12. Jermaine Jones (Last week's ranking: 13)
His rich, deep baritone is objectively incredible much of the time. But does it work on the Idol stage? And will voters be put off by the way the ”gentle giant” celebrated his SAFE card right in front of the others instead of being classy and walking away?
(UPDATE: Reports on Tues., March 13, say Jermaine may be removed from the competition by producers for failing to disclose information about his legal history. More details to come on Wednesday night’s show.)
11. Elise Testone (Last week's ranking: 10)
Last week’s ”I’m Your Baby Tonight” was not her best — probably because Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige forced her to do it and she had just learned the song! The Girl With the Room Service Hair-Flowers deserves better, and hopefully Jeremy Rosado’s bottom-two buddy can redeem herself this week.
10. Shannon Magrane (Last week's ranking: 9)
She may have sung ”I Have Nothing,” but what America’s favorite high school volleyball player had was enough votes to keep her out of the bottom two after last week’s cringe-worthy Whitney Houston cover.
9. Erika Van Pelt (Last week's ranking: 12)
Whitney’s ”I Believe In You and Me” was not the best showcase for Erika’s throaty alto, but she still pulled it off — while wearing yet another bridesmaid’s dress, to boot! Erika’s so good, but she’s not getting the votes. Without a show-stopping performance this week, Randy’s wild card could get lost in the crowd.
8. Joshua Ledet (Last week's ranking: 5)
America’s Next Top Gospel Hand was socked with singing first last week. With the right placement and a memorable performance, ”Mantasia” can remind voters why they should want him to stick around.
7. Heejun Han (Last week's ranking: 7)
His tendency to go stripped down and subtle in his performance style (like last week’s ”All In Love Is Fair”) could become boring. And yet…he’s so funny! Heejun is the real wild card this season, for me. For you, dawgs?
6. DeAndre Brackensick (Last week's ranking: 8)
Steven Tyler’s 17-year-old spirit animal busted out a reggae vibe and some legit swagger on Stevie Wonder’s ”Master Blaster.” If he can keep surprising us, the teen girl vote should keep him safe at least a few more weeks.
5. Colton Dixon (Last week's ranking: 4)
The emo rocker isn’t always ”pitch-perfect” (I can still hear the resounding boos after Randy Jackson said that last week), but Colton sure did hit some sweet spots with powerful notes at the end of last week’s ”Lately.”
4. Skylar Laine (Last week's ranking: 3)
”Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” anyway? Nowhere near the bottom 6. Our country rocker is in this for the long haul. Major props to last week’s mentor Mary J. Blige for suggesting right away that Skylar dial it back. With the right coaching, her covers can easily sound like originals. And she even has the ear-ringing endorsement of Jimmy ”I love nasal” Iovine!
3. Phillip Phillips (Last week's ranking: 2)
Davematthews Davematthews Jr. closed out last week’s show with a lively rendition of ”Superstition” unlike any we’ve seen on the Idol stage, and we’ve seen plenty. Plus, it’s cute to see Randy so jazzed about someone that he makes the effort to ramp up his vocabulary: ”Dude, you drive your own car in your own lane and I love it!”
2. Hollie Cavanagh (Last week's ranking: 6)
With a relentlessly endearing, understated personality and a voice that can swallow up hundreds of giant candles on stage despite her tiny stature, Hollie is All the Contestant That We Need.
1. Jessica Sanchez (Last week's ranking: 1)
How could I not give the top spot to the 16-year-old after a pitch-perfect cover of Whitney Houston’s ”I Will Always Love You”? She’s technically amazing. The only thing I question is her emotional believability. She’s a little ”white swan,” if you catch my drift. For now, though, she’s the tops.
You’ve seen Annie’s ranking of the top 12’s likely strength with voters; now it’s your turn! Head over to PopWatch to comment on her Power List, and post your own!