American Idol Predictions: Who’s Headed Home From the Top 9 Tonight?

Thursday March 29th

Last night’s performance show featuring the Top 9 American Idol contestants was just wickedly insane, or maybe it’s just that the judges were wickedly insane. Steven, Randy and JLo spent most of the evening on their feet, handing out the big O’s to just about everybody — well five out of nine contestants — which in our books, is just about everybody.  We’ve made our predictions below for who’s going home tonight on American Idol. Here’s our recap of the night’s performances and the results from the ZabaSearch Prediction Engine follow below. Let the chips fall where they may as performances begin:

(**Read more about the ZabaSearch Prediction Engine and ZScore index values here.)

Colton Dixon lays out a fairly decent rendition of Lifehouse’s Everything, his “favorite worship song.” But he looks good, his hair is nice and Jennifer and all the other ladies out there like it, so Colton is clearly safe. But then, Randy takes it just want step too far, “I think we’re looking at a contender for the title! He wants to win!” And apparently being first out the gate just has a seemingly too large impact on Randy for the rest of the night, as he repeatedly refers to Colton’s mostly-ok performance as “laying down the gauntlet” for the others. Ok judges, he was good, but not that good. However, Colton is a consistent mix of quality singing and he ranks highly on the ZabaSearch American Idol Social Media Scorecard (SMS).

Our call:  SAFE    ZabaScore:  5.6


Next up is Skylar Laine with a version of Miranda Lambert’s Gunpowder and Lead. (Has anybody else noticed that from Madonna to Miranda, everything Skylar belts out sounds in her thick southern accent sounds exactly the same?)  The judges praise this performance, and at this point we are wondering if something is wrong with our television or ears. Judge Steven says, “Skylar, that was over the top.” Over the top of what? Skylar checks in with an arguably mediocre performance and an arguably mediocre SMS number.

Our call: DANGER     ZabaScore: 0.6


Then Heejun Han takes center stage and shows us that the Hee-man hee-haws no more with an emotion-filled version of A Song for You by Donny Hathaway. Now, it wasn’t a bad performance, mind you. In fact, it was a pretty darn good performance, especially for Heejun, but on an overall scale, the performance itself was probably not worthy of the big O. Regardless, at the end of the song, Randy, Steven and Jennifer were on their feet, not really because of Heejun’s overall quality of performance, but more because he was just so darn ornery last week and he actually listened to them and behaved this week. The bottom line – -Scooby snack for good behavior, but not necessarily for outstanding performance. Heejun has proven that he is a capable singer, but lately, he’s been trending downward in terms of the rate of new fan acquisitions as shown in the ZabaSearch American Idol Social Media Scorecard.

Our call: WILDCARD     ZabaScore:  1.6


In an elegant, simple white dress, Hollie Cavanagh pays tribute to her personal idol, Carrie Underwood with Jesus Take the Wheel. During rehearsals with Stevie Nicks, Hollie made Stevie cry. Now we know why. Hollie, one of the select few who didn’t get the big O this week, checks in with the most dismal of all performances this week and she rates relatively low in fan count.

Our call: DANGER     ZabaScore:  0.2


As if on cue, DeAndre Brackensick rains down his wrath of falsetto on the audience with Sometimes I Cry by Eric Benet. However, for some inexplicable reason, the judges are on their feet (again) with JLo exclaiming, “People, pick up your phones and vote for DeAndre!” while Steven says, “You gave Prince a run for his money.” What the?? At this point, it’s now perfectly clear that the judges are the one’s who are insane tonight.  DeAndre is consistently low on the SMS but somehow slips by the judges with a performance that can only be construed as painful at best. We have faith that the audience knows better.

Our call: DANGER     Zabascore:  0.4


Fan favorite and fashionista extraordinaire Jessica Sanchez knows how to please the judges and the crowd by transforming Sweet Dreams by Beyonce into a slow moving ballad. Though she’s done better in previous weeks with truly amazing performances, apparently the judges are now simply conditioned to just assume that she’s phenomenal. While her performance was good, it was not the same caliber of previous performances though she did elicit the same sort of be-all-end-all praise from the judges. Popularity is high, singing quality is good.

Our call: SAFE     ZabaScore:  7.3

Next, Stevie Nicks tells Phillip Phillips that if they had been friends in the seventies, Mick Fleetwood most certainly would’ve invited Phillip to in Fleetwood Mac. Wow. Simply wow. The compliment of all compliments and Phillip goes on to belt out  Still Rainin’ by Johnny Lang. Up go the judges, and it’s good singing and being an all around crowd favorite that will keep Phil around for a while.

Our call: SAFE     ZabaScore: 3.5


Nearing the end of the evening, with the fans and judges getting tired of all that up and down, Joshua Ledet gets the three-pack of judges up one more time with his version of Without You by Mariah Carey. While it’s hard for even the ladies to sing Mariah Carey, it’s gotta be even more difficult for a young lad to take on Mariah, but Joshua accomplishes the impossible with an amazing performance. Clearly a talented singer, Joshua has never ranked highly on the ZabaSearch American Idol Social Media Scorecard, and for that reason, we do not believe Joshua will make it to the end. In the meantime, he’s hanging on, but for how long, we are not sure.

Our call: WILDCARD     ZabaScore:  0.7


Last on the list came soulful Elise Testone, who sported glittery pants similar to those worn this same evening by Steven Tyler. Elise got into her groove and rocked out a the classic Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin.  While it’s impressive that she took on a song by the iconic Led, we are more impressed that she took on a song previously performed by Adam Lambert — that, my friend is not easy to do. Idol judges, back on your feet. Elise has always been a better singer than the audience has recognized her to be — performance quality is high, but fan popularity is low, which makes Elise an unknown entity this week.

Our Call: WILDCARD ZabaScore: 0.6

The bottom line — ZabaSearch predicts:

The Bottom Three
Hollie Cavanagh
DeAndre Brackensick
Skylar Laine

The Wild Card
Elise Testone
Joshua Ledet
Heejun Han

Who’s Going Home
Hollie Cavanagh

(**Read more about the ZabaSearch Prediction Engine and ZScore index values here.)