Sunday, April 23, 2006

we're halfway home...

The halfway point is always a good time to take stock in what's occurred to this point and speculate on what's gonna happen from here until the May 24th finale.

Halfway speculation has been pretty easy in the past seasons. Nobody doubted Kelly Clarkson v. somebody in the final season one duel. And most people, if asked, probably would have picked Tamyra Gray. A Ruben/Clay finale was all but sealed after the first episode of season two, so by the time the final six rolled around, Kim, Josh, Trenyce and Carmen should have just packed up and called it a season.

The final six in season three had just watched the classic "three divas in the bottom" results show, but most expected a Fantasia/LaToya finale showdown, even though it didn't play out that way. And anyone who doubted that Bo Bice would square off against Carrie Underwood last year just wasn't paying attention.

This year, however, the tale is different, as all six have a reasonable (if improbable) chance of singing one of Clive Davis' choices in the final three show (my favorite one) in about four weeks.

If I were betting right now, I would probably put my money on Taylor Hicks. If DialIdol is to be believed, Taylor has led in the voting all season and seems to have a fan base that can't be pigeonholed into one particular demographic group. Young people love him. Old people love him. Seems everybody loves the breath of fresh air that has gray hair.

Taylor is all but a lock for final three.

So that pretty much leaves all the others.

Chris Daughtry, generally considered TCO (the chosen one) for this season, found himself in the bottom two last week. (Even though, I refuse to believe that Chris was the second lowest vote getter; that was Paris, but what better way to jumpstart complacent fans than to put him right next to the bootee and milk the fact that the two are best buds.) Chris' apparent decline from top vote getter to bottom two might be attributed to the cooling off effect often seen when performers pretty much stay in their genre box and refuse to play the game. Nadia Turner was a victim of that as was, to a point, Bo, last season. It also could be attributed to fans who have gotten a bit cocky over the weeks, thinking their boy was a chosen one, therefore safe from expulsion. Vote splitting is common in the early weeks, and these Chris fans might have been diluting their votes, trying to help another contestant deemed more in need of help. Like Bucky. Or Ace, whose voters he may just have pulled in. Chris won't hit the seal this week unless he decides to sing Olivia Newton John and bombs at it. It doesn't take fans long to learn a lesson.

Kellie Pickler is another interesting phenomenon. She came into the competition with a solid fan base, but, I think, might have lost a few voters when her cute country bumpkin act turned sour and annoying. But her voting base was large enough to absorb a few defectors. The problem with Pickler, again, if DialIdol is any indication, is that her base has not picked up much, which is crucial when voters find themselves without a singer. A significant base is great when the field is 12. When the field has shrunk by half, and bases start gaining strength in numbers, your base has to grow too. Hers, apparently, hasn't. Another disaster like Tuesday could result in her first trip to the Wednesday night stage. Hope she's got her snotrag.

Katharine McPhee's fans know what it's like to see their girl on the seal. And they're still mad about that. She seems to have hit her stride last week, but, if I'm a fan, I would hope that Simon will rein in his overenthusiastic "you're leagues above..." reviews, which lull some voters into a false sense of security, but tick off other voters to the point of calling in for anybody but. Voting is not easy at this stage. It's arduous and boring, listening to busy signal after busy signal as the finger hitting the redial button goes numb. So to make the effort, many fans need to be motivated. And anger is a powerful motivator. Katharine needs a solid vocal performance like last week, but with less hyperbole from the judges table, and she should avoid the seal. I say 50/50 at this stage.

The two in the biggest danger this week are Paris Bennett and Elliott Yamin, one an early favorite and the other the spoiler, the one who came out of virtually nowhere.

Elliott found himself in the top three last week, after scraping the bottom the two previous outings. I don't doubt that he picked up significant support from the Bucky fans, but he does need to gain a few of the abandoned Ace voters. Elliott fans are some of the most ardent, if the message boards are any indication, and many of the voters who supported Elliott in the beginning, did so in addition to someone else, like Taylor or Bucky. In my own circle of friends, all of us were split voting Elliott and somebody else, most predominately Bucky and Katharine, so, after seeing him land bottom two twice, despite praiseworthy performances, the splitting stopped. He really is the wildcard. If his fans dial with the tenacity of last week, he should be okay, but if they get lazy, Elliott may have a Bad Day.

Elliott's biggest weakness is his stage presence. As hard as he tries, he just looks uncomfortable. What he needs is to flip that switch, walk out on stage convinced it's his final performance, so, with nothing to lose, he lets it rip, much like Clay Aiken in the wildcard episode of season two, after a restrained, hesitant performance got him booted from his group. He came back with abandon and gave one of the most memorable Idol performances ever. Elliott needs his Clay moment now more than ever. And then he needs lukewarm reviews. Great performance/biased reviews = smoking phone lines.

