Watching the Top 9 perform last night on American Idol made me believe that these kids really are listening to their mentors.  The judges gave mostly good reviews last night and most of it was warranted.  While even the lower level folks improved the top singers emerged as superstars.

I said last week that Colton Dixon became a star when singing "Piano Man."  This week, he expanded on that, showing again he's ready for the spotlight.

Most AI contestants can sing a song no one knows and disappear, but Colton made this sound like it's his song and he's already on tour.  Colton could get cut tonight and become the biggest star in Christian music tomorrow, but I think even bigger things are on his horizon.

Another contestant I was hesitant about in the beginning came into her own as well last night and that was Jessica Sanchez.

Jessica has also stepped into that place where you stop singing a song like you heard it on the radio and start becoming an artist.  Now, onto the predictions.

Safe For Sure:

Colton - See Above.  He has arrived.

Jessica - This girl is good beyond her age and is ready to be a star in her own right.

On The Fence:

Phillip - It gets harder at this point to be safe for sure, but I believe Phillip is close to the top after his Johnny Lang performance.  This was a little less Dave Matthews-y and that's good for Phillip.

Elise - Going last and singing something a little more familiar should help boost Elise's stock this week and keep her out of the bottom 3.  'Whole Lotta Love" from Led Zeppelin was quite a surprise to me, but it suited her well.

Joshua - He did attempt one of the hardest songs to sing in "Without You" by Mariah Carey, and did well.  I did notice that he has a trick...if he can't hit a big note he's going for, he screams...but it fits and the judges love it.  Sneaky, Joshua.

Hollie - I love Hollie, but didn't love her choice of "Jesus, Take The Wheel."  I think she needs to stay away from country, it's not where she belongs, but I do think she did enough to stay in the competition and out of the bottom 3.

Bottom 3:

Skylar - This is why Skylar is no Kellie, Carrie, or Lauren.  Those 3 girls sounded like their own person singing other people's songs when they were on Idol.  Skylar came out and sang Miranda Lambert's "Gun Powder and Lead" like I've heard 50 other girls at karaoke bars do.  She's in trouble if she keeps this mess up.

DeAndre - I'm putting him up here because maybe if I don't pick him to go home he will.  He screamed like a girl for 2 minutes a "song" by Eric Benet.  Stop the pain and get rid of the hair...but he WON'T LEAVE TONIGHT (wink wink)

Going Home:

HeeJun - Now this is where I think he got the wrong advice.  I liked what he did last week with Billy Joel.  Now the kid is back to being boring with his "Song For You."  No sir, not for me...he might just be gone tonight.