26- Tiffany Rios, 21– What the hell, I said that I’d list her. She can sing as well as a lot of the contestants that rank higher, but it’s hard to imagine that she will give up the Jersey Shore persona long enough to be taken seriously.
25- Briell Von Hugel, 16– She hit all the notes, but she was singing from her chest. That’s better than singing from her throat, but she needs to learn how to sing from her diaphragm to get the full potential out of her voice. When she does, she could be a monster. She ain’t there yet.
24– Jordan Dorsey, 21- I found several videos of Jordan on YouTube, most of them from the Lounge of a Cruise Ship. His intonation wasn’t great there, either.
23- Naima Adedapo, 25– Her voice is good enough to make her a contender, but I’m afraid that she will wilt under the pressure of Hollywood. She seems a little fragile to me. If I’m wrong about her, and she can stand up to the pressure, she is ranked way too low. There something about her that I am drawn to, something that can’t be described in a few words. I have her twenty third so I am not predicting big things, but she is an interesting sleeper.
22- Travis Orlando, 16– He is one of the most talented that we’ve seen so far, but he’s here several years too early. He has a few videos up on YouTube, and this link is to one of them. He sings effortlessly (and amazingly) at times, and then he loses his diaphragm and it all comes up to his throat and he starts squeaking. He has no incurable problems, but the cure takes time and lots of repetition.
21- Danny Pate, 23– There are several videos of Danny on YouTube, and I picked out this one to give everyone a chance to hear him for more than a few notes. I don’t love his range or his vocal power. He reminds me of Elton John a little, and unfortunately part of that is that he goes out of tune a lot.
20- Victoria Huggins, 16– She is cute as a bug, and naturally funny. Her voice is good, but not Idol good yet. Like Travis, she is years too early to be a contender. Also like Travis, she is so likable and interesting that she might go much deeper than her ranking here would indicate.
19- Brett Loewenstern, 16– Brett is another young kid that is making his push too early, but he is farther along in his training than some of the other kids. His voice should be a powerhouse when it matures. He is already pretty damned good, but he makes tons of those little mistakes that only experience can cure. I posted one of his YouTube videos here, and there are several more. I enjoyed them, so if you like this kid you should go look them up.
18- Rob Bolin, 23– Rob is older than most of the kids that I put below him, and he pretty much is what he is. What he has going for him is a signature voice, but that’s about all that is remarkable about him.
17– Jacee Badeaux, 15– There is no reasonable way to rank this kid. His voice hasn’t even changed yet, or it hadn’t when he auditioned. I want to hear him in the Hollywood rounds, just to know what he sounds like now.
16- Tiwan Strong, 29– He sounded like Sam Cooke in his audition, but since he was singing a Sam Cooke song that doesn’t mean much. I like the tone of his voice, and I might have him ranked too low. Unlike Rob, who probably sounds the same no matter what he sings, Tiwan might have the potential to amaze us. He is the lowest contestant in these power rankings that I can envision making it to the finals, other than a couple of the kids that would be better served NOT making it.
15- Scotty McCreery, 16– His ranking is mostly a courtesy. He is such an outlier compared to the rest of these kids that no ranking makes any sense. He is just 16, and he is already rubbing some very large elbows in Nashville, so Idol probably won’t matter to his future unless he makes it to the semi-finals. Will he? You’re guess is as good as mine. He’s really good at what he does, but this is the wrong platform for his style. There are several videos of him on YouTube, some of them with a guitar that he plays fairly well. I chose “The Dance”, because it was fairly short and we all know the song, but if you like this kid you should go look for some of his other videos.
14- Melinda Ademi, 16– The sun comes up, the sun goes down, and Idol gives us another talented kid that is several years away from being ready for the Idol meat grinder. There are several other videos of Melinda on YouTube similar to the one I provided a link for. Melinda tends to sing a little bit sharp, and she is probably going to get bounced right off the bat for that. I have her ranked higher than she probably should be, because of her looks. Most of these kids are attractive, but Melinda stands out even in this crowd. Because of that, she might have a lower bar to climb over with her voice. At fourteenth, though, I’m not predicting that she is a serious contender.
13- Molly DeWolf Swensen, 22– My guess is that she is not all that serious about this competition compared to the rest of the kids, but she has several things going for her that they don’t have. She is probably a thousand to one shot to make the finals, but she is so different than everyone else that she might beat those odds easily. She is the wildest of wild cards.
