Posted: 9:44 am Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Predicting the season 13 ‘Idol’ top 13 elimination – in order 

By Rodney Ho

Every year at least since season 4, "Idol" publicity has sent us reporters a little chart to track "Idol" contestants with little stickers and a magnetic board. Here is my predicted top 13. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Every year at least since season 4, “Idol” publicity has sent us reporters a little chart to track “Idol” contestants with little stickers and a magnetic board. Here is my predicted top 13. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Every year, I predict how the top 12/13 will finish on “American Idol.”

Some years, I do pretty well.  During season 11, for instance, I actually picked the winner early.  But then there are years like season 8, where I notoriously predicted the first two to be eliminated as Kris Allen, followed by Adam Lambert. (Danny Gokey was my pick to win.) I couldn’t have been more wrong that year.

The fact is I often under-estimate some people’s appeal. Others rise to the occasion when the live shows begin. Some stumble badly.

So take this with a grain of salt but it’s fun to do anyway. Here is my top 13, in order of predicted elimination:

13. Kristen O’Connor. She was the first contestant I noticed while I was at the Atlanta auditions at the W Hotel in Midtown. I even took pictures of her thinking she might be a possible finalist. And she made it! But once I watched her sing, I immediately felt like there was no there there. She is a technically solid singer and she’s pretty but otherwise, I don’t get it. She was not voted in and had to be placed by the judges as a wild card for a reason. ODDS OF WINNING: 1,500-1

12. MK Nobilette. She has a sweet voice and seems to be very nice. But from what I’ve seen, she has zero stage presence. She sings with this disturbingly blank look on her face. She’s the first openly gay “Idol” contestant ever, which is amazing in and of itself. But otherwise, I can’t see her turning into a great performer this week and sticking around very long. ODDS OF WINNING: 1,000-1

11. Malaya Watson. I like her a lot due to her inherent nerdiness. But she is young and she seems a little over-caffeinated on stage. I hope she does better than 11th but I think Majesty Rose, her closest peer on the show in terms of vocal style, will outlast her. And if I’m dead wrong, so be it. ODDS OF WINNING: 100-1

10. Dexter Roberts. For some reason, I like Ben Briley and C.J. Harris more than Dexter at this stage. Dexter lacks distinctiveness and style, as the judges noted. So I think he will have trouble lasting more than a month. ODDS OF WINNING: 100-1

9. Emily Piriz. She has confidence and a certain level of sweetness. But like Dexter, I don’t see a star at all here, nothing that makes me think she’ll be a true artist.  ODDS OF WINNING: 90-1

8. Alex Preston. He evokes the word quirky. He also knows who he is as an artist, kind of like Casey Abrams a couple years back. I anticipate interesting song choices and he won’t disappoint in terms of stagecraft and vocal stylings. But folks like him don’t tend to win. ODDS OF WINNING: 30-1

7. Jenna Asciutto. I can’t quite figure her out. Will she go singer songwriter or pop? She can belt, that’s for sure. So she’s one of those I have a hard time placing. I have a feeling she’s going to be inconsistent and if she has two bad weeks in a row, she’s a goner. ODDS OF WINNING: 20-1

6. Jessica Meuse. She is someone I can’t stop watching. She brings a special vulnerability to the stage, like a wounded robin. That, I think, will generate votes, no matter what she sings. I will be rooting for her and I hope she makes it at least this far. ODDS OF WINNING: 15-1

5. C.J. Harris. I may be over-estimating his appeal since he didn’t get the votes the first time around and had to be placed in “wild-card” land. But he possesses an innate likability that is impossible to fake. I feel like if he can stay in his lane and pick great songs for his voice, he can last into April. ODDS OF WINNING: 12-1

4. Ben Briley. We know country does well in this competition. Ben isn’t that much more distinctive in my mind than Dexter but holds himself with a little more confidence, has a wee bit more potential star power. The country contingent will keep him around no matter what. ODDS OF WINNING: 10-1

3. Caleb Johnson. I see him as a bit of a retro rock guy a la Meatloaf. The aging “Idol” audience will love him and he will perform week in and week out, predictably bombastic and loud. He could even win this if Sam stumbles. ODDS OF WINNING: 7-1

2. Majesty Rose. She has a great name and a sweet Jordin Sparks-like presence about her. She is the only woman I think that has a shot to win but even then, she is going to have to bring it. She may just be the Kat McPhee of this season who could make it to the finals but then has no real shot against Sam. ODDS OF WINNING: 6-1.

