Well, with the elimination of Paige Miles last night, we now have the official [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol Season 9]] Top 10 finalists.
It’s funny, but since we did our breakdown of the American Idol Top 12, the game has changed. A lot. At the beginning, it seemed that many of the contestants were equally matched. But with a couple of weeks under our belts, the distance between the finalists is growing. It’s time we gave you our run-down of the Top 10 finalists…from best to worst.
- [[Crystal Bowersox]] – The lady knows how to sing. She knows her own mind. Crystal gives solid, powerful performances each week, and she doesn’t take any crap from the judges. And now she takes a little rug on stage to stand on because she doesn’t like the drab gray stage, adding to that slightly non-conformist image we have of her.
- [[Casey James]] – Casey seems to bridge that rock/country style nicely. He looks like a rocker, plays guitar like a rocker, but often has a bluesy, country inflection that makes it more interesting to listen to him. He’s also one of the best guitarists on Idol (“ever”, according to Randy ‘Randall’ Jackson), and when he’s on form, his performances can be electrifying.
- [[Michael Lynche]] – Another consistenly strong performer, ‘Big Mike’ has stage presence in bags. He’s got a rich, soulful voice, but he can also turn his hand to falsetto and bluesy sounds as well. My biggest concern is that Simon Cowell is pushing him toward an R&B style that will make him a Ruben Studdard clone.
- [[Didi Benami]] – I love Didi’s folksy stylings and distinctive voice. More than that, she’s a beautiful girl and is very marketable. The two problems I foresee for Didi – that her style of music might not have mass appeal, and that women sometimes feel hostile toward attractive girls like Didi. She may be alienating some of the voting public, but there’s very little she can do about that.
- [[Siobhan Magnus]] – She came out of nowhere, a slightly odd, glass-blowing singer. Then she blew us all away with incredibly confident stage performances and those soaring vocals. My concern is that she’s becoming reliant on the ‘big scream’ during the song, and the judges may be overhyping her somewhat. She still hasn’t made a mis-step yet.
- [[Lee Dewyze]] – Love the gravelly vocals and the slightly grungey look the Lee’s rocking. One of my favourite vocalists of this season of Idol. I’m frequently underwhelmed by his stage performances, although this week’s show might mark the start of more lively stage performances from DeWyze.
- [[Aaron Kelly]] – There’s a lot of future potential in Aaron Kelly, but his ambitions to sing mature country tunes while being so wet behind the ears, are hurting him. The voice is fantastic, and I do like what he does. But he’s 16, and this is country music. Come on!
- [[Andrew Garcia]] – Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the series. Andrew is currently being cushioned by a couple of obviously worse singers. He’s been confused by the judges’ conflicting advice, and he can’t pick a song to save his career. Right now, a promising artist is reeling and struggling to find a way to impress the judges and the public.
- [[Tim Urban]] – Never judge a book by its cover. Tim’s a looker, all right. But his singing skills don’t match the man-candy packaging. I’ve wanted him to do better, but the destruction of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love was an unforgivable mis-step. He’s going down.
- [[Katie Stevens]] – A lovely girl, but a consistently poor singer. Always, without exception, Katie’s performances are ruined by tuning issues. She’s a reasonable singer, and very confident for her age, very marketable. But there’s no way she can turn this around now and win.
That’s how I rate the current finalists – am I wrong or right? Should someone have been rated higher? Or lower? Leave your opinions in our comments section.