michelle” a dynamic song. If that’s his definition of dynamic, his powder is wet. He looked and sounded like a goofball while delivering this distinctly non-masculine version of the song. People may like him, but he’s running out of rope.
5. Kristy Lee Cook “KLC”

  • Moving Up
  • Once again, this is addition by subtraction. She moves up simply because another got the hook. I liked KLC early on. I like her personality. But it seems to disappear (ala Kady Malloy) when she sings. And I don’t think she is totally sold on the whole “country” slant. I’m amazed she didn’t get the hook last week, but it is only delaying the inevitable.
DONE: David “Busted” Hernandez

See Ya!

DONE: Amanda Overmyer Really surprised to see her exit at this point. She was never a good singer, but she was an entertainer. I will actually miss her.

I think the most vulnerable this week remain the gals with KLC bringing up the rear, with Mercado only slightly ahead. I still think JC better improve soon or he’ll find himself sweating out a bucket of chicken with KLC. But upsets are always possible…just ask Belmont and Duke.


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