1. Sam Woolf. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this confident this early about any single singer but Sam has all the ingredients to win. He’s young, good looking, confident, likable and vocally mature beyond his years. He’s the total package. He’s going to have to screw up big time for several weeks in a row to make me doubt him. ODDS OF WINNING: 1-2

The recent horrific, Olympic-killing ratings prove this show will never be able to get back to even where it was a couple of years ago. It may have only one more season after this, if TMZ’s financial predictions are correct. But at least for the few of us who are still watching, the show is watchable. And the talent appears to be decent this year so we won’t get bored either. Harry Connick Jr. may not be a ratings savior but he is a comfortable throw pillow for us “Idol” survivors.

I just hope the show can generate 12 million viewers a week Wednesdays and 10 to 11 million viewers on Thursdays the rest of the way.

TV preview

“American Idol,” 8 p.m., Wednesday, top 13 live performance show, Fox

***
I do know some of you are watching “The Voice.” Here are some of the better ones from last night:

Delvin Choice, a return from season 5 who didn’t get a chair turn, doing “A Song For  You” and getting all four to turn:

Madilyn Paige has a very sweet voice but she appears very raw:

And check out Deja Hall‘s audition of “True Colors.” She has some soul:

Here’s some country love from Cary Laine doing “Better Dig Two.” All four judges turn for her:

And “The Voice” did have a season 3 winner Cassadee Pope who has generated a couple of hits on country radio. She’s not burning it up like a Carrie Underwood but she’s doing okay.

53 comments
JTesla
JTesla

My predictions, I'm not as confident with the middle group as I have been in the past. Perhaps a sign that Idol is getting old.

13. Kristen O’Conner: in order for attractive women to make it in Idol they need to be able to sing. Maybe she can, but she hasn’t shown that yet. Coupled with her wildcard status as an indicator that she will be one of the first to go.

12. Malaya Watson She can’t go soon enough. If she cracks the top 10, she’ll be Idol’s most annoying contestant ever.

11. C.J. Harris Of the country singers he appears to be the least confident.

10. Jena Irene

9. Alex Preston quirky doesn’t work in Idol, see Casey Abrams.

8. Emily Priz

7. Ben Brilley

6. MK Nobilette

5. Dexter Roberts

4. Jessica Meuse

3. Sam Woolf, blech. Not a fan, I’ll be surprised that he finishes this high if doesn’t start showing more talent.

2. Majesty Rose she’s got what it takes to make solid performances.

1.Caleb Johnson all he needs to do is make something his “own”.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Hey Destiny!  Copy and paste your comment and put it on the performance thread a few threads up.  That's where we'll all be today.

Destiny57
Destiny57

Sorry, I do not see what people see in CJ. Last night was his Best performance for me but it was not great. I like Majesty Rose. She has a good voice and her style is original. I see Idol is trying some new things to rejuvenate the show like the "5 things you want people to know about you in 20 seconds". Good idea as it allows the viewers to see how the contestants can think and speak quickly. The show also has strong competition from, "The Voice" and they appear to have better talent on that side of the fence. If I could offer the show some advice, I would say, "Do NOT bring back, Harry Connick Jr." His judging comments are usually " off the mark". Most of the audience and I am sure, viewing public , DO NOT share his views. Simon was often critical as a judge, but we mostly agreed with Simon.

RK_
RK_

Im in in to comment!

Rickster_
Rickster_

Have a great evening everyone.

G_
G_

Roho - With the exception of Majesty, I can agree with your top 4.  I see it something like: 4. MK 3. Caleb 2. Ben 1. Sam.  I see Kristen or CJ being the first two eliminated. 

I just think a lot of people on the board are over estimating the appeal of CJ.  He embraces country, but his voice screams old school soul (which doesn't seem to appeal to him).  His stage presence is also a bit off kilter.  Maybe he get's lucky and cracks the top 10, but I wouldn't bet on it. 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

And Rickster, Linda R is one of the greats for sure - loved "Distant Drum" with Stone Poneys, and she's one of a limited few whos covers I love. "Blue Bayou" stands out as one. A truly distinctive voice, just heartbreaking she will never be able to sing again. Such an insidious disease.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

RoHo: just adhere to the "Ignor" part of "Ignorance" exhibited below!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Hey, what happened to my incredibly long list of voting methods?  

MoSch
MoSch

Mr. Ho if you do not mind my asking who got killed at the Olympics I did not hear about it but then I do not speak Russian?

ReallyAJC
ReallyAJC

Hot Rod,


On a scale of one to slitting your wrists, how demoralizing is it to have to write about American Idol?

MoFaux
MoFaux

Ben's version of Soulshine was terrible.  The guitar solo was admirable, but not good.  And the singing was also just average.  Being a musician, I want Alex to win it all, although I agree that he has very little chance to even make the top 5.  He needs to show how awesome he is on guitar.  That dude is by far the best musician Idol has ever seen.  He might just be the Jennifer Hudson this year, leaving around #5 or 6, but having a much better career than anyone else.  If not Alex, I'll take Majesty as my pick to win it all.  She is so much better than Sam imo.

