American Idol

Ranking the Top 10 on American Idol

American Idol's Top 10 for Season 20, including (front from left) Noah Thompson, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Leah Marlene, Lady K; (back from left) Nicolina Bozzo, Emyrson Flora, Fritz Hager, Mike Weaver, HunterGirl. (ABC Photo)

American Idol’s Top 10 for Season 20, including (front from left) Noah Thompson, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Leah Marlene, Lady K; (back from left) Nicolina Bozzo, Emyrson Flora, Fritz Hager, Mike Parker, HunterGirl. (ABC Photo)


American Idol takes a Top 10 into Sunday night’s Disney-themed show.

Idol cut three singers Sunday night, including one of my favorite voices in the competition (Allegra Miles) and one of the best female performers (Ava Maybee).

Then the best showman among the males (Tristen Gressett) left Monday night.

So, no, I wasn’t very thrilled with the outcome of the past two shows.

But the show must go on, there’s lots of talent remaining and here’s how I’m ranking the Top 10.

1. Leah Marlene (2): She dazzled me with both of her performances. Back when the season started, I feared Idol would focus too much on her quirkiness. Right now, it’s her voice, her showmanship and the creativity she’s showing in rearranging sounds that makes her the contestant to beat.

2. Nicolina Bozzo (1): She had dazzled me until her last two performances. Sunday’s “Hallelujah” wasn’t the moment it should have been given her vocal chops. “Since You’ve Been Gone” felt like an attempt to show her versatility that didn’t quite work. But when Nicolina is on and the song calls for emotion, she’ll dazzle me again.

3. Fritz Hager (7): If Leah Marlene has been the revelation among the Idol ladies, Fritz has certainly been the same among the Idol guys. He just keeps delivering one earnest vocal after another. And Ryan dubbed him a “heartthrob,” which probably won’t hurt.

4. Jay Copeland (6): Jay’s best two performances since the audition has been his last two. Granted, he’s getting an assist from producers who probably don’t want to see their platinum-ticket recipient booted too early. But Jay still has to deliver, whether he’s opening or closing the show. He did that twice. Very nicely.

5. HunterGirl (3): If HunterGirl is going to fulfill Katy Perry’s prophesy and make fans happy by winning American Idol, she needs to be really impressive every time she takes the show’s stage. Her “9 to 5” cover felt more like a safe, throw-away performance than one meant to brand her the front-runner.

6. Noah Thompson (10): In Noah, we have a super likeable guy coming to the stage and delivering earnest performances that are clearly connecting with country fans. And he’s shown the ability to put a country spin on non-country songs. His last two covers were “Stand By Me” and John Mayer’s “Heartbreak Warfare.”

7. Christian Guardino (11): He continues to prove he’s one of the best male singers on the show. I’m just not a huge fan of his delivery or his tendencies to rely on frills rather than a pure, heartfelt vocal.

8. Emyrson Flora: The youngest in the competition hasn’t even been in danger yet. Given her youth, she looks surprisingly composed on stage. But she needs to stay in the moment. No distracting side glances. No smiles when the song calls for somber.

9. Lady K (9): Her decision to cover Fantasia’s “I Believe” was probably a mistake. And her pitch strayed when the song swelled in both of her most recent performances.

10. Mike Parker (14): He sounded fine singing country in the audition room, but I wasn’t a fan of either of his most recent performances. His cover of “Chasin You” by Morgan Wallen didn’t work for me at all.

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