Performances by the Top Nine on American Idol’s 13th season demonstrate that some of the contestants are “peaking” and gaining steam at this key juncture, while others are retreating or stagnating.
Among those who seem to be “on a roll” are Caleb Johnson, who will very possibly steamroller his way straight through to the final two, Jena Irene, and the ever energetic Malaya Watson. The 16-year-old from Michigan stole the group number that preceded individual performances with her hair-tossing antics. If you think it’s just me who thinks that, Judge Jennifer Lopez actually said it out loud. We can also put Alex Preston in this group of steady performers, but I doubt if nerdy Alex has the crowd appeal to win.
In the “stagnating” column would go Sam Woolf, Jessica Meuse and Dexter Roberts, while the worst performer of the night, for me, was the always-sharp (and I don’t mean that in a good way) C.J. Harris. Majesty Rose from Southfield, Michigan redeemed herself with a performance of Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out,” complete with tambourine, but Majesty Rose has been in voting trouble (i.e., in the bottom 3) nearly every week. I’ve no idea why. She is one of the most diverse of the singers and certainly superior to C.J. Harris every single time out of the box.
If I were a betting woman, I’d guess that one of the names mentioned in the paragraph above goes home tonight (March 27, 2014), while the journey continues for what seems to be the inevitable face-off at the O.K. Corral between Caleb Johnson and a second contestant to be named later.
At this point in the competition, it’s really impossible to say who that “runner up” contestant might be. Audiences seem to forgive C.J. any manner of vocal shortcoming. Even Judge Jennifer Lopez tried to soften her criticism of C.J.’s routinely off-key singing of “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” by the SteelDrivers by saying she didn’t know the song that well. Keith Urban tried to be diplomatic by telling C.J. that he had to “settle down and control it.” Only “Harsh Harry” Connick was honest. Once again, he said, “You have to work on your pitch.” Connick has said that every week to C.J., and every week C.J. sings off-key, anyway. Yet, every week he moves on in the competition.