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May 17, 2010 at 6:00 AM

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'American Idol' contestant rankings: Patrick's Power Ratings finals week ten

Posted by Patrick Brown

The Final Three!

I have to admit a large amount of surprise at the final three that we've ended up with. Back in the days before "Hollywood", when there were 181 contestants and 77 who we had actually seen, it certainly would have been impossible to predict that we would arrive here.

In February, after the fifth week of the show I listed my first real Top 24. Of the three finalists, only Casey James was listed (he squeaked in at #22).

By the next week, Bowersox checked in at #4 and DeWyze made his first appearance at #18.

It's been an interesting challenge to watch this show with the knowledge that I needed to rate these contestants based purely on what I saw on the show!

Now, on to your final three ratings:

3) Casey James
Last Week: 4
Highest Rating: 3 (Finals week 6)
It's been a great run for this singer/guitar player (guitar player/singer?) but he's clearly the odd man out among the final three. I still get bothered by James' goat-like vibrato when he tries to hold a note, but other then that he's a solid entertainer. He did get the best fitting judges' song this week, as he will be singing John Mayer's "Daughters", so maybe he can have a Kris Allen moment and shock the world by advancing to the final two.

2) Crystal Bowersox
Last Week: 2
Highest Rating: 1 (Finals week 2)
Bowersox came roaring back last week with two solid performances. She continues to show tremendous musical talent, but I continue to believe that she is more of a niche performer after this show is over. The stakes have obviously never been higher, so it will be interesting to see how she holds up to the pressure over these final two weeks.

1) Lee DeWyze
Last Week: 1
Highest Rating: 1 (Finals week 4)
I'm disappointed to read that Simon Cowell has saddled DeWyze with his Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as his judges' pick, but I have faith that Lee can dig out a special performance. If he can get past this week, my feeling is that most of the rocker vote Casey had goes to Lee, making him your next "American Idol."

*No eliminations in week four due to the judges' save being used on Michael Lynche

OUT: Finals week 9) Michael Lynche
Last Week: 3
Highest Rating: 1 (Finals Week 1)
We knew Lynche had no chance of winning when he was voted out then saved back in week four. This was about as far as "Big Mike" was going to go (although I thought he might be in the final three), but it seems likely that Lynche will have a successful career in music ahead of him.

OUT: Finals week 8) Aaron Kelly
Last Week: 5
Highest Rating: 3 (Semifinals week 3)
As predicted, Sinatra was just too much for this 17-year-old country singer. It seems to me like over the past four to five weeks, as Aaron has gained confidence, he lost a lot of the charm that we loved at the beginning of the show. I'm sure he'll be a favorite on the tour this summer, but I'm not sure that he has a real chance at commercial success.

OUT: Finals week 7) Siobhan Magnus
Last Week: 5
Highest Rating: 2 (Finals week 2)
As much as I've enjoyed Magnus this season, it was time for her to go home. Somehow her performances were getting worse week-to-week, and her on stage presence was getting stranger and stranger (did she have to smile ALL THE TIME?). The show definitely gets less interesting from here on out. Her voice was the best of the bunch at times, and her fashion sense always made me smile. I'm not sure she's a commercially viable singer, but I'm glad we got a chance to know her.

OUT: Finals week 6) Tim Urban
Last Week: 5
Highest Rating: 5 (Finals Week 6)
So everyone's favorite punching bag is finally eliminated. For the record, I liked Tim when I saw him in Hollywood week, and was about the only one in America happy he was allowed to make the finals. He started off on the wrong foot, and never really got his legs under him. He will be remembered more for his unassailable attitude then his musical ability, but his happy-go-lucky attitude and his ability to baffle the judges made for weeks of fun. I don't see him having a career in music, but he's gotten the most out of his 15 minutes of fame as an "Idol."

OUT: Finals week 5) Katie Stevens
Last Week: 3
Highest Rating: 3 (Finals week 5)
For the first time in a few weeks my guess on a contestant was way off from America's. I'm not exactly sure why, because I think Katie's voice has been getting stronger each week, but I have noticed that her personality hasn't been coming through well the past few weeks. If she can get the right management, she is young enough that she can still have a terrific career in music.

OUT: Finals week 5) Andrew Garcia
Last Week: 8
Highest Rating: 3 (Semifinals week 1)
The first time I saw Garcia in the audition round, I sat up and took notice. It seemed like he had the goods to go all the way, and his Hollywood week only reinforced that notion. It turns out it was all a mirage. He never found his voice on the big stage, and his song selection was questionable much of the time. I do hope the best for A.G. in the future.

OUT: Finals week 3) Didi Benami
Last Week: 10
Highest Rating: 6 (Semifinals week 1)
Coming out of Hollywood week I had high hopes for Benami. She seemed to have a unique voice that stood out above the crowd. Now it looks like she never really had the chops to be a contender. She cracked under the pressure of the big stage, and she never really picked out the right song. At least she can make herself feel better with the fact that she will be going on the tour; between now and summer she's going to need to figure out what songs really suit her!

OUT: Finals week 2) Paige Miles
Highest Rating: 9 (Finals week 2)
After getting past the first week of the finals on the strength of America's sympathy (she had laryngitis), Miles clearly had the weakest performance this week and was the right one to send home. I could never understand how she kept getting through the semis, but she's young and her voice can be strong at times. If she can figure out how to sing softly without going out of tune, she should find a future outlet for her music.

OUT: Finals Week 1) Lacey Brown
Highest Rating: 11 (Semifinals week 1)
I looked back at my notes from Brown's first appearance this season, and remembered that she had made it to Hollywood last year. She obviously has a good voice, but she picked some awful songs and lost confidence. She should use the time between now and the time the Season 9 crew goes on tour to do some real deep thinking about where she wants to go. She still has a chance to have a career in music.

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