American Idol Top 3 Predictions: Who’s Going Home Tonight

Thursday May 17th

The ZabaSearch Prediction Engine has spoken and after the most difficult call yet, we’re ready to present a scenario for tonight’s elimination that’s sure to go against the grain of many, including our friends-slash-sparring-partners at AfterBuzzTV who have predicted oh-so-differently in their post-show wrap-up! However, before we progress, we must note that the margin of error for these predictions is somewhat broader than usual. Due to a significant aberration in data over the past week and our theory that Phillip Phillips had in fact two seemingly “official” fan pages that had likely merged into one at some point during the week, we made some alternations to our model to compensate for this, with the final result being many sets of highly shaky nerves on this side of the keyboard.

As usual, we present our take on last night’s performances of three songs– “Judge’s Pick”, “Contestant’s Pick”, and “Jimmy’s Pick”. Read on for a summary, or SCROLL DOWN for our bottom line predictions.  The ZScores given below provide a relative ranking of the likelihood that a particular constant will be going home in the upcoming elimination. The contestants with the lowest ZScores are in the most danger of going home.

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


Joshua Ledet

In tonight’s round of performances, Joshua hit the stage with three songs, including I’d Rather Go Blind, by Etta James, Imagine by John Lennon and No More Drama by Mary J. Blige. As if on a never ending journey to reach the heavens above, Joshua gave us another evening of consistently smashing performances — entertaining to watch and mind-boggling to listen to. I’d Rather Go Blind was classic Joshua Ledet.  Imagine gave us a chance to listen to the smooth, sweet tones of Joshua’s voice that we don’t normally have the opportunity to enjoy in lieu of his usual high energy, gospel screams that either amaze or annoy. Joshua rounds out his trio of songs with an adrenaline-inducing version of No More Drama, in which he creates all-the-drama-in-the-world by ripping off his jacket at the peak of the song–pure energy, pure Josh Ledet.

However, Joshua’s Achilles’ heel is still his style of singing. I’d Rather Be Blind was a “throwback” performance, as JLo notes.  However, an insightful comment by Randy highlights the crux of Joshua’s dilemma — despite the amazing singer he is, his talents lie in a genre of music that is “ailing and aching right now,” and therefore if Joshua is to win this, he clearly has an uphill battle to climb.

Our Call:  DANGER     ZabaScore:  8.0


Jessica Sanchez

Jessica took on three huge names in her performances during the evening, but we think the results fell slightly short of making the huge impact one would expect her to make with songs from artists such as Mariah Carey, Aerosmith and the Jackson Five.  Her rendition of Mariah’s My All proved to be the low point of her trio, reminding us all that Jessica should avoid the low ranges of her voice. However, she earned a degree of redemption when she sang I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing to the man who made the song a legend. Steven tells her, “You took a great song and made it greater.” In her final song of the evening, Jessica gave a hauntingly Michael-like version of the Jackson Five’s I’ll Be There, and though she nailed it, the song itself was sweetly flowing, leaving no room for the infamous “wow” moment that all contestant’s search for.

All in all, except for a fleeting moment where Jessica’s fans became complacent, nearly sending her home, her fan base continues to grow and the chatter is growing even louder. If the enthusiasm that we are seeing online translates to votes — Jessica is looking like a shoe-in to the final two.

Our Call:  SAFE    ZabaScore:  12.6


Phillip Phillips

And that brings us to the third and final contestant of the evening, Phillip Phillips, who started the evening with Beggin by Madcon, followed by Disease by Matchbox Twenty and finally We’ve Got Tonight by Bob Seger.  While Phillip’s first two songs of the evening were classic Phillip Phillips — we didn’t love them and we didn’t hate them — they were, as Steven said, not “over the top, but it was Phillip Phillips.” However, after weeks and weeks of these types of performances, Phillip closed the entire evening with We’ve Got Tonight by Bob Seger, and we have to admit that this song was so good that for the first time, the thought occurs to us that maybe Phillip Phillips does deserve to be here, and that maybe…just maybe…those throngs of tween girls are actually on to something.

In a stellar performance of this classic love song, Phillip Phillips came through with raw  honesty in a song that made a million girls swoon.  It was, as Randy pointed out, “the perfect song at the perfect time,” and his “best performance on the show–ever!” Since we can’t vote for Jimmy Iovine, the mastermind behind this flawless and much-needed choice for Phillip, we believe that in a single song, Phillip may have created the momentum for himself that had been waning in recent weeks, just in time to save himself and perhaps earn him Idol status.

Our Call:  Danger    ZabaScore:  8.1*

* Score based on modified parameters to compensate for data aberration.


The bottom line — ZabaSearch predicts:

The Bottom Two
Joshua Ledet
Phillip Phillips

The Wild Card
Phillip Phillips

Who’s Going Home
Joshua Ledet