Handicapping the American Idol Top 12
Now that American Idol has separated the mellifluous wheat from the pitchy chaff, culling its contestant pool from its initial 3.5 million contestants to a top 12, things are finally, in the parlance of philosopher-judge Randy Jackson, "getting a millionty billionty percent real, dawg." For the unlucky amongst this ultimate dozen, wild dreams of worldwide superstardom are about to be crushed under the heel of a thousand-dollar Simon Cowell loafer and replaced with more measured aspirations to careers on the cruise-ship circuit, where weeks of national exposure lands one the headlining position on the Pacific Princess' Lido Deck Idol Revue. So whom amongst the remaining Idols can we expect to see battling deep into May, and whom should be loading up on seasickness pills for an upcoming maritime musical adventure? Here's how we handicap the Top 12.
At a barely pubescent 16 years old, Kelly seems to have captured the limited imagination of the ravenous, text-happy tween audience that carried creepily pocket-sized crooner David Archuleta to a second place finish in season 7. By virtue of his resemblance to any number of harmless Disney Channel stars. the two-first-named teen should ride his pleasingly innocuous manner deeper still into the competition, barring a sudden, and uncomfortable, televised explosion into manhood that scares off the fanbase who just want to prop him up on the edge of their beds with all their other adorable stuffed animals.
Odds of winning: 4 to 1
Despite our almost pathological aversion to hippies (even the faintest whiff of patchouli induces a hypnotic rage-state in which we can think of nothing but smashing up head shops with pawned acoustic guitars), we can't ignore Bowersox's undeniable talent. And so we'll harbor the hope that Idol's stylists will continue to bury her Berkeley street-corner vibe in an attempt to make her more marketable to the all-powerful Idol voting demographic. (We see a fun pre-performance video package showing Bowersox picking out clip-on, magenta Hot Topic hair extensions to hide her dreads, a faraway look in her eye revealing the producers have successfully beaten the Haight-adjacent authenticity out of her) There will be, however, no diverting her from further mining the 1999 Lilith Fair set-list for musical inspiration, and she'll be ousted after reaching the final four.
Odds of winning: 5 to 1
When you've peaked too early with something plucked from Do You Really Want To Love Me Forever: The Very Best of Paula Abdul greatest hits EP, you're toast.
Odds of winning: 30 to 1
This season's undisputed, champion weeper has one of the best and most interesting voices in the competition. But the Brooke White Precedent says that she'll be sent home in late April, her once-beguiling fragility eventually freaking out too much of the voting base to make the finals.
Odds of winning: 10 to 1
Odds of crying :: 1 to 5