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The NGH Report - American Idol 18's Top 20 Power Rankings

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The NGH Report - American Idol 18's Top 20 Power Rankings

 

Well, this has been a @#$%fest of a month hasn't it?

 

I was all prepared to start writing Hollywood recaps, but as the insanity of COVID19 started encompassing all of our day to day lives, I held back, realizing that this season was going to rapidly change. Either they would outright cancel it, suspend it and bring it back next year, or find a way to move forward under new restrictions. 

 

Now, we finally have that answer. We will be having a remote Idol this season, which is, suffice it to say, the pits. I could spend hours talking about how unfair this will be for the contestants and the viewers, but what's the point? It's done. This is what we get this year. I would have preferred that they just start the season next year with the same Top 20 and go straight into performance nights (even more of them since the schedule would allow it), but I'm not a television producer so I'm out of my depth on why they made the decision they did.

 

Either way, it's done. We are going to have really weird iPhone Idol this year and whomever wins will both have a hell of a lot of press (due to the insanity of how it all played out) and absolutely none of the memories or experience of being a part of a major television production. Very sad, but oh well... we press on.

 

In the spirit of that, I decided instead of doing a typical Hollywood article, I would just do a write-up of the contestants and how I view them ranked currently.

 

So, I've broken the Top 20 out into four core groups: The Cannon Fodder, The Underdogs, The Dark Horses, and The Frontrunners.

 

Please note: It is very important to know that this isn't a measure of vocal talent, but a measure of which contestant seems the best poised to win through a combination of demographics, a measure of their current popularity, genre strength, and Idol voting patterns. We are really in uncharted waters here with this remote experience. I had to think about what contestants would likely thrive in a more low key setting (ie. singer/songwriters) and also who had the financial ability to create a remote environment that would feel professional and produced. 

 

I do think this season will be very hard on our big voice belters. Without the production value, the sound mixing, the band behind them, there is likely going to be a threat of being a bit too much. For instance, what do you think is likely to be a more effective remote performance? Phillip Phillips' Volcano or Jessica Sanchez's And I Am Telling You? Exactly. 

 

It's weird. I thought this season had the potential of a strong female pop singer winning. But now? I think the likelihood of a WGWG winner has skyrocketed. We shall see!

 

Here we go!

 

The Cannon Fodder

 

Nick Merico - Look, I don't think anyone really likes him. His voice isn't unique or particularly strong and half of his presence on the air so far has just been Idol judges talking about what an asshat he seems to be. I think the odds of Nick leaving in the first cut is large and in charge.

 

Faith Becnel - Ditto here. Faith is a lot and very little of her is particularly interesting. She's a belter who has no subtlety and prefers runs to singing with literally any meaning behind her eyes. Also, why vote for her when you have so many other people in her genre that are better suited for this competition?

 

Aliana Jester - I think Aliana is sweet and if Idol was normal this year she may have had a shot of a nice growth arc, but now that we are moving so quickly? She's too far behind to shape a narrative. I just find her being forgotten.

 

Kimmy Gabriela - Speaking of being forgotten, Katy nailed it in her critique before admitting young Kimmy to the Semifinals: Kimmy is a very strong singer, who is utterly forgetful. What do I know about Kimmy? I know about her father. I have no idea what type of artist she wants to be and, honestly, she's so young that I don't think she knows either. 

 

DeWayne Crocker - Out of all of this category, I think DeWayne actually has the most potential of creating a surprise performance and surviving. Why? He has already shown he can do it. After his "Old Town Road" performance, a lot of people online took a second look at him. He may be a smart player and after seeing more of his unseen Hollywood performances, his voice is stronger than many realize.

 

The Underdogs

 

Franklin Boone - I think Franklin has a chance of making the Top 10, but it would take a standout performance. Let's talk demographics for a second: there are SEVEN black singers in the Top 20 this year. That's a really strong percentage. But, it will likely mean some demographic split for those that vote on demographics, which as we now know from 18 years of this, is a lot of Idol voters. I think Franklin could potentially suffer here as he doesn't have a unique genre in the Top 20 either. You know who does? Jovin. 

 

Sam Diaz - I think Sam is brilliant. I would love to see her in the Top 3. She is a true singer who sings from her heart and brings something important to her music. Her story is incredible and her optimism is amazing. She would be a great winner this season as the world melts around us. But -- I am very concerned that Sam will be able to compete remotely. First of all, she's based out of NYC, which is under strict lockdown orders (making it even tougher to get decorations or materials to build a setup), she does not come from a family with financial support, and she doesn't seem to have a large family she lives with that could assist. 

 

Cyniah Elise - Cyniah is an old school Idol type: a diva with a bit of an attitude. These singers don't typically do well on this program anymore. Could she make the Top 10? Absolutely. She has plenty of screen time and a big ole voice, but... who knows how that plays without the production value behind her? We shall see.

 

Makayla Phillips - Ditto for Makayla, though I will say... I think Makayla better understands who she is as an artist and will potentially be a smarter game player than Cyniah. She also has a lot of experience at remote singing. 

 

Olivia Ximines - I love Olivia and I think America will love Olivia. She is a shining light. I looked back at every single one of her performances and she has yet to have a misstep. She is young, a powerful singer, and a great performer. I think the odds of her making the Top 10 are stronger than anyone else in this category.

