Spoiler alert... Thia Megia is going home.
Hopefully I didn't just ruin the rest of this blog for you, but stick around... you might still enjoy it - like watching "The Fugitive" for the 10th time even though you know they catch the one-armed man.
I have never been so excited about an American Idol contestant that I don't think will win, as I was about the performances that Paul McDonald and Scotty McCreery had when the Top 13 took the stage Wednesday night.
McDonald's wacky, yet refreshing performance of Ryan Adams' "Come Pick Me Up" had my wife laughing out loud. But he has such a unique sound that it had me, the Idol judges, and even McDonald himself hoping aloud that the Idol voters "get" him enough to keep him around.
As for McCreery, he clearly has garnered the most press of any of the remaining Idol contestants due to his freakishly deep voice, but I don't think a one-trick pony can win this kind of competition. Before this country boy took the stage, there was no question in my mind that he would be singing Garth Brooks and would nail it. But my wife and I were betting each other which song he would sing - she picked "Friends in Low Places" and I chose "The River." I was right and she had to do the dishes. I'm marking this day on my calendar because she's always right. So hurray for tiny victories!
But like I said, I don't think either will win.
My prediction to win the entire competition, Pia Toscano, wowed again with a spot-on cover of the Celine Dion ballad "All By Myself." She comes across so much more poised and polished than any of the other competitors. At this point, she would practically have to fall off the stage or dropkick a puppy during a performance in order to lose. And, luckily for puppies everywhere, she doesn't seem like the Cruella de Vil type to me.
Other impressive performances this week were: Casey Abrams' cover of Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends," James Durbin's metal twist on Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," and Naima Adedapo, who sacrificed some vocal quality on her cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" in favor of a high-energy performance. But this former janitor won me over, for this week at least, when she broke down into a reggae verse midway through the song. It was the highlight of the week for me.
Now, for the first time this season, I will give you my predictions for the Bottom 3:
- Ashthon Jones: The judges compared her to Diana Ross earlier this season. But her coach this week - mega producer and Pleasantville native, Rodney Jerkins - couldn't keep her from having pitch problems during her cover of Ross' "When You Tell Me That You Love Me." Lauren Alaina, Karen Rodriguez and Haley Reinhart had worse performances Wednesday night. But Jones picked a song that most Idol voters have probably never heard before, which is usually a big no-no, and she clearly struggled with it.
- Jacob Lusk: I know the judges love him. But listening to him sing reminds me of the ear-piercing sound that most alarm clocks use to wake people out of sound sleeps. And his excessive use of his vibrato on his cover of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" came off less as a talented singer showing off his vocal range and more like an alley cat sitting on a jackhammer.
- Thia Megia: I've been telling people since last week that she would be the first to be eliminated, based solely on the quality of the other female singers in the competition. And Megia did not do anything to change my mind with a boring, then off-tempo, cover of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." This 16-year-old would make an excellent contestant in her high school's talent show, but I don't even know if she could win that.