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'American Idol' Recap: Ranking The Top 13 Set To Compete

Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
February 21st, 2014 10:41am EST

American Idol Top 13

The Cute Guy with a Guitar was back in a big way on 'American Idol' last night after being forced out by producers last year.

Four of the five dudes who passed America's test strummed their guitars for their performance show. Sam, Ben, Alex, Dexter, they're all minstrels. This archetype is just catnip for voters and it appears to be a fight between dudes with a dreadnought to ultimately win this show. That's just what American prefers.

But what about me? What about your humble 'Idol' recapper? Who do I prefer on this year's competition?

Yes, it's time once more for The Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale of 'American Idol' favoritism.

For those unfamiliar, Molly DeWolf Swenson is my favorite 'Idol' contestant of all-time. She's the Harvard Grad and White House intern who was both diabolically gorgeous and abundantly talented as indicated by the only time we really got to see her on this show.

She's also my 'American Idol' girlfriend of several years running and nobody's ever been able to usurp her.

Still, I must pick a favorite as we head into the top 13, a de facto Molly for this season, and grade every contestant below accordingly. This has nothing to do with how good of a singer they are, or how likely they are to win, just how much I actually like them.

On a Molly Scale of 1-10, where it's impossible to score a ten because that would put you on the same level as Ms. Molly.

Read on to see who scored highest:

Ben Briley

A surprising entry into the top three because he can't sing, has no talent, looks like a Geico caveman and actually was a wildcard vote just to get into the top thirty. He's annoying southern frat-boy through and through, decked in Tennessee Volunteers regalia at all turns, because apparently that school is still a thing.

It's sad that somebody whose frat brothers have probably called him "gay" at least 57,000 times for being on this show, gets a chance to showcase that fratboy archetype on such a national stage. He's annoying useless.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 2.5/10

Majesty Rose

As much as I love the name, there's nothing regal about her. In fact, there's nothing at all memorable about her other than her name. If she'd not had that name, when they brought her into the top ten, I would have thought they just introduced a new contestant.

I can't deal with bland, either be flamingly annoying or super-likable. This in-the-middle stuff just isn't worthwhile.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 5/10

Sam Woolf

It's really impressive that Sean can sing and play a guitar sense he is 90% mouse. It's damn impressive he can just talk for that matter.

So maybe Sean is ultra-sensitive or whatever because he plays a guitar and was born without a spine, but really he's just annoying and will likely cry at some point about a girl who broke his heart in the seventh grade and how that led him into music.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10

Malaya Watson

There's a lot to like about Malaya: she's got braces, she has hipster glasses, she has an amazing voice - not much going wrong there.

But I don't like her. I don't like her one bit. First of all, she's too young. 18 should be the lower age limit on this show - imagine her in a couple years on this show. That would be incredible.

The main problem, though, is that she's just having too much fun and seems to sure of herself. She tries to be goofy in a way that must be a put-on: Nobody that good would be so nonchalant about it all.

It could be her age, but whatever is causing her behavior, I'm not digging Malaya.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 4/10

Emily Piriz

Emily gets a major boost from being a doppelganger of my favorite celebrity Natalie Morales. She really doesn't need much beyond that. Having her onscreen takes me back to some Wendy Watson and 'The Middleman' for a few minutes on each 'Idol'.

That's enough for big marks on this list.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10

Alex Preston

This cute guy with guitar archetype is exactly who I should hate. This bland parade pretty much ruined 'Idol' over its last few seasons and made the show far too predictable as people like Phillip Phillips were declared the best undiscovered singer in America.

Preston is different though. This is the first of these kids who seems authentic, and the first to flash real talent beyond just strumming and singing along as the tween girls swoon.

I believe in Alex Preston.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10

Dexter Roberts

The pudgy Scotty McCreery doesn't do much for me. Next.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 5/10

Caleb Johnson

If there was ever an anti-Molly DeWolf Swenson, it was definitely Casey Abrams. That no-talent who was pegged as an artist because he had a beard was five minutes of torture every week. Ugh. Horrible flashbacks.

As bad as he was, Caleb is poised to rip the title from him. Caleb has no talent, can't sing, looks like a Meat Loaf wannabe and seems to think he's a rock star. Legitimately does. If you hooked him up to a lie detector and said who's more equipped to front a rock band, you or Mick Jagger in his prime, he would say himself before you finished asking the question.

Coming  across as a "good guy" just makes it worse, because his oozing personality just comes from a place of cocky smugness. Why shouldn't he be happy and so nice? He's better than everyone else and this is just a stopping point on his way to infinity platinum records and even more sold-out stadium shows.

This guy can't leave soon enough.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 1/10

MK Nobilette

I have hesitations about MK. I should dig her. I should really dig her. Anybody with a post-punk voice should race to the top of my list.

But I worry about something and it has nothing to do with her. I worry that because she's not a traditional belter, the judges will start calling her a true artist or something no matter what she does. Like they did with insufferable Crystal Bowersox.

Yes, it's unfair to diminish MK based on something that might happen with the judges, but I have to hold back my full enthusiasm based on how much I could get annoyed with that very real possiblity.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 6/10

CJ Harris

So close. So close to the top.

He's the best singer on the show this year and has a real authentic sense of humility to him. Not Melinda Doolittle and Taylor Swift phony humility, but a real aura of seeming to be grateful simply to be invited onto the show this season.

When that's put together with dirty soul voice like his, he should be a lock for the highest rating this year, but he doesn't quite make it.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7.5/10

Jena Irene & Kristen O'Connor

The other two wildcards, along with CJ, are pretty forgettable. One plays the piano, one doesn't. One looks like the daughter on 'The Goldbergs', one doesn't. One's really good, one isn't.

Though neither stand out enough to remember which is which.

(OK, I do know the answers to each of the aforementioned comparisons, but consider it a fun game to decide which is which.)

Pink Hair (Jessica Meuse)

And here she is. This year's winner of the Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale.

Admittedly, it's a pretty lean year in Swenson land. Or Swensylvania. Something like that.

Whatever, the realm, there's not a real standout contestant to get behind, so I'll root for who should be the heel of this year's show: Pink Hair.

She has a real name, but it doesn't matter. All we care about is that she wrecked two groups during Hollywood Week, had a stage mom yell at her, has a nose ring, an attitude problem, and, of course, Pink Hair.

She has a shot at climbing even higher in the all-time rankings if she does embrace the aforementioned heel role. I want her to come out and embrace the hate of the audience. Rile them up. Mince words with Harry. Punch the Dawg in the face. Just become an antagonist.

This show's always needed a villain and Pink Hair could be it.

Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 8/10

There you have it, now that you know my who I'm rooting for, I will return to objectivity as the contestants hit the big stage for the first time next week. Check back here for the recap.

Photo Credits: Michael Becker / FOX


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