'American Idol': Top 20 Power List!
THE GUYS10. Elijah Liu
Ewww. Bieber Lite. Nicki Minaj's super-helpful note to Elijah was that he was a ''little star'' and that she wanted to have his babies. He's 18, so it's okay. Classy, even. Legal. She'd sign him today, based on his ''most marketable face/voice combination.'' Gag me. What is this, The X Factor?
9. Charlie Askew
The awkward teen who boldly took on ''Rocket Man'' is a polarizing contestant, so it all depends on the purity of his vocal this week. I'm already sick of the way he keeps talking back to the judges. (It seems an inevitable recurring symptom of Charlie Askew Syndrome is not knowing when to shut the eff up and listen.)
8. Nick Boddington
Last week's ''Say Something Now'' cover was a total snoozefest. He needs to stay at the piano and connect emotionally with a song if viewers are to pay him a second thought.
7. Curtis Finch, Jr.
His vocals are exquisitely pretty. The problem with Curtis is that he seems so fundamentally arrogant, and nothing's more annoying than when arrogant people pretend they're actually really humble. He needs to stop gushing ''Bless you for that'' after every compliment.
6. Cortez Shaw
His vocal stylings are pretty wild and hit-or-miss, but I understand why they want him — he's got a great face, he's willing to try anything, and he's dynamic. Girls will like him. Hey, there's Nicki Minaj, totally turned on, right now.
5. Devin Velez
Could he be the dark horse of the season? Eighteen-year-old Devin made a smart move switching to Spanish midway through Beyoncé's ''Listen'' — what could have been a cheap ploy coming from a more gimmicky contestant played out like an appropriate and natural surprise from this good-natured kid.
4. Lazaro Arbos
Vocally he is just not up to par with the others, but the extreme stutterer from Cuba who's never fit in is the sob story of the season — adorable, gracious, and will make you feel things.
3. Paul Jolley
The only ''WGWG'' of the male Top 10, Paul will easily skate through the final Vegas round. His performances tend to be a strange combination of thoughtful and boring. Good luck? (He won't need it!)
2. Vincent Powell
I worry that Vincent's sound won't be current enough for many voters to care, but then again Nicki had a great, albeit hyper-trashy point when she told Vincent she could envision ''a whole bunch of 50- and 40-year-old women throwing their panties at you.'' And really, what has one's professional singing career been leading up to if not that?
1. Burnell Taylor
Young, cute, hurricane survivor, and one of the strongest vocals in the competition thus far. His method of movement, phrasing, and personal style — tight pants! thin now! — are indeed unique, at least in terms of reality television. I can see myself quickly growing tired of the way he ''conjures up'' notes in the song like magic, though.
THE GIRLS10. Tenna Torres
Nasally and not too exciting of a performer, she's considered the least-deserving of the Top 10 Girls.
9. Aubrey Cleland
She wowed us last week with Beyoncé's ''Sweet Dreams,'' but the Oregon beauty could be a one-hit wonder, just gorgeous, supermodel-esque cannon fodder.
8. Adriana Latonio
Tiny Filipino girl with a big voice. I wonder if the reason Idol hasn't shown her up until last week was to avoid early comparisons to last season's runner-up Jessica Sanchez.
7. Breanna Steer
A sassy attitude and continued excellence in song choice (Mary J. Blige, Jazmine Sullivan) could keep her around. Also, hello, Rihanna lookalike.
6. Amber Holcomb
Her ''My Funny Valentine'' cover was so good, Mariah Carey wanted to smack her, and that's how you know you've made it. But I fear she'll get lost in the shuffle (she already got to perform last in Vegas two weeks ago).
5. Zoanette Johnson
How do you solve a problem like Zoanette? Love her or hate her, she's got so much buzz heading into the first vote that viewers will want to see and hear more...provided she doesn't completely blow it.
4. Janelle Arthur
She's poised for a major comeback performance after last week's Lady Antebellum dud.
3. Angela Miller
She definitely ''gets inside'' a song and knows how to twist and turn it (and her body) to full effect; I just wonder if the judges' clear favoritism and her tendency to over-perform could end up turning people off.
2. Candice Glover
The soul singer's powerhouse vocal cannot be denied, and she's got fans still upset at her early ouster last season in Vegas. I just hope she won't suffer from early-pimpage syndrome this time around — she's been mentioned time and time again so the idea of her as a frontrunner has been drilled into our brains almost as forcefully as Mariah Carey's boobs.
1. Kree Harrison
The judges love her authenticity, and her ''Up to the Mountain'' cover was so effortless, so free of artifice, that I forgot I was watching American Idol.