American Idol – Final Nine Rankings (Pre-Round 4)


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Some were surprised and deeply saddened at the early departure of Cheezit. But in the immortal words of wives and mothers everywhere, “I TOLD YOU SO!” I personally enjoyed the new brand of Cheezits that debuted in Round 1. They were spicy and surprisingly pleasing. Apparently I wasn’t alone in that opinion as Cheezit was invited back for more in Round 2. But he went to a mixed box in Round 2 and ultimately broke out the old, tired, stale box in Round 3…..and stale Cheezits are only really appreciated by rodents who didn’t appear in Ratatouille, and they lack the requisite dialing abilities to keep their favorite snack in play. As a result, we are less one tasty snack to enjoy in Round 4.

Tonight, we will see the remaining candidates attempt a truly surprising selection of songs……the Dolly Parton song book. WOW! Is this still American Idol? This will be an interesting hill for the competitors to climb and I have my doubts that many of them will reach the summit. Maybe this is all part of a conspiracy to keep KLC hanging around. I just can’t see Carly Smithson doing Dolly Parton…..Ireland meets East Tennessee…..there’s a combo huh? For whatever reason they went in this bizarre direction, we’ll still have our share of surprises, good and bad.

Here are my power rankings for this week….and I’ve decided to be bold and mix up the guys and gals as I now see them.

  1. David Cook – The man with the comb-over continues to surprise everyone. While last weeks performance wasn’t original (which I thought it was), it was still outstanding. His voice is sellable, his talent is sellable, and he has some real courage in going in different directions (which I totally respect). In my opinion, he is firmly entrenched in the top spot until he pulls a major choke-job (ala the Patriots in the Super Bowl)
  2. David Archuleta – I don’t really like ranking him ahead of BW, but I still believe he has more following among avid voters. DA can sing. That’s a fact. And when he does the slow stuff, he’s as good as anyone. Last week he proved he can step it up a bit which is in his favor. But I don’t think he has the depth of talent that BW has….still, he’s at #2.
  3. Brooke White – I’m personally rooting for her. I like her style. I like her personality. I like her courage. I like her voice. I really believe she has the potential to develop into a truly great performer. I’m still wondering if her squeaky-clean image will hurt her more than help her. I hope not because I think that’s part of her charm.
  4. “Double D” Johns – Double D takes on Dolly Parton tonight in a very weird showdown. The king of Queen is doing the queen of country in a very bizarre twist of fate. last week he raised the bar for the first time since Round 1, but I have no idea where he will go with the available material this week. I have him ranked ahead of Smithson because I think he has proven to be a bit more stable with the ring-side voters.
  5. Carly Smithson – The Celtic tatoo-lady will try to tatoo a country tune with an Irish lilt. It’s hard for me to even conceive of that sound. Nevertheless, she comes in at number 5 in the overall rankings this week. She has been a bit unstable in the rankings so far. She obviously has serious talent, but has proven to be less than the most popular ring contender. This could be a very dangerous week for her with this potentially deadly combination, but if she survives this week, she should be able to make it to the top 5.
  6. Malubay Barbie – She has perhaps the most dedicated single voting block in the competition. And there is a lot to like about Malubay Barbie. But each week, she has shown some weaknesses that will eventually catch up with her. As others drop out, votes that have been diluted among the other fighters will begin weaken her position. Unless she raises her game, I don’t think she will survive past the top 5.
  7. Syesha Mercado – I liked her performance last week, but she is plagued by the lack of identity and some of the inconsistencies of our dearly departed Cheezit. She has been up and down, hot and cold. That’s a dangerous place to be in since it’s hard for fans to get behind inconsistent fighters. People will pull for an underdog when they have a fighting chance. But they lose interest when they’re not sure what to expect. She has the potential to climb….but she has to deliver the goods.
  8. KLC – She pulled out one of the best song choices ever in the history of AI last week….the All-American girl singing the All-American song. How can you go wrong with that? Two weeks ago, I noted that she must be living a charmed life, and this weeks song book of choice, Dolly Parton, continues to indicate that assessment may actually be true. If anyone is favored by this weeks music it’s KLC, but I’m not sure she can pull another rabbit out of the hat.
  9. Jason Castro – JC just has worn old for me. Even more so than KLC. I can just picture him singing “Here You Come Again” and claiming that it has a lot of zippity-do-dah. But for me, JC’s zippity has already do-dahed. It’s dead. But then again, I’m not sure that it was ever actually alive. He may turn out to be a really great performer before it’s all said and done, but I’m ready to let him do it somewhere else.

Every week has the potential for surprises. With the song selections this week, we could completely turn the chart inside out. Who will be an island in the stream and who will get flooded out? We’ll see.


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