And here are your Top 13:
Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, Hollie Cavanaugh, Jermaine Jones, Jeremy Rosado, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine
This is an exceptionally diverse group of singers. All are sublimely talented and the weekly Results Shows will be a heartbreaking experience this season. Any one of these singers can take the American Idol crown.
Consistency of weekly performances will be key to longevity in this competition. Song selection, performance technique, vocal skills, charisma, musical arrangement – it all has to come together for these singers each week in order to avoid early elimination.
Here are some quick personal observations of these singers:
- Oh my goodness, not to sound crude but I feel I need to wear a diaper every time Heejun opens his mouth to speak. He is one funny, adorable dude. Plus he does have a beautiful voice. This boy is going to go far in the “biz”.
- Jeremy and Jermaine melt my heart. They are lovable, sensitive artists blessed with beautiful voices. I don’t think we have ever heard the likes of Jermaine on the Idol stage. What a vocal gift he has!
- DeAndre – plain and simple – is a star. Possessed with stellar vocal ability, he sings with sensitivity and artistry and, quite simply, has that X-Factor that the other show by the same name is struggling to find. Now, he has to remember to balance the head and full voice as he so beautifully managed to do when he “sang for his life” on the Top 24 show. Very important!
- Colton and Phillip are remarkable performers, very distinctive and extremely creative in their musical approach. Both are strong, visionary performers and they should move quite deep in this competition.
- Joshua is a passionate performer, but really has to be careful not to overstate his vocal message. Another performer who needs to heed this advice is young Jessica Sanchez. I really love this young lady – she is so gifted. But, she needs to ground her vocal sound in solid diaphragmatic breath support.
- Something that Hollie, Erika and Shannon have already accomplished. These young ladies are absolutely brilliant in their technical approach and, based on what I have seen and heard so far, very crafty in their song selections. Their phrasing is so musical and their breath control very solid.
- Skylar is a little spitfire – a mini- Reba- and I know we are in for some spectacular entertainment from her in her future showcases. I wonder which Whitney song she’ll select next week?
- Speaking of which, I hope beyond hope that nobody sings “I Will Always Love You”. It is so strongly associated with Whitney Houston and far too soon since her home going service.
- And, finally, Elise, who is a consummate musician but needs to work on cleansing her vocal delivery. The voice, for me, lacks purity, although she always sings with innate passion and sensitivity. I just worry that she and Jessica are going to experience vocal malfunction as the competition moves along. Both singers must be coached to sing in a healthier and productive manner.
Good luck to all the singers. I know we are in for a beautiful musical journey with all of you.