 

The Dark Horses

 

Lauren Spencer-Smith - Lauren has a Kelly Clarkson vibe to her. She screams "dark horse" to me. I could see her either flaming out quickly, or blow us all away with her performance. She is that girl next door type that middle America would run to vote for over the rest of the season.

 

Jovin Webb - My fear is that I love Jovin Webb more than America will love Jovin Webb. We shall see. He has received strong edits, seems fairly well known, and is unique in that he is the only one really rocking an old school blues vibe this season. It could set him apart from the pack.

 

Grace Leer - It's hard to bet against the only country female in the Top 20 from making the Top 10.

 

Sophia James - Here's my big question for the Top 10. Is there room for both Sophia and Julia? She's obviously very well-liked and very talented. She had a misstep in Hollywood, but quickly rebounded and is obviously a judges favorite.

 

Jonny West - Jonny was a tough one for me. I could have moved him up to the Frontrunners category, but I wanted to keep it limited. The argument for Jonny to make the Top 10 is simple: he is one of THE best stories of the season. My wife told me, as our hearts were breaking as Jonny looked for Margie at the end of Hollywood Week, only to find out she was eliminated, that "the Bachelor sucked this year. Jonny and Margie are the romance of the year for me." I laughed, but she's not wrong. It was like a movie. He's a super talented guy, and Margie's words to him as she was eliminated, "I want you to win it" could have been scripted.

 

The Frontrunners

 

Dillon James - Speaking of good stories, middle America is going to love this long-haired giving glory to God cowboy hat wearing addict-gone-straight. He's a redemption story with a unique voice and a powerful ability to connect to some real darkness. He could win it.

 

Julia Gargano - I think this season's best hope for a female winner is Julia Gargano. She's a hell of a songwriter, polished, and will have no problem adapting to remote performances. She's been doing them for years. Smart as a whip, modest, and has a hell of a voice. If we are looking for the great hope for the ladies, it just feels like Julia to me. She could win it.

 

Louis Knight - That being said... now that we are going remote, these next three guys are going to be TOUGH to beat. Louis is a British boy band clone who writes songs, mourns the loss of a good friend, and will have viewers crushing hard. It's like he was built in a lab to be Simon Cowell's favorite contestant ever on this show. Idol voters LOVE someone who they could picture marrying their granddaughters. He could win it.

 

Francisco Martin - This is literally the same story, but a bit of a different flavor: this one plays the guitar and is shy! Aww! The two of them are fairly interchangeable. It will come down to performances, but we'd be lying to ourselves if we underestimated either of them. He could win it.

 

Arthur Gunn - It's a shortened season. It's remote. The cuts will be hard and fast. Which means? Popularity counts. And the most popular contestant of the season? Arthur Gunn. He is probably the MOST American Idol story I have ever seen on American Idol. A kid from Nepal whose family moved to Kansas to find the American dream. When he arrived, he dug in to the sounds of Americana, folk, blues, and bluegrass and never looked back. He's not too foreign for the heartland and he's not too vanilla for the Coasts. He's talented, unique, and, as Lionel says incredibly too much, has "instant identity." I would be utterly shocked if Arthur Gunn doesn't win this season. Also, I wouldn't hate that result in the slightest. He could win it.

 

See you next week!

 

NGH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think that Just Sam will also make the Top 10, and since you yourself noted that Louis and Francisco are fairly interchangeable, I believe that one of those two will fail to make the Top 10.  But given what you mentioned about the challenges that Just Sam faces, I can see her being cut sooner than she might have been under normal circumstances.  Like the second or third cut.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CarmenSandiego said:

I think that Just Sam will also make the Top 10, and since you yourself noted that Louis and Francisco are fairly interchangeable, I believe that one of those two will fail to make the Top 10.  But given what you mentioned about the challenges that Just Sam faces, I can see her being cut sooner than she might have been under normal circumstances.  Like the second or third cut.

 

Pretty much agree, regarding Just Sam. I think that Francisco, will make Top 5. Not sure about Louis

Edited by psterina

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i agree with the assments for the most part. I like the front runners but they should Just Sam to front runner status, and Jovin too.

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I don't completely agree with NGH....

 

Cannon Fodders:

 

Faith Becnel - there is basically no reason for her to be here, she literally has scrapped by every single round

 

Aliana Jester - she's very underwhelming, verging on forgettable, she's also way too shy and quiet

 

Dewayne Crocker Jr. - WHO IS THIS AGAIN???

 

Nick Merico - in a season with a lot of "heartthrobs", he's clearly the worst one in that catergory...very average performances with nothing stand up about them

 

Franklin Boone - the judges seem to like him, but he's another one I think will have a connection problem as I forget he is the second he walks off the stage...

 

 

Underdogs:

 

Lauren Spencer Smith - SHE'S CANADIAN....that's all you need to know...won't get votes

 

Jovin Webb - this is someone that I think the judges like very much and I think can a judges' save should there is one this year...as a contestant, he's also another contestant that I have quickly forgetten about after he walks off the stage...

 

Cyniah Elise - someone that the producers are sorta pushing...however, some people have mentioned that she isn't the most likable of contestants, so... I don't see her getting votes ...