12- Jerome Bell, 27– I found several videos of Jerome on Youtube, but none of them were the type or quality that seemed worth sending you links to. He has some charisma and a lot of voice, but he isn’t consistent. He seems to be a good guy, and not at all the diva that Jermaine Sellers was last year, but his voice reminds me of Jermaine, all the way down to the overuse of trills and fancy vocal riffs that he struggles to command.
11- Jimmy Allen, 25– I found several studio recordings of Jimmy, very slick stuff. This was the only link to a live performance that I could find. His intonation is pretty damned good, but I’m not sold that he has a big enough voice to go deep.
10- Jackie Wilson, 28– I couldn’t find any other videos of Jackie, though there might be some out there. It’s not easy to find certain names, and Jackie shares her name with a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. The judges absolutely slurped her so I put her in the top ten, but I am far from sold on her. She has a ton of voice, but can she be consistent?
9- Chris Medina, 26– I really like Chris’ falsetto pops and his upper range. I’m not as sold on his lower range, and his voice isn’t super strong. He relies on command and style over power. He could be a softer, more pop version of Casey James, but I’m not sure that he is going to get the easy road that Casey got last year. He might be one of the contestants that are hurt the most by the larger field in Hollywood. The judges might get bored with him before they get them all pared down for the semis.
8– Sara Sellers, 28– There are several videos of her singing on YouTube, some of them from over a decade ago. I didn’t find one that I wanted to send a link to, mostly because they are either too old or too long. If you like her, she’s out there for you to look up. I originally had her quite a bit higher, but I kept sliding her down in favor of kids with bigger voices.
7- Thia Megia, 15– Thia was on America’s Got Talent when she was 14. I have no trouble calling her a potential “Allie” for this season, but there is a better version of a potential Allie coming later in the rankings. Actually, this might end up being the Season of the Teeny-Bopper, so we might get several Allies. That would be fine with me.
(Allie is Allison Iraheta, from season 8)
6- Paul McDonald, 25– Paul is similar to Rob Bowen, but his voice has more character and he has a lot more personality. There are several live videos of his band on YouTube.
5- Kenzie Palmer, 15– Kenzie is not polished yet, but she sure as hell is a diamond. She would be my pick for the Allie, but there is an even better choice coming up. The video that I provided is just one of many that are available, and it is worth it to go and watch them all. Could she be this year’s Siobhan? She’s way too normal and she doesn’t have the ridiculous dog whistle high range, but she reminds me of Sha-von in other ways. They have a similar background, as far as how they were trained.
4- Scott Dangerfield, 22– The provided video link shows Scott with his band in their living room, performing an original song. The song isn’t much, but the kid can sing. I dunned him a couple of spots for his intonation, which wasn’t the best on the video here, either. It wasn’t a good singing environment so I can give him a bit of a pass, but he needs to stay in tune better in Hollywood or he could get bounced early. It would be a waste, though. This kid has Rock Star oozing out of his pores.
3-Lauren Alaina, 15– I had Lauren several spots lower than this at the start. I kept moving her up, and I might still have her one spot too low. There are several 15 and 16 year old female singers that fit the “Allie” designation this year, but none that fit it better than Lauren. She has the huge voice, the old soul, the stage experience, and life experience well beyond her age. She seems to be relaxed and genuine, and very easy to root for. I ranked a couple of singers higher, but nobody is a safer bet to make it to the live shows than Lauren.
2- Paris Tassin, 23– I’m a little bit skittish about ranking her this high, since she is 23 and there are no videos of her on YouTube at all, but that voice, that VOICE. J-Lo wiped away tears while Paris was singing, and she wasn’t the only one. I hated the back-story, just like I hated the back-story last year when Didi auditioned. It took away from what was an incredible audition.
1- Robbie Rosen, 16– He is another one of the kids that will be tons better in a few years, and in a vacuum I would have him around the bottom of the top ten. Robbie is going to be chocolate coated catnip to the tweener girls that vote, though, so I moved him up several spots. He has tons of video on YouTube, impressively produced considering that they are mostly living room recordings. He way overdoes the vocal runs, and that might eventually get grating (it’s already grating to me), but it’s going to be hard to get him out of the competition once the voters get involved.