Last Monday I suggested that Sanjaya Malakar, Haley Scarnato, and Phil Stacey were the contestants most in danger of facing elimination. As it turns out, two of these three individuals found themselves in the Bottom 3, and it was Haley, who I had given a 30% chance of elimination, who, not surprisingly, got the boot.
So...who is in danger this week? As I have done the past several weeks, I will identify the contestants I think should be most concerned going in to the Top 7 Performance Show, and then look at the likelihood that these contestants will actually be going home.
Of course, song choice and performance order could effect the outcome, but here's how I view the landscape with approximately 32 hours to go until showtime.
I'm not sure anything could happen this week that would put Ms. Mindy Doo in danger this week -- her fanbase is huge, and her vocals consistently flawless. Even though her Latin week rendition of "Sway" was not her strongest performance of the competition, this girl is in no danger of missing out on a Top 6 berth.
Chance of going home (combined): 2%
Blake cemented his male frontrunner status with a week-best performance of "I Need to Know" last week, and he should continue riding that momentum this week. I mean, did you hear the screams for this guy during last week's results show? He ain't going anywhere.
Chance of going home: 4%
Even though Chris gave one of the better performances last week, he still found himself in the Bottom 3. So why do I think he's more safe than LaKisha and Jordin? Because sometimes a Bottom 3 showing at this point in the competition is the best thing that can happen to you -- it reminds your fans that you do need their votes, and for a hearthrob-in-the-making like Chris, I think that'll be enough to spare him elimination for a couple of weeks. He showed he could handle country with his Semifinal performance of "Tonight I Wanna Cry" -- if he chooses the right song, he should avoid a repeat appearance in the Bottom 3.
Chance of going home: 10%
Young Jordin has yet to slip into the Bottom 3 this season, and there is no reason to think this will be the week that does her in. True, her fans may start to get a little over-confident that their girl is untouchable, but if she chooses the right country song, I think she'll be okay.
Chance of going home: 12%
Who can forget Top 7 week back in Season 3, when the three divas wound up the three lowest vote-getters? Hopefully history will not repeat itself, but if there is going to be a shocking exit this week, it will likely be Ms. Jones who gets the boot. She's been fading a bit the last couple of weeks, and unless she really pulls out all the stops and reminds voters why they fell in love with her in the first place, she could be the first diva to spend some serious time center stage on Wednesday evening.
Chance of going home: 16%
Anyone wanna bet Sanjaya will show up sportin' a cowboy hat tomorrow night? Anyone? After four straight weeks avoiding the Bottom 3, I'm guessing this is the week he'll make a return visit to center stage. Whether he goes or not depends, ironically, on how good he sounds -- the better he is, the better the chance he'll leave. I'm guessing, unfortunately, he has one more week of life left in him.
Chance of going home: 21%
Phil has found himself in the Bottom 3 on four separate occassions this season, and last week he slipped into the Bottom 2, which can't possibly inspire confidence in his fans that the guy will proceed much further in the competition. Despite showing off pretty consistent vocals and a (slowly) improving sense of style, Phil is on his last legs in the competition, and he has to hope voters forget to vote for everyone else if he is going to make it one more week. Definitely the most likely to go.
Chance of going home: 35%
So there it is -- going into the Top 7, I think LaKisha, Sanjaya, and Phil need to be the most worried. As I said, anything could change after Tuesday night, but these contestants, especially, better give their performances all that they've got -- it could be their last shot.