 

Kimmy Gabriella - this is someone I think the producers were sorta pushing earlier in the season, featuring her in commercials and promos and such...so, I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a judges/producers choice if that is a thing this year...

 

Sophia Wackerman - she has potential to get to the next tier and she seems to have some fans, but in a battle vs Julia, she clearly loses in my opinion...her last performance was a spastic mess though...

 

 

Dark Horses:

 

Olivia Ximines - while her voice is very green and clearly young, she knows how to perform and if she can entertain the audience (I'm sure she can find a way to dance at home), then I think she can get further than initially thought ...

 

Louis Knight - Louis will end up either going very deep or dropping out immediately ...his last few performances were very meh and underwhelming...but he has a story, he's cute and the judges are pushing him further no matter how good or bad his performances are...which is always a good sign for him...if he does give a bad performance, he'll end up like Jonny Brenns or Garrett Jacobs

 

Dillon James - while on paper I think he can do well, i think having to compete with a lot of male that can fill the "heartthrob" slot will be to his detriment...Francis and Louis will probably hog up most of those votes and Arthur will probably get a few of those too (even though he's not really a heartthrob)...on the plus side, he probably has one of the most interesting voices of the bunch...

 

Julia Gargano - between her and Sophia, I think she is clearly the better of the two female singer-songwriters...I also think she has a more versatile voice than Sophia...however, I'm not sure how the voting will go as I'm not really seeing as much love for her as some of the people above her....

 

Makayla Phillips - out of all the female power singers, she is the best...she has pretty much everything a pop star has...she can sing, she's young, she has the look too...my one main worry is vote splitting between her and some of these other people...However, I think she is quite popular, especially with her time on America's Got Talent... 

 

 

Frontrunners:

 

Jonny West - the show has certainly done a lot to put him in the spotlight and while for me, the Margie and Jonny story was verging on annoying...a lot of viewers love the lovey dovey stuff ...performance wise, I think he has a quality in his voice that is pretty unique tone wise and a lot of people will like it even though I don't find it completely pleasing to my ears...

 

Grace Leer - she got some extra attention with the vote and country is ALWAYS powerful in singing shows...so, she's going to do very well here, her voice is interesting and she's probably the only real country singer in the Top 20 (i don't really think Dillon is real country) which is going to be a huge benefit

 

Samantha Diaz - i mean HOW CAN YOU NOT ROOT FOR SAMANTHA???...she just has the story that makes you want to root for her and also a voice that makes you feel things even though it's not the most "perfect"...she has gotten a lot of screen time, but for good reason and I predict she is going to go very far because she is someone that almost everyone will be rooting for even if she is not their #1 favorite...

 

Arthur Gunn - choosing between Arthur and Francisco was hard...but I'm controversially put Arthur at #2...he has a HUGGGGEEEE fanbase, but how much of the fanbase is actually Americans that can or will vote????...the annoying behaviour of his fanbase to some people might also backfire on him

 

Francisco Martin - I'm putting Francisco at #1 because he also has the story that also makes people want to root for him, but at top of that...he also is the type of artist that people tend to vote for, plus he's good looking...however, an Asian hasn't won American Idol yet, so...could it Arthur or Francisco actually break that pattern???...or will someone else surprisingly win...also, not having to perform live on a stage will help him since he won't have to deal with huge nerves...

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, kenboy123 said:

I don't completely agree with NGH....

 

Cannon Fodders:

 

Faith Becnel - there is basically no reason for her to be here, she literally has scrapped by every single round

 

Aliana Jester - she's very underwhelming, verging on forgettable, she's also way too shy and quiet

 

Dewayne Crocker Jr. - WHO IS THIS AGAIN???

 

Nick Merico - in a season with a lot of "heartthrobs", he's clearly the worst one in that catergory...very average performances with nothing stand up about them

 

Franklin Boone - the judges seem to like him, but he's another one I think will have a connection problem as I forget he is the second he walks off the stage...

 

 

Underdogs:

 

Lauren Spencer Smith - SHE'S CANADIAN....that's all you need to know...won't get votes

 

Jovin Webb - this is someone that I think the judges like very much and I think can a judges' save should there is one this year...as a contestant, he's also another contestant that I have quickly forgetten about after he walks off the stage...

 

Cyniah Elise - someone that the producers are sorta pushing...however, some people have mentioned that she isn't the most likable of contestants, so... I don't see her getting votes ...

 

Kimmy Gabriella - this is someone I think the producers were sorta pushing earlier in the season, featuring her in commercials and promos and such...so, I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a judges/producers choice if that is a thing this year...

 

Sophia Wackerman - she has potential to get to the next tier and she seems to have some fans, but in a battle vs Julia, she clearly loses in my opinion...her last performance was a spastic mess though...

 

 

Dark Horses:

 

Olivia Ximines - while her voice is very green and clearly young, she knows how to perform and if she can entertain the audience (I'm sure she can find a way to dance at home), then I think she can get further than initially thought ...

