‘American Idol’ Top 8 power rankings: Laine Hardy soars to the top, but watch out for Madison VanDenburg!

The top eight contestants for Season 17 of “American Idol” have been revealed and will perform songs by the rock group Queen on Sunday, April 28. Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie have one save to use this season should they feel the wrong artist is voted off. Gold Derby will continue our weekly power rankings to show which artist is on top and who is in danger of heading home during their quest for the title. Don’t agree with our assessment? Sound off in the comments and head over to our prediction center to influence our racetrack odds for who will be crowned the Season 17 champ. Below is our Top 8 power rankings.

1. Laine Hardy
(Top 40: “Come Together”; Top 20 Solo: “Bring It On Home”; Top 20 Duet: “The Weight” with Elle King; Top 14: “That’s All Right”; Top 14 Results: “Hurricane”; Top 10: “Oo-De-Lally”)

The comeback kid from the bayou has finally claimed the top spot in our Weekly Power Rankings after holding strong at number one in our predictions center for two weeks. Laine’s charisma and musical merging of soulful country and classic rock give him the edge in a competition where mainstream appeal matters.

2. Madison VanDenburg
(Top 40: “Who’s Lovin’ You”; Top 20 Solo: “Domino”; Top 20 Duet: “We Belong” with Pat Benatar; Top 14: “Fallin'”; Top 14 Results: “You & I”; Top 10: “How Far I’ll Go”)

Some have hailed Madison as the best singer in the competition and each week she has delivered. Since her initial audition, Madison has consistently given some of the season’s best vocal performances and with each passing week she becomes more of a threat for the title.

3. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
(Top 40: “Landslide”; Top 20 Solo: “(To) Make You Feel My Love”; Top 20 Duet: “Time After Time” with Cynthia Erivo; Top 14: “We All Fall in Love Sometimes”; Top 14 Results: “Almost Heaven”; Top 10: “Candle on the Water”)

Jeremiah has given some of the most memorable vocal performances this year and his personal journey has been the most talked about of the season. His range is incredible and he has yet to give a bad performance, but he slips slightly this week due to his lack of musical diversity. We’ve heard enough ballads and we’re ready to see what else Jeremiah has up his sleeve!

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4. Alejandro Aranda
(Top 40: “Yellow”; Top 20 Solo: “I Fall Apart”; Top 20 Duet: “There Will Be a Light” with Ben Harper; Top 14: “One Dance”; Top 14 Results: “Cholo Love”; Top 10: “Remember Me”)

Alejandro took off like a rocket early in the season with one of the most talked about auditions ever. Since then, his performances have ranged from amazing to mediocre, not always hitting the right note when it comes to the musical arrangement of his songs. He’s one of this year’s most unique artists and he can definitely still pull out a victory, but strong vocals and good arrangements are necessary from here on out.

5. Walker Burroughs
(Top 40: “Youngblood”; Top 20 Solo: “How Deep is Your Love?”; Top 20 Duet: “Have It All” with Jason Mraz; Top 14: “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”; Top 14 Results: “Lovebug”; Top 10: “When She Loved Me”)

If any contestant has been on a slow rise to the top this season it’s definitely Walker. Early on he was known as the singer who looked like Harry Potter, but week after week he’s proven to be one of the best performers in the competition. Since the episodes began airing live, Walker has consistently delivered one of the top performances each week. Keep an eye on him!

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘American Idol’?

6. Laci Kaye Booth
(Top 40: “Georgia on My Mind”; Top 20 Solo: “I Want You to Want Me”; Top 20 Duet: “Mercy” with Brett Young; Top 14: “I Miss You”; Top 14 Results: “As Long as You Follow”; Top 10: “I See the Light”)

Laci’s unmistakable tone and Hollywood looks made her a standout early on, but in recent weeks she hasn’t made the wisest song choices. There’s still room for Laci to sing her way to a victory, but it’s not going to be easy. If she can remind viewers how she won them over with her sultry country ballads, she may be able to turn this competition on its head.

7. Wade Cota
(Top 40: “Work Song”; Top 20 Solo: “All I Want”; Top 20 Duet: “Broken” with Lovely The Band; Top 14: “Trouble”; Top 14 Results: “Simple Man”; Top 10: “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”)

Wade won over the hearts of viewers with his humility, unique voice and emotional backstory. He had all the makings of what could have been a great “American Idol” journey. Unfortunately, Wade just hasn’t grown as a performer at the pace necessary to win. For that reason, he may be going home next.

8. Alyssa Raghu
(Top 40: “Dear Future Husband”; Top 20 Solo: “Ain’t It Fun”; Top 20 Duet: “Issues” with Julia Michaels; Top 14: “She Used to Be Mine”; Top 14 Results: “The One That Got Away” Top 10: “Colors of the Wind”)

As the last remaining contestant who earned her way into the Top 10 with a judge’s save, Alyssa is naturally vulnerable to elimination. With her recent performance during Disney week, she finally moved forward by earning enough votes from viewers at home. Odds of that happening again seem slight, especially since the music of Queen isn’t exactly in her wheelhouse.

Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and a $100 Amazon gift card. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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