Taking a guess at which girls make the American Idol Season 15 Top 24 (No Spoilers)
Prognosticating American Idol isn’t an easy task. Singing isn’t like playing sports. In basketball you can tell who’s better by looking at statistics. There are no singing stats. There’s just ears and musical tastes and how me or you or any other American Idol viewers feels about one contestant the judges and producers of American Idol might feel different.
Then you add the fact Idol is trying to put together a lineup of the 24 performers who will draw the most eyes to television. That means you can’t have 12 WGWGs or 12 girls who play piano even if they might be the best of the best. You need variety.
I try to take this all into account. Take a glimpse at past contestants and you can get into the producers’ heads a little. We’ve only seen, by my count, 79 of the 190 contestants sing a note, so trying to figure out who the top 24 will be is even more difficult.
On top of that, the Top 24 is already in the bag. Two people I would have placed in there aren’t on the list because I’ve been Tweeted spoilers that I really didn’t want to see. Another contestant I put in the Top 24 is there because another blog threw up a “Spoilers” warning on a tweeted link but didn’t think to take the contestant’s name out of the title. Idiots.
There will be no spoilers in this list. This is me just putting my extensive American Idol knowledge to the test. I can say this – picking the guys was much easier than picking the girls. The guys are very top heavy; my list of potential candidates was limited to 16. I had 22 girls.
Now the 24 (it’s actually 22; I’ll explain later) I’m picking aren’t necessarily who I’d like to see get through. I actually cut a lot of people I’m hoping will advance. I just didn’t add them for a variety of reasons, not wanting to jinx them being the main one.
Breaking this down into two sections. Below are the girls. You can read the guys by clinking this link.
1) Emily Brooke
I don’t think Emily Brooke is going to win American Idol. I do think Emily Brooke is going to be the most famous of the Season 15 cast and it’s not going to be close. She’s a Taylor Swift clone and pretty, young and blonde plays well in the record industry as well as it does on Idol. She probably should have made the Top 24 last year but producers handed her spot to Maddie Walker. Won’t happen again unless there’s someone we haven’t seen or Taylor Swift herself decided to try out for the show in disguise like an episode of Undercover Boss.
2) Amelia Eisenhauer
It scares me that the first two names I put down as locks’ combined age isn’t as old as me, but there’s something about Amelia that I think will play really well. Her singing voice is terrific and is the kind of gruff sound that usually plays for Idol. She’s got an eccentric personality and her experience with music is a huge plus. Add on a great nickname The Ginga Ninja – which I’m taking full credit for since it started popping up an hour after I blogged it – she’s got every thing an Idol producer would want in a contestant.
3) Olivia Rox
Hey look a third lock that can’t go see Straight Outta Compton without an adult present. She’s too polished not to make it. Part of me says being so polished might hurt, so then I rewatched her audition and realized if she doesn’t make it something really had to go wrong. You put her in it all but guarantees Olivia or Emily make the Top 6 and that’s something producers definitely want to see happen.
4) Jenna Renae
Probably should have put her in the “Gamble On” portion of the list, but not including her would be crazy. Her audition was great, she’s got the Idol sound and her musical ability will make her a favorite among the girls. Plus she’s a legal adult and there has to be at least one that’s a lock to make the Top 12. If this hits, I’d throw a couple bucks down on her as a darkhorse to win the damn thing.
WHERE CAN I BET ON THEM?
5) Melanie Tierce
Basic rule of thumb is if you give Jennifer the goosies in your original audition, you make the Top 24. She’s numbingly beautiful and has such a great indie-rock/pop vibe that with the right song selection she can sit back, survive each week and then dominate toward the end, a la Fradiani. So why isn’t she a lock? Do you remember Tessa Kate? Of course you don’t because she was awesome in auditions and we never saw her again. She was unceremoniously booted from the show and it was a farce. I’m terrified that’s what’s going to happen to Melanie so that’s quite literally the only thing keeping her from being on the lock list.
6) Shelbie Z
Unless there’s some other vocal powerhouse American Idol is hiding, I like Shelbie’s chances of getting to the Top 24. Plus, she got Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo to turn their chairs on that other singing show so I kinda like her odds of making it through Hollywood Week. Really the only thing hurting her chances is the amount of talented country singers we’ve seen. I could see her spot going to Laurel Wright, who I legit eliminated from making Top 24 as part of my montage theory (read Kory Wheeler over in the Top 12 guys). She should be there, but you never know.