 

Louis Knight - Louis will end up either going very deep or dropping out immediately ...his last few performances were very meh and underwhelming...but he has a story, he's cute and the judges are pushing him further no matter how good or bad his performances are...which is always a good sign for him...if he does give a bad performance, he'll end up like Jonny Brenns or Garrett Jacobs

 

Dillon James - while on paper I think he can do well, i think having to compete with a lot of male that can fill the "heartthrob" slot will be to his detriment...Francis and Louis will probably hog up most of those votes and Arthur will probably get a few of those too (even though he's not really a heartthrob)...on the plus side, he probably has one of the most interesting voices of the bunch...

 

Julia Gargano - between her and Sophia, I think she is clearly the better of the two female singer-songwriters...I also think she has a more versatile voice than Sophia...however, I'm not sure how the voting will go as I'm not really seeing as much love for her as some of the people above her....

 

Makayla Phillips - out of all the female power singers, she is the best...she has pretty much everything a pop star has...she can sing, she's young, she has the look too...my one main worry is vote splitting between her and some of these other people...However, I think she is quite popular, especially with her time on America's Got Talent... 

 

 

Frontrunners:

 

Jonny West - the show has certainly done a lot to put him in the spotlight and while for me, the Margie and Jonny story was verging on annoying...a lot of viewers love the lovey dovey stuff ...performance wise, I think he has a quality in his voice that is pretty unique tone wise and a lot of people will like it even though I don't find it completely pleasing to my ears...

 

Grace Leer - she got some extra attention with the vote and country is ALWAYS powerful in singing shows...so, she's going to do very well here, her voice is interesting and she's probably the only real country singer in the Top 20 (i don't really think Dillon is real country) which is going to be a huge benefit

 

Samantha Diaz - i mean HOW CAN YOU NOT ROOT FOR SAMANTHA???...she just has the story that makes you want to root for her and also a voice that makes you feel things even though it's not the most "perfect"...she has gotten a lot of screen time, but for good reason and I predict she is going to go very far because she is someone that almost everyone will be rooting for even if she is not their #1 favorite...

 

Arthur Gunn - choosing between Arthur and Francisco was hard...but I'm controversially put Arthur at #2...he has a HUGGGGEEEE fanbase, but how much of the fanbase is actually Americans that can or will vote????...the annoying behaviour of his fanbase to some people might also backfire on him

 

Francisco Martin - I'm putting Francisco at #1 because he also has the story that also makes people want to root for him, but at top of that...he also is the type of artist that people tend to vote for, plus he's good looking...however, an Asian hasn't won American Idol yet, so...could it Arthur or Francisco actually break that pattern???...or will someone else surprisingly win...also, not having to perform live on a stage will help him since he won't have to deal with huge nerves...

 

 

 

 


That’s actually closer to how I‘d do the power rankings.  I’ll do my power rankings later on.

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18 hours ago, CarmenSandiego said:

I think that Just Sam will also make the Top 10, and since you yourself noted that Louis and Francisco are fairly interchangeable, I believe that one of those two will fail to make the Top 10.  But given what you mentioned about the challenges that Just Sam faces, I can see her being cut sooner than she might have been under normal circumstances.  Like the second or third cut.

 

16 hours ago, psterina said:

Pretty much agree, regarding Just Sam. I think that Francisco, will make Top 5. Not sure about Louis

Just Sam has tattoos, is a minority, kind of touched upon being gender-neutral in the This is Me special and one of her standout performances so far was in Spanish. I hope she does well, but she’s not the type of contestant that has done well in votes since the move to ABC. Just look at Jurnee in S16 for example

 

Louis and Francisco are cute and inoffensive, which describes the last male standing in the two ABC seasons.

 

Just Sam would’ve had an advantage if the live shows had started earlier since she was given a lot of airtime, but it’s not really relevant anymore since they just spent 4 hours showing us the entire Top 20. 

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1 hour ago, Elliott said:

 

Just Sam has tattoos, is a minority, kind of touched upon being gender-neutral in the This is Me special and one of her standout performances so far was in Spanish. I hope she does well, but she’s not the type of contestant that has done well in votes since the move to ABC. Just look at Jurnee in S16 for example

 

Louis and Francisco are cute and inoffensive, which describes the last male standing in the two ABC seasons.

 

Just Sam would’ve had an advantage if the live shows had started earlier since she was given a lot of airtime, but it’s not really relevant anymore since they just spent 4 hours showing us the entire Top 20. 


I’m still having faith that the airtime Just Sam got, along with her backstory, will at least put her into the Top 10 and to some degree counteract the strikes against her that you pointed out.  Besides, I don’t think that Jurnee had as much focus on her in her season as Just Sam did in this one.

 

And while I agree that both Francisco and Louis are cute and inoffensive, they’re still interchangeable enough that I feel one will fall short of the Top 10.  They’ll probably be competing for the same fan base, and that’s why I feel that only one will make the Top 10.

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Just now, CarmenSandiego said:

 They’ll probably be competing for the same fan base, and that’s why I feel that only one will make the Top 10.

Not when votes are capped per contestant. You can cast the same amount of votes for both of them all in the span of like 3 seconds compared to the pre-S13 days where voting for one would take votes from the other. They share a fanbase, but vote splitting isn't really a thing with voting caps. If it was capped overall rather than contestant, it would be a different story.

 

1 minute ago, CarmenSandiego said:

I’m still having faith that the airtime Just Sam got,

Airtime that was somewhat negated by the fact that they just did a two-part Top 20 retrospective. Most of the contestants are on even playing field coming into the "live" shows.

