Just when ‘American Idol‘s Tim was starting to come around, his number was called. Last week, for the first time all season, he creeped out of the last spot on the Power Rankings, and just like that, he’s gone. It’s true, he failed to deliver this week. To whatever extent that emotion can be pulled from a Goo Goo Dolls song, Tim didn’t do it. He wasn’t believable and the result was fair.
That leaves us with a Top 6 and things are finally starting to get interesting, but only in the bottom two-thirds of the list.
If nothing else was established this week, we saw that, barring any major changes or surprises, the finale should be between Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze.
Where does that leave everyone else? Let’s find out:
The Top 6
1. Crystal Bowersox (Last week: #1): Believe me, as tedious as it is to read this list and see Crystal at the top of it every week, it’s that much harder to find creative ways to say that she’s dreadlocked head and shoulders above everyone else. She broke out of her comfort zone this week by singing without playing guitar and it was a deeply moving and touching performance. It was genuine and it was sung incredibly well. There’s just no denying that Crystal is the best this season has to offer.
2. Lee DeWyze (Last week: #3): He’s second on this list, and he might stay here for the rest of the season, but Lee will likely win the competition. When it comes down to voting between two singers at the end of this season, most mainstream fans will prefer Lee over Crystal. It isn’t fair, but those are the rules. Just ask Adam Lambert. That said, Lee deserves to be here and this week was another breakout performance. Simon said a couple of weeks back that Lee had the moment that changed his life. But this week was when Lee placed himself in the finale. His treatment of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” was current and riveting, and he proved that he deserves to be mentioned as a front runner right alongside Crystal.
3. Siobhan Magnus (Last week: #4): This is where things start to get a little fuzzy. There’s still no doubt Siobhan has a fantastic voice, but it’s also true that she has struggled like crazy in the past several weeks. The judges clearly shook her up with their criticism of her one big note, and she’s tried to back off of it since. When she goes into her lower register, she sounds like a strong-voiced diva right out of the ’70s, and that’s just too old-fashioned of a sound for her. Siobhan holds the third spot this week mostly because everyone around her is crumbling just as quickly, but she has the most potential to improve.
4. Casey James (Last week: #2): Maybe last week’s jump in the Power Rankings to No. 2 was too much for Casey. He may have landed in the bottom this week, but he didn’t deserve to fall quite that far. Nonetheless, he slides down the list for a reason. Ellen nailed it this week when she told him that he’s consistently good, but it’s time now to start being great and Casey hasn’t shown he can do that. Casey basically delivers the same performance each week, and he had to mix it up. He needs to do something to surprise us, otherwise it’s going to come off as if he’s perfectly happy landing somewhere in the Top 5 and living the rest of his life as the guy from “American Idol” who plays blues rock at the bar.
5. “Big” Mike Lynche (Last week: #5): Big Mike took to the “Spider Man” soundtrack for his inspirational song, but it’s getting to the point where a hero might not be able to save him any longer. Two weeks after the judges saved him, he’s still in the competition, but that won’t last much longer. Michael is starting to lose his way with his song selections, and that’s because he strayed so far from the performer he was at the start of the season that he’s having trouble figuring out who he is again. Big Mike came in as an acoustic rocker, but when the James Brown-like R&B vibe started working for him, he went that way. This week, he tried to be a rocker again and no one bought it. It’s a bad time for an identity crisis.
6. Aaron Kelly (Last week: #7): Aaron was spared this week and could have another week in him because next week’s theme is Shania Twain songs and Shania will be the mentor. This will force Aaron back into his bit of country flair, which should help him. He needs it. Aaron has lost much of the charm and curiosity that made him interesting earlier in the competition. He’s starting to look a little lost and unsure of who he is and why he’s there. This week could help him get back on track and he needs to capitalize on it.