Here is your cheat sheet for Wednesday night’s show. Print this out, and when the singer’s name is announced you can read the entry below and have an idea what your eyes and ears are about to be assaulted with.
14. Avalon Young: Wants to be Rhianna. Looks like an East L.A. skateboarder. Sounds like Beyonce. Why bother? Her gummy tone would make beautiful radio babies.
13. Manny Torres: Wants to be Bruno Mars. Looks like Brutus from Popeye. Sounds like Stevie Wonder a little, his tone does, but his style is closer to Adam Levine. He’s pretty much one big o-face, all the time. Why bother? No idea – he bores me.
12. Gianna Isabella: Wants to be a diva, I imagine. Looks like Jennifer Grey in “Dirty Dancing.” Sounds like a pageant contestant who has been practicing for the talent competition since she was three years old when she sings, Tony Soprano’s daughter when she talks. Why bother? Her voice is genuinely good; if she can pull off one minute and a half without any big mistakes she could create a moment.
11. Jeneve Rose Mitchell: Wants to be June Carter. Looks like somebody dressed up Daisy May’s little sister in the clothes off the Tom Mix display model from L.L. Bean. Sounds like somebody stepped on a cat. Ok, that’s not fair. She sounds like every average-voiced kid who dreams about being on the Grand Ole Opry, singing in the shower at the top of her lungs, with no fear or self-awareness. Why bother? She is magic with just about any instrument she grabs onto, and she has personality oozing out of her pores.
10. Lee Jean: Wants to be Dave Matthews. Looks like Lou Brock at 12 or 13 years old. Sounds like El Debarge imitating Dave Matthews. Why bother? His tone is diabetic coma inducing sweet, and with that nice a tone he is always one perfect vehicle from a moment.
9. Jenn Blosil: Wants to be herself, but with more money. Looks like a thorazined Cindy Brady grew up and got a job in a methadone clinic. Sounds like … there have always been these sorts of singers around. I don’t know who the template is. Maria Muldaur on horse tranquilizers was my first guess, or something like Tinkerbell dropping to earth and becoming an ecstasy-addicted German cabaret singer. Why bother? Why do we watch reality television in the first place? Jenn is a lot of things, but boring ain’t any of ‘em.
8. Tristan McIntosh: Wants to be Carrie Underwood. Looks like Marilyn McCoo. Sounds like a very green, very young Carrie Underwood. Why bother? That syrupy tone could create a moment at any moment, if – like several others, this is a pretty young crew – she can avoid inexperience-driven mistakes.
7. Thomas Stringfellow: Wants to be Ed Sheeran. Looks like Buh-Billy from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Sounds like Buddy Holly, trying to sound like Ed Sheeran. Why bother? He seems popular, and despite the gyrations he puts his melodies through he sings in tune very well. A perfect song for his style could certainly create moment potential.
6. Trent Harmon: Wants to be … I have no idea, really – I’m sure there’s someone out there just like him, but I don’t know who it is. Looks like Goober Pyle – the walk, the talk, the body type – but with Jethro Clampett’s face. Sounds like Elton John when he sings, Goober when he talks. Why bother? Trent has one of the highest ‘seat of your pants’ factors on the show; you will never know what he’s going to do next, because he has a terrific voice that can do crazy things.
5. MacKenzie Bourg: Wants to be the ostrich guy, Five for Fighting. Looks like a scale model of Robbie Benson, the 1970s actor. Sounds like Paul Simon. Why bother? If we get a Simon and Garfunkel theme week and he sings a Garfunkel song I’ll be pissed.
4. Olivia Rox (Hill): Wants to be Taylor Swift. Looks like the little girl in the Chocolate Factory who ate the wrong candy, but instead of turning purple and blowing up she just keeps stretching taller, and taller, and taller…. Sounds like Jennifer Warnes a LOT, but with an extra gear at the top. Why bother? She has every dammed trick in the book, and no idea what to do with them all in a minute and a half. If she can get them all together one time, though…
3. Sonika Vaid: Wants to be Celine Dion. Looks like Shriya Saran. Sounds like Celine Dion. Why bother? Well, because we have ears. And eyes. And souls.
2. La’Porsha Renae: Wants to be Tina Turner, I suspect. Looks like a chia pet mixed its DNA with a panda bear and mated with Aretha Franklin. Sounds like … I think she sounds a little like Gladys Knight, with a little scratch and the types of trilling she likes to do. Why bother? I’m already a little tired of the ‘she’s so brave’ narrative, but she is charismatic and fun – and she can sing a little, too.
1. Dalton Rapattoni: Wants to be Justin Timberlake. Looks like Rod Stewart’s cuter little brother. Sounds like every boy band singer ever. Why bother? History. Dalton is going to be the last American Idol.
Don’t take the rankings too seriously. I am pretty sure I have the right one at the top, but numbers two through 14 are wide open. It wouldn’t surprise me to see any of them go home Thursday night, or stand next to Dalton for his confetti shower in May.
Vote in the poll below for your favorite singer (vote once this time).