 

2 minutes ago, CarmenSandiego said:

Besides, I don’t think that Jurnee had as much focus on her in her season as Just Sam did in this one

I'll have to see if I can track down the actual numbers since all of the old threads are gone, but Jurnee had airtime in every round in S16 and was frequently shown. It did nothing to help her in the vote.

 

I could see her making the Top 10, but NGM's assessment of where is stands is fair.

 

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The backstory narrative will only get you so far.  I think this format will work better for some (the singer song writer, those who play an instrument) over the straight out vocalist.

 

I would give the edge with Louis over Francisco.   Louis is more confident in presenting himself. 

 

I can see Julia Gargano as the last girl standing.  The format will work well for her.  And the videos that she's posted prior to Idol are nicely crafted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

People should also keep in mind that in every season, there are 1 or 2 people that end up peaking too soon...this format will probably help that, but...you never know, it's going to be very different from a highly edited show and performances...no one really knows how this will go since it's a completely new thing...it's almost going to be a whole different competition...so, maybe previous season's patterns will go out the window...

Edited by kenboy123

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3 hours ago, Elliott said:

Not when votes are capped per contestant. You can cast the same amount of votes for both of them all in the span of like 3 seconds compared to the pre-S13 days where voting for one would take votes from the other. They share a fanbase, but vote splitting isn't really a thing with voting caps. If it was capped overall rather than contestant, it would be a different story.

 

Airtime that was somewhat negated by the fact that they just did a two-part Top 20 retrospective. Most of the contestants are on even playing field coming into the "live" shows.

 

I'll have to see if I can track down the actual numbers since all of the old threads are gone, but Jurnee had airtime in every round in S16 and was frequently shown. It did nothing to help her in the vote.

 

I could see her making the Top 10, but NGM's assessment of where is stands is fair.

 


While you may have valid points, I still think that Just Sam will make the Top 10.  Don’t know if she’ll get farther than that, but I think she’ll make the Top 10.

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On 4/21/2020 at 1:47 PM, thenghreport said:

Hey! thanks for this. I included a couple of categories.

 

The Cannon Fodder

Nick Merico -  Agree. He is a peacock.

Aliana Jester - Agree. In a different season, maybe, but in this one... I don't think so. She's very sweet, but there is not much time for a growth arc. 

 

Too young for my taste I always wish these types of contestants waited a couple of years before they enter these competitions. Maybe amass a little bit more life experience and be less of mamma's worder kids?

Kimmy Gabriela - ??? I remember her, but then there is a lot missing in her performances for me.

Cyniah Elise - She has much more of an idea than Kimmy Gabriela, but I still feel she "plays" to fill in big shoes instead of filling her own.

Makayla Phillips - She is very accomplished, but most of the time I don't buy what she signs... 

Olivia Ximines - She's delightful, but again... so, so damn young and preppy. She has some pipes and tons of charisma, but I wished she had more clarity of who she wants to be. she would be my pick if I had to choose from this group.

Probably either Cyniah or Makayla could make top 10 too.

 

Had to look them up in Google ... 

DeWayne Crocker - He's interesting but not that memorable. He may surprise us (so he could also go in the darkhorse category?), but somehow, I don't think he will last that long

Faith Becnel - Agree with what you said about her. Adding to that, she has a lot of distracting mannerisms when she sings.

Lauren Spencer-Smith - I liked her a lot in her audition, but then she sort of faded away. Not kidding, I had to look her up twice while writing this (I got her confused with someone else). She could also fit in previous group. Too eager, too soon. But still, she may get in?

Sophia James - As soon as I saw her picture I recognized her and remembered that I was not blown away by any of her presentations... 

 

The Underdog

Franklin Boone - Yeah... The jury seem to like him more than everybody else. He's very good, but I was surprised he made  it to Top 20. A different personality. I am not at all sure of him making it any further. 

 

The Dark Horses

Jovin Webb - I looooooove him. I have seen his videos on YouTube and there is a couple of original songs I dig. He plays several instruments, and some times at the same time, which is kind of funny. The thing with Jovin is his age and the fact the he has some experience as a performer. This may play against him

Grace Leer - Country has never been my cup of tea but I know it is the cup of tea of millions of AI voters so, yes.

Dillon James - I put him here because I don't know where else to put him. While his story is compelling and might speak to AI's core demographic... there are other guys out there that might outshine him. On the other hand, some people might get tired of the "I sobered up" story (it has been told three or four times already).  

Louis Knight - He's talented and has the right age, gender, sensibility and accent, but he hasn't had a very consistent run, IMO. 

 

The Frontrunners

Sam Diaz - Looooooove Sam. She may face a lot of problems to produce her songs in the coming rounds, but on the other hand, she's used to connecting with people in the subway... There is something very special about her, and it is not just her story. She makes surprising choices, and that is refreshing. She's an underdog because of her story, but she has received lots of attention and has not melted under it. I may be wrong but I feel she's very creative and resourceful. She might even benefit from the situation.

Jonny West -  One of my favorites. Very good to ignore him, bright enough not to be a dark horse. He has shown before that he can make a moment just him and his piano.

