The march to the "American Idol" Season 11 finale goes through the Top 7 this week and things aren't looking too good for Hollie Cavanagh, the 18-year-old from Liverpool with the big voice that has had a bit of difficulty in the last couple weeks connecting with her songs. Her only hope seems to be that Elise Testone seemed to slip again this past week, landing in the Bottom Three after jumping completely out of the bottom for two consecutive weeks. Who joins them in the Bottom Three will be anyone's guess, but Skylar Laine could if she doesn't perform like she did in the Top 8 performance round when she soared with "Wind Beneath My Wings." But is that what the power rankings for the Top 7 suggest as well?
Andrew Payne at Starpulse has been consistent at one thing this season, he admits: Picking DeAndre Brackensick wrong. That is, until last week. He had him ranked last through to the Top 8, then watched him get kicked off the show. But this week, Payne didn't have DeAndre to kick around (off, to the side, up, down, or anywhere), so he chose Elise Testone to hold the bottom spot. He kept Phillip Phillips as his champion, noting that bringing his brother (in-law) onstage last week was definitely a smooth move. Payne's list, sans Brackensick, remained unaltered from his Top 8 list.
Meanwhile, James Stinger over at Foxes on Idol, who picked Brackensick's fall, sees Hollie Cavanagh holding the bottom spot with Testone just above her. In fact, Stinger's line-up was unchanged from last week save for the top two positions. Because of Joshua Ledet's stellar performance of "If You Don't Know Me By Now," he self-lifted himself into the No. 1 position on the power rankings list. Sanchez, who was the former No. 1 for weeks, dropped to No. 2. (Phillips is No. 3.)
Tracy Fusaro at Wetpaint sees the bottom like Payne sees the bottom. She also sees the top like Payne: Phillips in the lead, with Colton Dixon in second. But that's where the likeness ends, because Fusaro sees Sanchez as a third-placer, whereas Payne sees her as third in the trio in the Bottom Three. The numbers are flipped for Skylar Laine.
As for Laine's placement with Stinger, he agrees with Fusaro and places the Mississippi girl in the Bottom Three at No. 5 as well.
The Top 7 "American Idol" finalists will perform songs from this decade in the upcoming performance episode Wednesday evening. That only gives them roughly 28 months of material to choose from. Considering that this season's group of contestants truly might be the most consistently good performers that have ever been on "Idol," as long as they don't do any Ke$ha or Nicki Minaj, they should do alright with the theme.
Three of the girls could all do Adele tunes while Skylar Laine could perform a Miranda Lambert number.
As for the guys, Dixon will undoubtedly do a Coldplay number or something from the contemporary Christian charts. But Ledet and Phillips? Who really knows? MJ at MJsBigBlog.com hopes to hear Bruno Mars' "Grenade" by Ledet and Mumford and Sons' "The Cave" from Phillips.
MJ doesn't quite see Adele for the female contestants. (See wishlist here.) And "American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe has tweeted spoiler alerts that two Kelly Clarkson numbers will be performed this week (and one could be a duet).
So who will fall? It really looks like a toss-up between Testone and Cavanagh trying to woo the Save out of the judges. However, given Cavanagh's last two performances and placement in the Bottom Three, if she sings for her life, she probably will not be saved. Testone, although she's been in the Bottom Three twice (Top 8 and Top 11) and was the bottom vote receiver for the Girls in the Top 13, the judges like her and have been vocally supportive of her when she was in the bottom. She could possibly pull the Save. If Laine presents another powerhouse performance, she, too, could get the Save should she end up (somehow) singing for her life.
If any of the other four -- Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, and Colton Dixon -- receive the least votes of the Top 7, the Save will be used. The judges have enthusiastically supported the quartet throughout.
The "American Idol" Top 7 perform "Songs from the 2010s" on Wednesday, April 11, beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Fox Television.
Once again, Payne's Starpulse Top 7 power rankings list:
7. Elise Testone
6. Hollie Cananagh
5. Jessica Sanchez
4. Joshua Ledet
3. Skylar Laine
2. Colton Dixon
1. Phillip Phillips
(photo credit: Aerosmith, Creative Commons)