My favorite “American Idol” contestants

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My favorite “American Idol” contestants

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After having written about how distraught I was in deciding whether or not to watch “American Idol” or not this season, I gave in. Ever since the season premiere, I closely followed the contestants from auditions to Hollywood week, and eventually, to the live shows. Due to the drastic paring down of contestants during Hollywood Week and the first round of live shows, duly titled Rush Week, I had not gotten to know many of the contestants. After a few more weeks of performances, I think I’ve gotten a grip on what kind of performers and artists this year’s contestants are, and like anyone else, I have some favorites.

Jessica Meuse

From the beginning of “American Idol,” Meuse stood out because of both her looks (after all, she does have amazing pink hair) and her genre-defying style. After years of performing and songwriting and already having self-released one studio album, Meuse has been able to perfect her fusion of southern rock, country and alternative music. Although she has not been the most consistent performer, and has had pitch issues before (mainly in her performance of “White Flag” by Dido), Meuse’s artistry and experience is almost unrivaled among the other contestants. So far, her best performance has been “The Crow & the Butterfly” by Shinedown, where she abandoned her guitar and belted the song amazingly while still giving a taste of her musical style.

Alex Preston

Throughout the competition, Preston had been a bit of a dark horse. His acoustic alternative music allowed him to fly under my radar until the Top 20, where I was thoroughly surprised by his musical ability. Perhaps the quirkiest contestant left on “American Idol,” Preston has put a creative spin on every one of his performances, and has done a great job at showing his artistic talent throughout the competition. Even though all of his performances thus far have been good, his best was his rendition of One Direction’s “The Story of My Life.” Preston put an even more acoustic spin on the song and toned down the pop aura of the original version to make a creative and well-delivered performance.

Caleb Johnson

As one of the first contestants I noticed in the competition, Johnson has been quite the standout. The judges have dubbed him this year’s “resident rocker,” and he has lived up to that title so far. In the same manner as past “American Idol” contestants such as Adam Lambert and James Durbin, Johnson has been able to consistently deliver vocally charged, powerful and energetic performances of rock hits while also putting a rock spin on some pop songs. Although he has a fantastic stage presence during every performance, Johnson does run the risk of his performances coming off as karaoke (like his version of Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory”). His best performance so far was “Pressure and Time” by Rival Sons, in which Johnson sang with unrivaled passion and earned the first standing ovation of the live shows.

Arguably, this year’s group of contestants is the most diverse and most talented. Any of these three, or any other contestant for that matter, has the potential to win the competition. Nonetheless, I’ll be watching the competition intently and cheering for these three contestants.

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