7) Rhea Raj
Her voice is terrific. No denying it. If you check out her YouTubes (guilty) she’s got the musical ability you need to do well on the show. Also, she’s clearly not white and if it comes down to Rhea and some girl named, I don’t know, Jennifer, I think producers are going to lean toward Rhea so they don’t look super racist. Another thing she has going for her is the appearance in the montage. Producers throw together these montage auditions when the contestant doesn’t have a good enough of a backstory to be a featured audition and usually one of the contestants in the montage makes the cut or is part of a dramatic exit from the show. With Rhea and Kassy Levels being part of the same montage, I think one will make it and the other won’t.
8) Jenn Blosil
Her talent is going to make up for her lack, or at least her perceived lack, of awareness. Her audition, based on performance only, might have been the best of Season 15. She’s a wild card because there are so many variables to why she might not make the show, but her talent seems to trump them every single time. I could definitely see her losing interesting in the Idol process or struggling on group night, but the biggest reason she might not make the Top 24 is Idol producers are taking one blonde indie chick and they choose Kayla Mickelsen – who’s also crazy talented and was real, real hard to exclude from these predictions – over Jenn. I’d throw a couple bucks on her to make it and feel good about my investment though.
9) Jordyn Simone
Something about her just feels right. She’s Season 15’s Melinda Doolittle. She looks like a high school social studies teacher but sings like a GD saint and it’s going to be real hard for producers to just ignore her vocal abilities. I can see her up against LaPorsha Renae for one of the final spots and I’m giving it to the 15/30-year old, but I understand the appeal LaPorsha brings to the show. Still, there’s something about Jordyn that I can’t quit and with all the young white girls playing their guitars, having a young black girl who can sing the bejesus out of anything is going to look – and sound – real, real nice.
10) Sonika Vaid
Every expert has a weakness and mine is powerful female vocalists. I can never get a read on what the judges are looking for when they start comparing one to the other. I didn’t have Sonika on my list, then I did, then I didn’t, then I remembered my initial thought of her reminding me of Pia Toscano and while I wasn’t a Pia guy, it’s clear she was crazy talented so boom, Sonika makes the list. The season is going to need a big balladeer and I don’t know if we’ve seen another girl with the looks/voice combo Sonika brings to the table. Perfect casting, but for all I know there’s another sitting among the contestants they haven’t shown.
THEY JUST HAVE TO
11) Chynna Sherrod
You just put her through. I don’t care what she does in Hollywood, what she does on Group Night or what anyone else does, you just put her through because she’s too damn nice not to. I love her odds up on that stage in the Top 24 to get to the next stage of the show. Much like Jordyn, there’s just something about her that makes you want her to succeed and I’m going to be really pissed if she gets cut and they don’t show us a good reason why. She’s got the talent, she can play a little and is easily marketable for the show. It just makes too much sense but a part of me feels this is a pipe dream and they’re going to pass.
THE LAST SPOT
Odds are against 12 girls we’ve already seen audition making the Top 24. There’s just too many unseen stars or past close calls that at least one or two will sneak through. Plus, there’s like six super talented contestants who didn’t even make this list. You could do a Top 24 of just girls and it would be a solid cast of contenders. While I think two or three unseen guys might make it, for the girls I see two at the most.
THE RIGHT THING TO DO
13) Melany Huber
The story is too good. You can set it up brilliantly. Have her and some other chick come down as the last two for one spot. Give it to the other chick. Tell Melany she didn’t have it. The other girl walks away to celebrate, let Melany start walking, then call her back. Tell her she’s fought too hard to not get this chance and she’s getting one final performance as part of the Top 13 girls. Can you imagine the credit Idol will get? It’ll be a bump in ratings and win them a ton of good will in their swan song season. This wouldn’t be a pity move either; Melany has the ability but I think there’s a logjam of girls ahead of her, from what we’ve seen. Give her this opportunity Idol. It’s too good to pass up.
There are a lot of great girls to pick from this season. That’s not saying the girls are better; it’s just a deeper pool from what we’ve seen. If I’m picking a winner, my money is on of the guys but if we’re playing this as a team game where you get points based on finish, I’d bet the girls outscore the guys. We’ll see. Hollywood is going to be a hell of a time.