I've ranked the contestants (click here to read) -- now it's time to figure out who's going home!
Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
David Archuleta, Carly Smithson, Chekezie, David Cook, Brooke White
Despite a mess of a performance, Archuleta's still a no-brainer -- this kid won't be leaving the Green Zone for some time (if ever!) David Cook and Carly Smithson once again gave stand-out performances this week, and Brooke White has settled comfortably into her folkie groove (not to mention being likably moved by the proceedings last night), so they, too, should have no problem this week.
The biggest surprise in this group, of course, is Chekezie, who catapulted himself from the throes of elimination to the top of the heap last night. If he keeps it up he may just be a real contender in this competition.
Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
Michael Johns, Amanda Overmyer, Jason Castro
Michael Johns has definitely lost his frontrunner status, but he's likely got enough leftover goodwill, and gave an adequate enough performance, that he still probably has nothing to worry about. Amanda, meanwhile, is continuing to do what she does best (rock out!), and she's still so unique in this competition that she should also make it through the week without a hitch. And while Jason Castro's folkie shtick is getting a little tired, leftover love for his performance of "Hallelujah" last week means he's not going anywhere.
Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Syesha Mercado, Ramiele Malubay, Kristy Lee Cook, David Hernandez
With 12 contestants performing, the very worst thing you could do is be "just okay." In fact, it's better to be a total trainwreck (Kristy Lee Cook) than middle-of-the-road, which means Kristy Lee will probably live to see another week.
Ramiele Malubay gave her fourth consecutive ho-hum performance -- will it be her last? And how about David Hernandez, whose cheesy "I Saw Her Standing There" did him absolutely no favors?
Both are definitely in danger of going home, but I'm guessing it's Syesha Mercado who will get the boot. She was saddled with the dreaded first performance slot, and without making much of an impression (and getting mixed-t0-good reviews from the judges), she's in serious jeopardy of having been forgotten by the time Archuleta was mumbling his lyrics. Had she been torn apart like Cook or Hernandez her fans (do they exist?) may have been mobilized, but as is, I think she's going to have slipped through the cracks.
Bottom 3: Ramiele Malubay, David Hernandez, Syesha Mercado
Eliminated: Syesha Mercado
Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
READ: Ranking the Top 12 -- Chekezie Shines While Archuleta Falters
VOTE: Who Was Your Favorite Performance? Who's Going Home?