The way I see it, there are five contestants who should find a clear path into the Top 9, and there are five contestants who are in danger this week. Of course, song choice and performance order could effect the outcome (it is no coincidence that the first two eliminees sang in the first half hour of the show) , but here's how I view the landscape with approximately 44 hours to go until showtime.
The Safe Crew
Melinda and LaKisha have huge fanbases, and there is no reason to think they won't continue to support their girls this week. It seems Blake, too, has amassed a sizable group of admirers, and with the theme being pop, he should be able to find a song well-suited to his skiills.
Jordin, meanwhile, has been gaining some serious momentum, and her stunning performance last week of "I Who Have Nothing" should have earned her enough goodwill to last at least a few more rounds, regardless of how she does this week. I also think Chris Richardson is a shoo-in for a Top 9 berth, as his Bottom 2 position last week was shocking enough to motivate those who like him to start dialing for their boy.
Chance of going home (combined): 5%
Which leaves us with Chris Sligh, Phil Stacey, Sanjaya Malakar, Gina Glocksen, and Haley Scarnato. I will discuss each of them, in the order of who I think is least in danger of actually going home, to who I think is most in danger.
Chris has been solid since the Finals have begun, but he has not been spectacular or really even carved out much of a niche for himself. I don't think Chris will actually get the boot, but if he gives another average-to-good performance he could find himself Chris Richardson-ed into the Bottom 3. What will save him is a memorable performance of a well-known song -- hopefully he will deliver.
Chance of going home: 10%
Interest in Sanjaya reached a fever pitch after the crying girl incident last week, so he will probably have some residual car-crash voters (as well as some vote-for-the-worst-ers) continuing to try and save him. The best chance of Sanjaya going this week is if he goes back to giving one of his insipid, whisper-y performances, and people just forget to vote for him. It'd be nice, but at this point I fully expect to see him in the Top 9.
Chance of going home: 17%
She's given two mediocre performances, gotten mediocre comments from the judges, and hasn't yet landed in the Bottom 3, which means she's either got a really large fanbase or those who like her sensed she might be in danger and voted their fingers off for her. If she gives another so-so pseudo-rock showing this week, I think her luck may catch up with her. If she delivers like she did on the Evanescence song a few weeks ago, though, she could buy herself a few more weeks in the competition.
Chance of going home: 21%
History shows that the person who falls in 10th place was usually in the Bottom 3 during the week of the Top 12 (Julia Demato, Amy Adams, Jessica Sierra, Lisa Tucker), so that would mean danger for both Phil and Sanjaya. I think it's Phil who should be more concerned, though -- his fans responded to his Bottom 3 showing during the first week by keeping him safe last week, but unless he really pulls out all the stops, I fear we might be seeing the last of chrome-domed Mr. Stacey.
Chance of going home: 23%
The first week she saved herself by calling herself a schmuck, then last week she revealed parts of herself that we had not seen before. What can Haley possibly do to make herself memorable this week, except, I don't know, perform well? She hasn't yet been in the Bottom 3, so people are clearly voting for her, but how long can it last? I think her time may be running out.
Chance of going home: 24%
So there it is, going into the Top 10 this is who I think needs to be worried. As I said, anything could change after Tuesday night, but let's hope these five, especially, give their performance all that they've got -- it could be their last shot.