So what is a power ranking? In football, it’s when some pundit who probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about lists all of the teams in order of perceived strength based on the myriad factors that make a football team great, mediocre, or terrible.
Here, all it means is that this is my list of Idol contestants from best to worst. I am ignoring factors that voters often vote on, such as demographics and sob stories. So yes, these are even more meaningless than football power rankings.
I have tried to wipe my impressions clean for this first round of the top thirteen (although I of course have my biases). I have forgiven a few of them for poor performances earlier if they had a strong performance last night.
As the season goes on, these will be cumulative. If someone gives the worst performance one week, survives, and gives the best the next week, that person will not automatically jump to number one. So four or five weeks in, it will be a lot harder to move up in the rankings.
With all that out of the way, here is my first week of American Idol power rankings:
- Allison Iraheta. She was stellar last night.
- Adam Lambert. While I question how far an openly-gay contestant can go in this game, there is no question he deserves to advance.
- Danny Gokey. Either the producers, Danny, or both decided to stop pushing his personal story last night. That is a very good thing. A stellar performance of a tough song is an even better thing.
- Lil Rounds. She saved herself from the curse of the death spot with a commanding performance.
- Alexis Grace. I’ve been harsh on her before, but she ended the show with a bang. Can she keep it up? I have my doubts, but she’s in the top half for now.
- Kris Allen. Maybe the vocal wasn’t mind-blowing, but an interesting song choice and arrangement pushes him to the top of the middle ranks.
- Scott MacIntyre. I hated the lame piano-pop, but I need to credit a good vocal. I really hope he stops with the saccharine, though.
- Jasmine Murray. The first good performance I’ve heard from her. It was a very good night for lots of people, though, so although I liked it, she still falls in the middle of the pack.
- Matt Giraud. I feel bad putting him so low, but again, it was a good night for a lot of people. The verse wasn’t great, but he brought it home with the chorus.
- Michael Sarver. Sang well, but it was a bit generic.
- Anoop “Noop Dogg” Desai. While he’s fun, it’s becoming clear that he’s only a decent singer. If I’m right about that, the novelty will wear off quickly and he’ll be gone.
- Jorge Nuñez. Bored me to tears. A disappointment after he was surprisingly good in the top 36.
- Megan Corkrey. The only performance last night that was downright embarrassing. Bird noises? This was almost as bad as Kristy Lee Cook’s legendary take on “Eight Days a Week.”
Just for fun, I’ve asked Former Housemate Mike to contribute his power rankings. We see things very differently, so this will give us something fun to fight about.
Former Housemate Mike’s Power Rankings
- Allison Iraheta. Rock. Loved everything about it. Good song choice, great voice. Best of the night, but not even all that great.
- Matt Giraud. Kinda lame, but sang very well and looked very comfortable on the piano. Solid overall.
- Michael Sarver. His whole image is kind of weird and conflicted, but it was a very nice performance. Very clean.
- Scott MacIntyre. Honestly hard to look at the dude, but he sounded really pure and smooth, and picked a good song for him.
- Megan Corkrey. This is a big drop off in the next 5. Sweet voice, nice on the eyes. TERRIBLE song choice. I knew Simon would lay into her. But I think she can be a contender.
- Danny Gokey. Kinda Taylor Hicks-ish which could help or hurt him. Should get votes but might end up as a one trick pony. Sang well, awkward performance. I’m not a fan.
- Jasmine Murray. Really nice voice. REALLY dull, though, or she would have been higher. I liked her song choice and arrangement, also.
- Adam Lambert. Wow, this guy sucks. I really hate him. Not as much as one other, but I really hate him. Sucks he has a great voice. Needs to gay it up less. Potential for great metal voice.
- Alexis Grace. Really wanted to like her more. She’s like a less white trash Nikki McKibbin. But I just thought she was trying WAY too hard and it showed.
- Jorge Nuñez. Really hard to watch this dude like most of the others. But he stood out. He screwed up the melody hardcore and just really pissed me off.
- Lil Rounds. Two words: Seen it. And much better. BORING. Tired. Need sleepy.
- Kris Allen. I hate him with such a passion. He’s the only one I actually want to see dead. He’s a lamer Jason Mraz because he incorporates the Dave Matthews leg dance thingy. God, I hate him.
- Anoop Desai. Absolutely the worst of the night. Don’t want him dead, but he needs to go. Worst song choice, even worse than Megan. Painful.
So, as you can see, Mike is pretty much wrong about everything except for Allison. That’s not really a shock. Seriously, Mike, Megan at #5?