I've ranked the contestants (click for the BOYS and for the GIRLS) -- now it's time to figure out who's going home!
Years of Idol history have shown that, especially during the first few weeks of the show, having the worst performance doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the boot. In fact, it's often better to get lambasted by the judges than to fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Keeping that in mind, here's my take on where the Top 20 stands:
Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
Boys: David Archuleta, David Hernandez, Jason Castro
Girls: Carly Smithson, Ramiele Malubay, Brooke White
Archuleta, Smithson, Hernandez, and White all gave very stand-out performances this week, and should be in no danger. Castro and Mulabay, meanwhile, still have enough good will from last week that they should be fine as well.
Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
Boys: David Cook, Michael Johns, Danny Noriega
Girls: Asia'h Epperson, Syesha Mercado, Alaina Whitaker
This group was not necessarily good enough for shoo-in status, but they are also not in extreme danger of imminent elimination. Though Johns, Epperson, Mercado and Whitaker have performed better in the past, there were far worst performances this week, so they should stick around for at least one more week.
Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Boys: Luke Menard, Jason Yaegar, Chekezie, Robbie Carrico
Girls: Amanda Overmyer, Alex Lushington, Kristy Lee Cook, Kady Malloy
Chekezie stepped up his performance vocally, but he's still doesn't seem to be strongly connecting with the audience, so there's a chance he could get the boot. Carrico, meanwhile, gave a ho-hum "rock" performance, and as such could easily fall through the cracks. What do we know about this guy, other than that he used to date Britney Spears?
In more danger, however, are pretty boy Menard and bland Yeager -- both were pretty bad on Tuesday night, and will likely be shown the door.
As for the girls, Alex and Amanda had disastrous performances, but I think they still have enough fans to remain in the competition...for now. That's not the case, however, with Kristy Lee Cook and Kady Malloy, who continue to disappoint.
Boys: Luke Menard and Jason Yaegar
Girls: Kristy Lee Cook and Kady Malloy
Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
READ: Ranking the Top 10 Guys -- David Archuleta Wipes the Floor With the Competition
READ: Ranking the Top 10 Girls -- This is the Best Group of Finalists Ever?