Julia Gargano - I agree with you. Not my favorite, but that's just me. She is very good and knows what she's doing and what she expects out of this competition, which means, she is one of the contestants that would probably win even if she doesn't win. 

Francisco Martin - He has had lots of attention, and is the poster boy for growing confidence. He's likeable and can sing. Harmless and safe... perfect choice for AI. Though I most say I like him better than some of the safe choices of past!

Arthur Gunn - Yeah. Definitely. He's one of the top contenders, he's recognizable, which is very important, and has had lots of praise and comparisons to past winners and top competitors... He's going to be pushed hard by the jury. I've paid lots of attention to him and his performances to try to see why so many people are so excited ... and, I still don't get it. I know, it's probably me. I was an Alejandro fan last year (and still am) and a Phillip Phillips fan a thousand years ago (and still am)... and no... I cannot place Arthur along with either of them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unpopular opinion, but I think Arthur is a long shot at winning. The judges will likely heap him with praise the way they did with Alejandro, but I can't see middle America voting for him. Dillon is the Laine to Arthur's Alejandro. My money's on Dillion.

 

If I were to rank them by likelihood of winning right now, I'd say:

 

Front runners:

1. Dillon James - Very clearly appeals to middle America, has a redemption story and will be singing Bob Dylan and the like, which translates well to an acoustic, virtual setting. It's gonna be tough for anyone to beat him.

2. Francisco Martin - Again, acoustic singer-songwriter type. His performance will just work on camera and will likely spread like wildfire on YouTube. 

3. Louie Knight - Like everyone has said - attractive, British, boy band type. He plays piano, so he's a bit unique in that regard and really only has Jonny to compete with.

4. Sam - She's gotten plenty of airtime and is super likeable. After last season's slaughter of non-white contestants, they'll likely try to push her even harder and she deserves it because she's great, but I think her tattoos and other quirks might be too much to seal the deal for her.

5. Sophia Wackerman - Again, plenty of airtime, she's clearly got more experience than her age would suggest. I think she's probably got the most potential on the girl's side to make this virtual format work.

 

Dark horses:

6. Jonny West - He's very soft-spoken which might put some people off, but his talent speaks for itself and I think his performances almost subvert people's expectations. I could see him cracking the Top 5 or an outlier in the finale.

7. Grace Leer - She benefited from being the first one people voted for, so people will remember her. Plus she's a blonde female country singer. She's going far.

8. Julia Gargano - She's got a stellar voice, but I don't know if it's enough to make America pick up the phone and vote. Hopefully we see some personality from her this week.

9. Arthur Gunn -The judges do seem obsessed with him but I find his voice grating. Then again, I didn't like Alejandro and he ended up in second, so what do I know? That being said, as much as he picks songs middle America likes, they'd sooner vote for Dillon, Francisco or Louie over him, in my opinion. But he could do really well with the virtual format too.

10. Makayla Phillips - I love her. I think she's got the look, she knows what songs to pick for her voice and she's likeable. I think she has a chance of making the Top 10 if she pulls off another big performance.

 

Underdogs:

11. Jovin Webb - Between him/Franklin/DeWayne, I think Jovin has the best chance of making the Top 10. The grit in his voice is unreal and his rock chops means you KNOW he'll give us something memorable. I hope it's enough because I love him.

12. Lauren Spencer-Smith - She's one of the more experienced contestants in the cast which could work in her favour, in that she'll use the virtual format to her advantage, or could be what ruins her, since the older contestants seem to be getting cut first in the more recent seasons. I hope I'm wrong though, because her tone gives me life.

13. Franklin Boone - I have a hard time labelling any black male as a front runner/dark horse after the dust they paid Uche, Dimitrius, and Dennis. these past two seasons. I do love his voice though, so one good performance could be enough for him to sneak in the Top 10.

14. Faith Becnel - She's quirky, but that might benefit her because whatever she decides to do might be more memorable than 4 or 5 ballads that the other girls deliver. She's also from New Orleans, so I don't doubt she's get votes.

15. Nick Merico - I think he's got a lot of work to do to counter the very negative edit he's received thus far which is a shame, because he's very marketable otherwise.

 

Fodder:

16. Kimmy Gabriela - It says something that I loved her audition and yet, whenever they show her, I forget who she is. That doesn't bode well for her, considering she's gotten plenty of air time.

17. DeWayne Crocker - I feel bad for him because he's talented, but he's definitely going to compete with Franklin and Jovin for votes and the two of them have been better and more memorable. But, if he can deliver a strong performance, he might shake his fodder status.

18. Olivia Ximines - She's adorable, but if anyone is going to be hurt by the virtual format it's her. She's all about the performance and I can't see that translating well to film.

19. Cyniah Elise - Again, a big "who" for me, even though when they showed her performances I remember liking them, but I also think she got overshadowed a lot. 

20. Alaina Jester - When she advanced, I literally said "who?" which is a bad sign.

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48 minutes ago, sublymonal said:

Unpopular opinion, but I think Arthur is a long shot at winning. The judges will likely heap him with praise the way they did with Alejandro, but I can't see middle America voting for him. Dillon is the Laine to Arthur's Alejandro. My money's on Dillion.