So far, I like this year much better than the previous 3 or 4.  Thanks Harry!

Rickster_
Rickster_

None of the girls on the show that I saw (nor many popular female artists today) could hold a candle to Linda Ronstadt in her prime.

Rickster_
Rickster_

I just spent about 5 minutes listening to Carole King & James Taylor singing a piano-only duet of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" Absolutely amazing.

I remember one of the most stunningly beautiful performances I've ever seen on any TV show was Mel Torme singing a piano-only version of "The Christmas Song" on "The Tonight Show."

With all the big, flashy productions combining with voice alteration (AutoTune) to cover a lack of talent, there's something so true about the old adage "less is more."

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Re a few of the girls who we think won't last long.  They can always attempt the Haley Scarnato method(wearing extremely short shorts with extremely high heels).  Those legs got more votes than her singing.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Let me clarify:  50 votes per contestant on each possible device.  That's a lot of votes but it is also more controlled voting.  Say you like 7 of the 13 singers.  You can give 50 votes to EACH of the 7 you like per voting method.

UWreckMeBaby
UWreckMeBaby

I agree with most, last year was an an aberration and a guy will win again. I believe the voting power of young females and country fans will prevail. But I am of the belief that as long as votes are not made public, Fox and Idol management will continue to manipulate the results as needed to keep certain singers around. This is how I think it will go:

1. Sam 2. Ben 3. Majesty Rose 4. Dexter 5. MK  6. Malaya 7. Caleb 8. Jena (its GINA!) 9. CJ  10. Jessica

11. Emily 12. Kristen 13. Alex

For the record, I wish it would end like this:

1. Jessica 2. Jena 3. Majesty Rose 4. Malaya 5. Kristen 6.Caleb 7. CJ 8. Emily 9. Dexter 10. Alex 11. Ben 12. Sam 13. MK

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

I'm hoping CJ will not do country, but instead pick some Otis, Fats D, Sam C (NOT "Change is gonna come" please!!!!), BB King, Arthur Alexander -  some good old rock 'n soul would really suit his mellow, gravelly voice.

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

I'm not sure I'm ready to make a prediction yet because I'd like to see the actual Top 13 , but if I had to now, I'd say: 13. Kristen, 12. Dexter, 11. Malaya 10.Emily  9. CJ 8. Ben 7. Mk  6. Alex 5. Jessica 4. Caleb 3. Jena 2. Majesty 1. Sam.

 Tho, I am reluctant to put Sam as the winner, because he really flew under the radar for quite a while. To me, if Alex overcomes his shyness, I can see him having a stronger finish. I also feel like Ben, CJ and Dexter will be splitting the country vote. 

I'll probably revisit these after tonight. 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Grandson looks like a firecracker - bet he keeps his Mom and Dad running.

DanJohn
DanJohn

Rodney, just wanted to say thanks for posting the videos from The Voice. While I watched it live it does save me from going to youtube. I usually watch the contestants several times and it's amazing the little things you pick up every time. I like Delvin A LOT! He reminds me of Peabo Bryson

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I like Jessica's voice a lot.  And I agree completely with the "wounded" description however, Idol cast her as the bad girl early on and I don't think some voters will be able to get past that negative image.  I'd like to see her go far in the competition but I don't think she will.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Her name is Jena!  Poor girl, nobody can get it straight.  Doesn't bode well for voting.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I need to see tonight's performances before I make any predictions(I'm not as brave as Rodney)  But I do have to agree about Sam.  The guys stick out as more talented this year and Sam is a "squeeze his cheeks and go aw" kind of guy.  Plus he can sing so I am hard pressed to find any objections to him.  I prefer other singers at the moment but that means nothing to anyone other than me.  I also agree that Majesty has a good shot for the top 3.  As the only girl(so far) who stands out for me, she also has that "squeeze her cheeks" appeal.  And as Rodney pointed out, Idol's audience is aging so "hot guy" may not be tops on anyone's list.

I am curious to see how the limits on voting will change or not change the dynamics.

JTesla
JTesla

I love doing this every year, but unlike other years I just don't know these people. In prior years I could skip portions of Hollywood week (Green Mile episode) and still "know" the contestants, this year I wathed every episode, but just haven't seen enough live performances.

I'll put something together, but unlike most years where I pick with confidence and still get it wrong I'll guess without confidence and probably have the same results. Although last year I did very well picking, only missed a few.

BTW: Go Shockers!

DanJohn
DanJohn

Rodney, I think the odds of a guy winning is almost guaranteed. At the moment I can't argue Sam being the frontrunner however my gut tells me either Caleb or Ben winning. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part. Majesty is wonderful NOW but I see her becoming boring after a few weeks. I have a feeling Kristen or Jenna might be the last girl standing.

