1. Michael Johns - Now this is the performance from him I've been waiting for. Well-rounded, mature, and just utterly soulful. One of the standout performances of the season.
2. David Archuleta - He seems to have regained his confidence and plugged into the song. It's my favorite performance of his this season.
3. Carly Smithson - Again she displays amazing control of her voice. She and Michael are showing how age can endow a singer with great emotional depth.
4. Syesha Mercado - The two-for-one performance didn't bother me, especially since she pulled off both successfully, if a bit restrained.
5. David Cook - An original arrangement, but not a very good one. His vocals here, though, remain strong and I appreciated that he saw the value in simplicity.
6. Brooke White - It's unfair to have to rank her since she doesn't have the powerhouse vocals of the others, but Brooke would probably be closer to the kind of singer I would like. I have a feeling she would be an interesting performing artist outside of "Idol."
7. Jason Castro - I look at this guy and I see boy band. He'd be the rebellious one in the group, the guy with the whacked out hair, but as his vocals prove, he's really a puppy dog. His performance of "Travelin' Thru" does nothing to enhance his persona, as this is yet another in an increasingly long line of laidback performances in the vein of Jack Johnson. The song was cleanly delivered and he has a pleasant voice, but I don't hear anything interesting here.
8. Kristy Lee Cook - Yes, another pleasant but forgettable performance. No personality whatsoever.
9. Ramiele Malubay - Lacks the concentration to sing a song through. It seems like she gets bored 2/3 of the way through a song, as she did again tonight. I doubt she thinks about what she's singing, but instead focuses on making herself sound pretty. Surprisingly, this was better than her last two performances, but that's not saying a lot.