 

If I were to rank them by likelihood of winning right now, I'd say:

 

Front runners:

1. Dillon James - Very clearly appeals to middle America, has a redemption story and will be singing Bob Dylan and the like, which translates well to an acoustic, virtual setting. It's gonna be tough for anyone to beat him.

2. Francisco Martin - Again, acoustic singer-songwriter type. His performance will just work on camera and will likely spread like wildfire on YouTube. 

3. Louie Knight - Like everyone has said - attractive, British, boy band type. He plays piano, so he's a bit unique in that regard and really only has Jonny to compete with.

4. Sam - She's gotten plenty of airtime and is super likeable. After last season's slaughter of non-white contestants, they'll likely try to push her even harder and she deserves it because she's great, but I think her tattoos and other quirks might be too much to seal the deal for her.

5. Sophia Wackerman - Again, plenty of airtime, she's clearly got more experience than her age would suggest. I think she's probably got the most potential on the girl's side to make this virtual format work.

 

Dark horses:

6. Jonny West - He's very soft-spoken which might put some people off, but his talent speaks for itself and I think his performances almost subvert people's expectations. I could see him cracking the Top 5 or an outlier in the finale.

7. Grace Leer - She benefited from being the first one people voted for, so people will remember her. Plus she's a blonde female country singer. She's going far.

8. Julia Gargano - She's got a stellar voice, but I don't know if it's enough to make America pick up the phone and vote. Hopefully we see some personality from her this week.

9. Arthur Gunn -The judges do seem obsessed with him but I find his voice grating. Then again, I didn't like Alejandro and he ended up in second, so what do I know? That being said, as much as he picks songs middle America likes, they'd sooner vote for Dillon, Francisco or Louie over him, in my opinion. But he could do really well with the virtual format too.

10. Makayla Phillips - I love her. I think she's got the look, she knows what songs to pick for her voice and she's likeable. I think she has a chance of making the Top 10 if she pulls off another big performance.

 

There is no way Arthur Gunn would come in #9.  With Dillon, the label already has a Country singer from Idol.  He also has a sob story and that never wins.

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2 hours ago, mytake1 said:

 

There is no way Arthur Gunn would come in #9.  With Dillon, the label already has a Country singer from Idol.  He also has a sob story and that never wins.

Dillon is not a country singer. He’s old school soul acoustic but def marketable in Nashville which they like.

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3 hours ago, sublymonal said:

12. Lauren Spencer-Smith - She's one of the more experienced contestants in the cast which could work in her favour, in that she'll use the virtual format to her advantage, or could be what ruins her, since the older contestants seem to be getting cut first in the more recent seasons. I hope I'm wrong though, because her tone gives me life.

i had to double check, bc she does seem way older...but she's actually 16?? 💀

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Posted (edited)

Here's my power rankings.  Like everyone else, I'm breaking the Top 20 into four groups:  The Cannon Fodder, the Underdogs, the Dark Horses and the Front Runners.  Since I've learned that the people in charge have sent the Top 20 standardized recording kits in an effort to keep the playing field as level as possible, that will play a role in how I rank the Top 20.

 

So here's the Cannon Fodder:

 

1.  Aliana Jester -- I like her, but she's just too forgettable

2.  DeWayne Crocker -- he's even more forgettable.  Adios, amigo.

3.  Faith Bechnel -- the weakest of the Top 20.  Adios, amiga.

4.  Kimmy Gabriela -- after learning her song choice, she's definitely cannon fodder.  Pity, as I like her too.

5.  Nick Merico -- he's a heartthrob, but so are Francisco and Louis, and they're more likeable.  Bye-bye.

 

And here's the Underdogs:

 

1.  Cyniah Elise -- I love her voice, but she's one of several teenage divas, her vocal style hasn't won since Candice Glover, and some see her as arrogant.

2.  Dillon James — after some thought, I decided to put him here.  He’s got a great backstory and he’ll appeal to middle America, but I fear he’ll get lost amongst the other cute guys.

3.  Franklin Boone -- there's three male black singers and while he's more memorable than DeWayne, he needs a standout performance to make the Top 10.

4.  Jovin Webb -- he's very good and has a shot at making it into the Top 10 but i don't know how much America will love him.

5.  Lauren Spencer-Smith:  she's another talented teenage diva who is rather forgettable, though she has a following on social media. 

 

And here are the Dark Horses:

 

1.  Jonny West -- he's got his romance with Margie Mays helping him out, he’s cute and he’ll also appeal to middle America.  He could make the Top 5 but for me is a long shot for the finale.

2.  Julia Gargano — I ultimately decided to put her here as well because I think Dillon will fall just short of the Top 10.  This format will help her but she needs to show personality.

3.  Louis Knight -- he's behind Francisco because recently his star's faded.  But he could still make a comeback.

4.  Makayla Phillips -- not my favorite but she's got a good shot of making the Top 10, maybe even the Top 5.

5.  Olivia Ximines -- I just love her, especially since she's a performer!  I don't think she'll make the Top 5, however.

6.  Sophia James -- I think that she’ll also make the Top 10 due to there being fewer singer-songwriting females than cute guys.

 

And finally, here are the Front Runners:

 

1.  Arthur Gunn -- he's got the best chance so far of winning, at least on paper.  The judges have parised him to the skies, and the shortened format will help him.  But will it be enough?  Singers whom the judges praise to the skies rarely win.

