I’m off today so I pre-wrote this one to amuse you for the Memorial Day weekend:
Three months ago, I made some brave predictions on the top 13. I actually didn’t do as badly as I’ve done in the past. My worst miss was Heejun, followed by Hollie.
1. Phillip Phillips. Glory glory! I actually predicted this one right. This is probably a first in the history of my predictions. This is what I wrote at the time:
He is the template that has done well season 7 to 9. He’s a good looking white dude with a guitar, evoking previous winners Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze with a bit more panache. He moves just like Dave Matthews and brings a bit of smokey blues to the table vocally. He embodies songs with a singular electricity that is infectious. And when he’s just talking, he’s charmingly humble. ODDS TO WIN: 4-1
2. Skylar Laine. Actual finish: fifth. I really liked Skylar so I let my optimism color my decision to place her second. I actually like her more than last year’s runner up Lauren Alaina.
3. Jessica Sanchez. Actual finish: second. I was not a big fan of hers early on. I didn’t like the tone of her voice and never quite “felt” her as an artist. But I placed her high because I sensed she had a following and skills to make it far. And she did. Well done, Jessica (even if she needed the “save.”)
4. Heejun Han. Actual finish: ninth. Ulp. He was the biggest disappointment of the top 13. His vocal skills were kind of limited, his song choices really boring. When he tried to change things up with Billy Joel, he got panned. His best shot is doing something comedic rather than melodic.
5. Colton Dixon. Actual finish: seventh. I really didn’t like Colton early on. He just seemed like a poseur. I mentioned that he was far less engaging than comparable “rock’ singers of “Idol” ilk like James Durbin and Adam Lambert. Though he did a few decent interpretations of songs (especially “Love the Way You Lie”), his efforts to truly rock out were busts ( ummm. Lady Gaga anybody?).
6. Joshua Ledet. Actual finish: third. He did better than I expected. Based on Jacob Lusk finishing fifth last year, I thought Joshua would end up in about the same place. But Joshua, screaming and all, is superior to Jacob. I was hit or miss with him all year, preferring him when he didn’t go all church on us. But a well-earned third place.
7. Elise Testone. Actual finish: sixth. She finished about where I expected. I wasn’t sure if she had that Haley Reinhart momentum in her. Ultimately, she did not. Technically, she had the skills. Personality wise (and looks to a degree), I felt she was lacking. And some of her stage mannerisms (the pointing and bobbing) were distracting.
8. Hollie Cavanagh. Actual finish: fourth. She ended up being the Haley Reinhart of the year, starting out slow out of the box, then building momentum and confidence. I always liked her more than Jessica. She possessed a vulnerability and sweetness that I found endearing even when she struggled with notes or interpretations of songs. My favorite: “Bleeding Love.”
9. Erika Van Pelt. Actual finish: 10th. I was close on her. I really liked her low-register rock vocals but she simply lacked intrinsic star power to draw votes. I’m glad she made it on tour, at least.
10. Deandre Brackensick. Actual finish: 8th. He has the cute factor and an over-used love for the falsetto. He’s a work in progress and could certainly find his niche in R&B. He got as far as he reasonably could given the competition and the circumstances, outlasting the other wild cards.
11. Jermaine Jones. Actual finish: 12th/disqualified. He was never officially eliminated. By lying about his past, he kind of eliminated himself. A wasted slot to say the least that should have gone to David Leathers or Johnny Keyser, two singers who could have made the top 5 in my opinion.
12. Shannon Magrane. Actual finish: 11th. When I saw her on the finale, I forgot who she was! How time flies! Hearing her, I also realized why she failed to make it very far. Her vocal abilities are nothing special compared to the top 10 and she has very low-wattage stage presence.
13. Jeremy Rosado. Actual finish: 13th. I couldn’t remember his name during the finale either. Easy come, easy go. He had that background boy band feel to him with absolutely no chance of being a lead singer.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk