I think this "Top 13" ploy was just a stunt to boost TV ratings. Oh well, it's a recession, FOX needs to pay their bills, so fine.
So as you can guess, I don't agree with the final group of contestants, in fact with several of the "Top 36", but I think the judges did a decent job whittling down the remaining contestants to make for an entertaining season at least. I would have sworn off Idol altogether if Tatiana, Nick, and Nathaniel made it through to the final cut. They all annoyed me to no end.
I would have liked to hear more Ricky -- in fact, if he made an album I would probably buy it. He's got a certain sweetness to his voice that none of the other contestants possess. I would have liked to see if there is a song out there perfectly suited for Von once he learns to better control his upper register. I would have been interested to see Ju'Not put his spin on other songs.
Ok, enough rambling. Here's how I stack the Top 13:
1) Adam Lambert - my pick to win this competition from the very beginning, since his audition. For a singing competition, he is the first contestant on Idol (with David Cook being a very close second) who is truly in a different stratosphere from the other contestants. Amazing chops.
2) Danny Gokey - I really like this guy. There is nothing extraordinary about his tone, but he puts a package together very well.
3) Allison Iraheta - very Kelly Clarkson. I just wish she wouldn't speak. Just stick to singing.
4) Alexis Grace - she's good to have around, like Allison. She will be outsung by everyone else, but she may pull off a memorable moment. Who knows.
I will reserve my complete opinion on everyone else for now, since they haven't really captured my attention. Just a few words maybe...
Anoop Desai - he actually has a nice voice. He'll probably rock the Bollywood vote.
Jasmine Murray - I wish she would phrase better. She has that annoying pop in her voice that I hear all the time from the new crop of young singers.
Jorge Nunez - he can win. In Puerto Rico.
Kris Allen - I'm baffled why he's around.
Lil Rounds - Nothing unique. Seems I've heard this kind of singer a hundred times over.
Matt Giraud - he's just filler.
Megan Joy - she's not versatile.
Michael Sarver - he has a nice tone that can come out depending on the song... he might have a moment.
Scott MacIntyre - I don't enjoy watching him sing. Sorry.