Michael Slezak
May 11, 2009 AT 06:34 PM EDT

3. Danny Gokey: (Last week: No. 4) The fact that he survived a Rock Week performance that curdled like rancid milk in a bowl proved his fan base is big and loyal. Not only that, but the judges continue to coddle him with “A for Effort” critiques that betray their commitment at all cost to a pre-ordained Adam-Danny finale. That said, dude has only had one positive breakout moment all season (“Come Rain or Come Shine”), and if he doesn’t deliver stellar vocals on both his songs this week, it’s possible voters will flash back to his “fingers-in-a-blender ” yelp on “Dream On” and send him packing.

2. Kris Allen: (Last week: No. 3) It’s a good bet that the judges are getting ready to put the season 8 heartthrob in the stocks and pelt him with rocks on Tuesday night, no matter how well he sings. After all, his “Come Together” was inventive and strongly sung — arguably Rock Night’s most unique vocal — and they refused to give him proper credit. Kris needs a jaw-dropping moment on Tuesday — might we suggest ditching the band and going a capella or acoustic-only? — if he wants to crack the top two. But seeing how he’s stopped the show before (“Falling Slowly” and “She Works Hard for the Money” spring immediately to mind) that’s a totally plausible scenario.

1. Adam Lambert: (Last week: No. 1) There seem to be only two things that could stop Glambert’s march to the finale: voter complacency or a disastrous vocal on Tuesday. But seeing how Adam graced the bottom two only two weeks ago, it’s unfathomable that his fan base isn’t still in panicky speed-dial mode. And as for the latter scenario, that seems unlikely, too, seeing how Adam has barely missed a note in 10 consecutive live performances. At this point, Adam seems to be transitioning out of competition mode and treating the Idol stage like it’s his own weekly concert venue, which reminds us a little of David Cook’s season 7 trajectory. And we all know how that worked out for Mr. Cook…


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