Rickster_
Rickster_

@Sam-A1 There are very few covers Linda's done that I don't like better than the original. ANd her version of "I will always love you" puts Whitney's to shame.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

OK, now my incredibly long list of voting methods has reappeared.  I think the blog is trying to gaslight me.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@ReallyAJC How bad must your life be to have nothing better to do than troll on an American Idol blog?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@ReallyAJC  Aw, you must be really bored to have to lower yourself to post on an Idol thread.  Is there anything we can do to make your day a little brighter?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@MoFaux  Stepping out of character?  I agree about Alex.  Really loved some of the things he has done. I hope he keeps up the good work and sparks some nerd appeal in the audience!

DanJohn
DanJohn

@MoFaux Mo, I agree that Alex has the total package musically but I don't think it will resonate with the voters although I hope I'm wrong.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC Kristen, and maybe Emily are the only two who could pull a Scarnato.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@UWreckMeBaby  Manipulating vote numbers is against the law.  Idol and every other voting show is monitored closely by the FCC to make sure everything is on the up and up.  That's not to say Idol doesn't do everything it can to get us to vote the way they want us to vote but hiding the numbers(something I believe every live vote show does) does not mean the count is a lie.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@KellyandCarrieFan Based on recent behavior, the country voting audience for "Idol" is pretty darn strong. So I don't know how much splitting will happen.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@DanJohn I don't know how often I'll do that since I've committed to "Idol" and have too many other shows to recap ("Scandal," "RHOA," "Walking Dead"). If anybody from Atlanta makes it to the later rounds, of course, I will pay more attention.

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DeirdreC It's a thing with Idol and girls with red in their hair.  Wasn't there a girl, Vanessa?, in a very early season, maybe the first, who was TOLD to say something unflattering about Ryan, which got her thrown out for being "rude".  Hate those made-up scenarios.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC My personal contestant “weather vane”, my wife, who doesn’t follow Idol online likes Jessica and doesn’t view her as a “bad girl”. I kind of agree with you, but then perhaps our perceptions have been colored.

Like the new picture.  

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DeirdreC Well, if she spelled her name like she wants it pronounced, Gina (or Geena), then there would be no problem. Jena looks like Jenna to me. I once had a friend who named her daughter Jacelyn and wanted it pronounced Jacqueline. Endless discussions about the poor kid's name, in school, and up through college.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@DanJohn There may be more support for Kristen than I anticipated! I feel no there there.

G_
G_

@DeirdreC @MoFaux

Personally, Alex is one of my faves so far.  I respect the high level of musicianship and the throwback appeal.  I'm going to need a couple more weeks to figure out his overall appeal to the AI viewership, but I think he makes top 10 easy.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@DeirdreC @MoFaux ???  What character would that be?  Anyway, Alex's voice is not amazing, but honestly, Majesty is about the only one to live up to that adjective so far...for me.  Yes, I think Alex needs "Ogre" to reprise his role from the classic "Revenge of the Nerds" and shake down some votes.  As all Nerds aficionados know, Ogre turned into a nerd himself I believe in the 3rd movie in the series. :-)

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@RodneyHo @KellyandCarrieFan  I don't disagree that they are a strong voting audience, but I say that because there are 3 male country singers.... I can't really see any of the girls shift to country, but if Kristen did, she might last longer. But we'd have a Scotty / Lauren Alaina style repeat. Meh.

Honestly, I'm expecting the moment when Nashville finally goes, "enough with the reality people." Because really, after Carrie, Kelly (these days), Pickler, Scotty, Lauren Alania, Josh Gracin, Bucky, Casey James, Phil Stacey, Chris Sligh, Kristy Lee Cook, Danny Gokey, Phil Stacey, Bo, Kree, and attempts from Haley Scarnato, Aaron Kelly, Siobhan, Skylar and Lacey Brown... 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla  Thanks, the picture was taken this weekend right before his birthday party.

I agree that I could be totally off about Jessica.  It might depend on how many voters watched Hollywood Week.  If your wife is right, then I see her getting in the top 4.

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@MercedesS @DeirdreC  It reminds me of the Friends episode when Phoebe says that her grandma got her super secret cookie recipe from her French grandmother "Nestle Toulouse," which turned out to be Nestle Toll House... 

DanJohn
DanJohn

@RodneyHo @DanJohn My thoughts are she has to standout tonight. IF she does she might be this years Haley. Truthfully all the contestants need to be great tonight. The first week on Idol is like the Iowa straw poll. It sets the frontrunners IMO!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@MoFaux @DeirdreC  Sorry MoFaux, I'm confusing my Mos.  I thought you were MoSch.  Don't mind me.  Little lights are going out in my brain.