2.  Francisco Martin -- if he contains his nerves (and I think he will), he'll make the Top 4 and possibly win.  He checks the right boxes for a winner.  Except for not being white.

3.  Grace Leer -- country girl.  They almost always get far in the competition.  So will she, at least to the Top 5.  Maybe even the finale, since she’ll have a huge fan base.

4.  Just Sam -- sorry, Elliott and NGH, but I have to agree to disagree with you here.  She knows how to perform with limited resources -- she performed on subways, and she's got a great backstory.  But the tattoos might hurt her chances with middle America.  I hope not, but it could.

Edited by CarmenSandiego

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11 hours ago, sublymonal said:

Dillon is not a country singer. He’s old school soul acoustic but def marketable in Nashville which they like.

 

He markets himself as a country singer.  How exactly is old school soul acoustic marketable?

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I think Louis Knight could surprise everyone. Remember they are performing from their homes, where he's most comfortable and used to performing and he also plays the guitar. So I think he could make a major comeback. Francisco isn't far behind him. They do have the same fanbase. Hopefully the fans could put them both in the top 5 as I like them both. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, dchal1 said:

I think Louis Knight could surprise everyone. Remember they are performing from their homes, where he's most comfortable and used to performing and he also plays the guitar. So I think he could make a major comeback. Francisco isn't far behind him. They do have the same fanbase. Hopefully the fans could put them both in the top 5 as I like them both. 

 

They are not the only ones that can pull from that fanbase those...Nick is going to as well (who is far behind), Dillon and Arthur can possibly do it too, even Jonny could...Not all of them are going to go through...he'll be competing with a whole bunch of them for the same votes providing that his performances even get better at all...right now, I'll say almost anyone that can pull from that fanbase besides Nick is way ahead of him...the one thing he have over most of the others besides Francisco is looks...plus the judges seem to be pushing him forward no matter how good or bad his performances are...

Edited by kenboy123

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I think Sam is a front runner. I absolutely cannot stand Arthur’s voice which means he is a shoe-in to win. A poor man’s Phillip Phillips and I didn’t like his voice either. 
 

Grace Leer and Lauren Spencer Smith are two of my favorites. I. Like Louis, too.

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5 hours ago, kenboy123 said:

 

They are not the only ones that can pull from that fanbase those...Nick is going to as well (who is far behind), Dillon and Arthur can possibly do it too, even Jonny could...Not all of them are going to go through...he'll be competing with a whole bunch of them for the same votes providing that his performances even get better at all...right now, I'll say almost anyone that can pull from that fanbase besides Nick is way ahead of him...the one thing he have over most of the others besides Francisco is looks...plus the judges seem to be pushing him forward no matter how good or bad his performances are...


Yeah, that’s why the best that I’d put Louis in is in the Dark Horses category and he could be put in the Underdog one too.

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your power rankings since I was really interested in reading them this year more than the previous couple of seasons, especially given how much I really like some of the contestants this year. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts about the contestants. I agree with others that I think it is going to be quite hard for Dillon to make it to the Top 10. I really like him and find his story to be extremely inspirational, especially at a time like this. But, I do think Francisco, Louis and Arthur all have a better chance of making it to the Top 10 than he does. And I believe that Lauren Spencer-Smith could be a dark horse. I think she is a phenomenal singer and even like her more than Makayla, but I worry that she might get lost in the shuffle. Still, I absolutely love her as a vocalist! I think Just Sam is a bit of an underdog, but like others, am hoping that she can go quite far. And I really like Sophia and Julia, but think Sophia is more of a dark horse, while Julia is a front runner. I feel Olivia could be a dark horse as well. I'm really interested to see how it will all play out this season, although, like others, I am obviously fairly bummed about the format they'll be using the rest of the way this season. I realize, though, that they really didn't have any other choice but to finish the season the way they'll be finishing it.

Edited by Winterfan
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2 hours ago, Winterfan said:

Hey guys. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your power rankings since I was really interested in reading them this year more than the previous couple of seasons, especially given how much I really like some of the contestants this year. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts about the contestants. I agree with others that I think it is going to be quite hard for Dillon to make it to the Top 10. I really like him and find his story to be extremely inspirational, especially at a time like this. But, I do think Francisco, Louis and Arthur all have a better chance of making it to the Top 10 than he does. And I believe that Lauren Spencer-Smith could be a dark horse. I think she is a phenomenal singer and even like her more than Makayla, but I worry that she might get lost in the shuffle. Still, I absolutely love her as a vocalist! I think Just Sam is a bit of an underdog, but like others, am hoping that she can go quite far. And I really like Sophia and Julia, but think Sophia is more of a dark horse, while Julia is a front runner. I feel Olivia could be a dark horse as well. I'm really interested to see how it will all play out this season, although, like others, I am obviously fairly bummed about the format they'll be using the rest of the way this season. I realize, though, that they really didn't have any other choice but to finish the season the way they'll be finishing it.


Yeah, if they wanted to finish the season at all, the producers had no real choice concerning the format.  I’m not too happy with it either, but it was necessary if they wanted to finish the season so I’m not complaining.

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