It was another bout amongst the Top 7 American Idol contestants last night, and everyone really brought their A-Game. As the competition heats up, predictions are becoming more and more difficult each week. Audiences are now basing their vote more strictly on performance factors, and the performances last night were over the top, just as we should expect from the Top 7. As the contestants took on songs from “Now and Then,” we had the opportunity to see them shine (some brighter than others) with popular songs from today and hits from the past. Since each contestant did such a great job last night, these predictions are going to be difficult. Based on the data, we’ve seen some contestants pull out in front and others, surprisingly (Colton Dixon), towards the bottom.
The results from the ZabaSearch Prediction Engine are in and we’ve calculated the latest ZScores for the Top 7. ZScores are intended to provide a relative ranking of each contestant’s probability of staying the competition for the current week. The contestants with the lowest ZScores are in the most danger of going home next.
Read on for a recap and review of last night’s performances along with our bottom line, nail biting predictions for who’s going home next from the Top 7 on American Idol.
Hollie Cavanagh opened the show with a decent performance of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. She gets kudos for her song choice, but by the end of the show her performance was almost forgettable (one of the detriments of being the first performer). Steven Tyler says that he “can’t judge it. It was perfect. It was beautiful,” and Randy Jackson says that he’s “not gonna say it was perfect, but it was close to perfect.” Hollie started out the show on a strong note, but things just seemed to get better and better from there, putting her in great danger of going home this week.
Hollie’s second performance was Son of a Preacher Man. Ultimately, the performance and song were quite forgettable. Jennifer Lopez said, “This song was better even than the first time and you did really great then.” Steven Tyler said, “I still think you can push it even more.”
Our call: DANGER ZabaScore: 1.4
Next up is fan favorite (the ladies seem to love him, according to Jimmy), Colton Dixon. Colton performed his own rendition of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Colton did a great job of taking a popular song and meshing it into his own style to make it his own. Randy Jackson said, “We were just at the Colton Dixon concert right there!”. Jennifer Lopez exclaimed, “It was an exciting, exciting performance!”. Colton really came out strong (contributing to our ability to forget about Hollie completely).
Unfortunately, Colton’s second performance of September was not as well-received as his first. Jennifer Lopez said, “You made it your own… but it’s really about finding the perfect songs that fit into who you are”.
Our call: WILDCARD ZabaScore: 6.3
Elise Testone took the stage with a performance of No One by Alicia Keys. Colton Dixon may be a difficult act to follow, but Elise did a commendable job. Jimmy noted that Elise “has a vacation home in the bottom three”. During her first performance, the judges commended her ability to connect with the audience and show emotion. Jennifer Lopez said, “What we push others to do in this competition, as far as letting go, you do so naturally”.
Afterher second performance of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On, the judges harped on Elise’s inability to connect with the audience, making her first performance appear to be a fluke, despite the fact that she truly did a great job with connecting. Perhaps she lost her touch somewhere between the first and second performances. Randy Jackson said, “You definitely gotta show the emotion… That song choice wasn’t really right for your voice… You kind of oversang that song.”
Our call: DANGER ZabaScore: 5.8
The next performance by Phillip Phillips was an excellent version (with his own twist!) of Usher’s You Got it Bad. He not only made the song his own, but his performance value was quite high. The audience truly seemed to love the song and Phillip received one of the few standing ovations from the judges’ table. Jennifer Lopez said, “That was so sexy!” and Randy Jackson said, “We have a true artist on the stage.” It’s noticeable that Phillip picked up quite a few new fans after last night’s show.
Phillip Phillips’ second performance of Wilson Pickett’s In the Midnight Hour was just as strong as his first. Jennifer Lopez said, “You make me want to get up there and do that little step with you… it’s the feeling and it’s the soul.”
Our call: SAFE ZabaScore: 12.1
Next up is fan favorite, saved from the bottom three, Jessica Sanchez singing Falling by Alicia Keys. Her performance was excellent. She truly connected with the audience and seemed to be coming back with a vengeance. It was clear that she really wants to be a part of this competition and her performance reflected her passion elegantly. Randy Jackson said, “I hope that American shows up and supports you this week.” Jennifer Lopez said, “They way you play with songs… it’s crazy. It’s insane!”
Jessica’s second song, Try a Little Tenderness, was well received by the judges and audience alike. Steven Tyler said, “Good God Almighty, bless my soul, you’ve done it again. And I like the fact that you’re stepping out!”
Our call: SAFE ZabaScore: 17.1
Following Jessica is American Idol’s own country dumpling, Skylar Laine singing the country version of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Jennifer Lopez said, “I love that version of that song. A more perfect song for you does not exist”. Steven Tyler said, “Skylar, I’m so glad you were born that way… You’re giving all the other girls in this competition a run for their money.” Skylar’s song choice really struck a chord with the judges, and may have struck a chord with the audience as well.
Skylar Laine took on Heard it Through the Grapevine for her second song, and she really seemed to have a good time with the song. It may have been a bit forced and somewhat forgettable, but not bad enough to peg her in the bottom three. Steven Tyler said, “You are a horse that refuses to be tamed!”
Our call: WILDCARD ZabaScore: 6.3
Next up is Joshua Ledet singing Fantasia’s I Believe. The song choice may have been a poor decision for him, and he was quite awkward when asked by Ryan Seacrest if he thought the song was foreshadowing his future. Joshua seems to have trouble connecting with the audience. Randy Jackson said, “I love that you picked a song that you believed in.” Steven Tyler said, “You could sing the phone book… you’re so good at it. There’s just nothing to say anymore.”
Joshua’s second song was Sam Cook’s A Change is Gonna Come. He received the second standing ovation from the judges. Jennifer Lopez said, “We all know how you can sing already, but it’s how you come out and you sing these songs.”
Our call: DANGER ZabaScore: 4.1
The bottom line — ZabaSearch predicts:
The Bottom Three
The Wild Card
Who’s Going Home