Season 13

Ranking the Top 9 on American Idol

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A couple of times this season, you’ve had to wonder if the contestants and the American Idol band were on the same page.

Well, this week, they’d better be.

American Idol's Top 9 will perform as leaders of the band this week. (FOX Photo)

American Idol’s Top 9 will perform as leaders of the band this week. (FOX Photo)

The Top 9 Idol theme will be: “I’m with the Band,” meaning each of the Idol hopefuls will act as the lead singer for Rickey Minor and his band.

The good news: the theme apparently isn’t very restrictive, allowing the Idols to perform “their favorite songs.”

More good news for Idol fans: Thursday night will bring the first-ever half-hour results show.

No more sitting through 55 minutes of filler for 5 minutes of drama. This week, there will only be 25 minutes of filler.

Here are this week’s Idol rankings, with last week’s in parenthesis.

1. Jena Irene (2): I don’t care that she needed a wild card spot to make the finals. I don’t care that she’s visited the bottom three. She delivered the best performance in two of the five weeks since the show went live and was very good on two other occasions.

2. Caleb Johnson (1): I was expecting an Idol moment when the big guy with the big voice took on Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory,” but Caleb never quite reached that edge. Truth be told, he didn’t come very close. But he’s still a definite front-runner.

3. Jess Meuse (3): Harry and company better quit nitpicking over the expression on Jess’s face when she’s singing serious lyrics. At least she’s singing very well, something that could not be said for several of her colleagues last week.

4. Sam Woolf (4): He bounced back strong after landing in the bottom three on Top 11 week. Of course, he got to perform last, which generally enhances a singer’s chances of sticking around. I still think he can challenge for the Season 13 crown.

5. Alex Preston (7): Speaking of challengers, Alex sure sounded like one last week, turning in his best performance yet while singing One Direction’s “Story of My Life.” He worried about angering the One D fans. There was no need to worry.

6. Majesty Rose (6): This is a critical week for Majesty Rose, who looked like a front-runner coming out of the semifinals. Jennifer was right; she showed fear when she took the stage last week. And she landed right back in the bottom three. Can she bounce back?

7. Dexter Roberts (8): I was a little surprised to see Dexter wind up in the bottom three last week. But he lacks the distinctive voice of a Scotty McCreery, so he needs to follow the judges’ advice and do a better job of changing up songs to make an impression.

8. C.J. Harris (5): And C.J. Harris is looking much more like a pretender than a contender. I count one strong performance in five weeks, and last week’s tortured version of “Invisible” should have earned him a seat in one of those uncomfortable stools.

9. Malaya Watson (9): Last week was her most controlled performance yet, but it’s her wonderfully engaging personality that will likely keep Malaya around longer than her vocals should permit. If she corrects the vocal inconsistencies … well, she might just move way up this list.

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