The one in most trouble is Paris, who really seems to have struggled finding a fan base. She started with such promise, kind of faltered midway through, but has really come back vocally, but still landing in the bottom three. At this point, all of the kids must turn in vocally-perfect performances, because even a flawless effort, like Paris' last week, won't guarantee avid dialing.

Paris' biggest problem is that a lot of people like her. But, it seems, if the online polls are any indication, that not a lot of people loooove her. And people don't go to the effort of dialing hundreds of times on the basis of like. Loooove on the other hand, well... According to my middle school girl experts, there isn't a whole lot of luv for Paris in that age group. The girls, you know, the ones with the Hello Kitty phones and bionic dialing fingers, luuvvved Ace, because, well, do I really have to explain? So, with Ace gone, who do they luuuvvv? Kellie Pickler, because she's pretty. And she reminds them of Carrie Underwood, who they luuuuuuuuuuuvvvved. And Paris really hasn't established who she is. She changes identities like people change socks. She may be having fun with the inconsistency, but she's not done herself many favors among the voters.

If anybody's toast on Wednesday, it's Princess P.

So, it's time to dust off the crystal ball and drag out the tea leaves. I tried to predict the order of finish at 12 and got totally messed up around 11th, so I'm gonna try it again with six.

In sixth place will be Paris, who will fall victim to her multiple personalities. Some will call it a shock. Problem with this group is that, aside from Taylor, nobody will be a shock. Because they all deserve to stay. And, conversely, to leave.

Fifth place will be a surprise, though. Most will expect it to be Elliott. I don't think so. I think it will be Pickler. Pickler's at a place now where vocally, she is the weakest, and with no one weaker, every shortcoming will be magnified. And she can only apologize for so many.

Elliott will be fourth, because the Paris fans who aren't committed now to Taylor or Katharine will be not be enough to boost his support past the others, and the Pickler fans will blame him for her ouster, throwing their might phone support to roomie and hugmate, Kat.

[But I would not be above placing a wager on another traditional fourth-place Tamyra/LaToya finish for a front-runner, so Chris, you might want to watch your step.]

The top three show will be telling, as it always is, and the songs handed to these kids will complete the story of who wants whom to advance. Let's all hope that Paula does not get to choose for Chris, as she chose for Bo last season. Two will get perfect song choices. One will get the coffin nailer, reminiscent of Jasmine getting to sing 1.) a song performed to perfection earlier that season, and 2.) a crapper called Mr. Melody. But this year there is no Jasmine. There is no Vonzell.

Chris will finish in third, as the displaced Elliott voters will pour it on for either Kat or Taylor, and because in four seasons, no male has ever finished third, so it's time, setting up a Katharine/Taylor finale that actually might be the first overall entertaining final two show we've had in the five years of this contest.

And also, for the first time, we are going to see a man defeat a woman amid the blinding confetti on May 24.

The Soul Patrol will go wild. And Simon Cowell will wonder if we're all drunk.

So, there's my shakedown for the remainder of the season. One thing's for certain. I will be wrong.

How do you think it will play out?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. The remaining six are all pretty strong in my opinion. Kellie I think is the weakest vocally, but seems to have a devoted fanbase (and I will admit she has given a couple performances that were better than I thought they were going to be so its possible she could step it up).

I think this next week is a dangerous week for Katharine (and she is my favorite, so that makes me nervous). Taylor isn't going anywhere soon. Chris will likely get a rebound from being in bottom three and will probably be ok this week. Kellie's fanbase kept her out of the bottom three even with her bad performance this week and although I agree that she may be vulnerable come final 5 or 4, I think it somewhat unlikely that she would go home this next week (although certainly an outside chance of it). Elliot's voters came out strong this week and he seems to have built some momentum so although so somewhat similar to Kellie, I think he is probably ok this next week, but possibly vulnerable for final 5 and 4. I think your thoughts on Paris are correct. A lot of people like her (I for one), but I am not sure if she is the first choice for that many people so she certainly could go home this week. Katharine had the pimp spot last week so will likely go in the first or second spot this week which has proven a dangerous spot to be. Also, although the theme should be pretty good for her a lot depends on what they are allowed to pick from and what she picks. She has done a couple slower songs in a row and especially if she goes earlier this week I think she needs to go back to a little more uptempo song, if possible trying to do another jazzy/bluesy/sultry/vamp type of number.

If Katharine does make it through the next week I think she probably has a lot better chance to make it to the final three or beyond. Either she hits the bottom three and gets a bump for the next week or so and gets the chance to try to aqcuire some of the departing contestants fanbases or she didn't hit bottom three, in which case her fanbase is a lot more solid at this point than I thought :). I think if Paris survives this week she is likely toast the week after.

Its interesting to think how the votes of departing contestants will likely be split up. Taylor seems to have a strong enough fanbase that he is likely to get to final 2 so I don't think his fanbase is going to be up for grabs. Katharine, Elliot and Paris are all at least somewhat similar I think stylistically and probably have a fair chance of absorbing the majority of each other's votes (some might go to Taylor). So the one of them that lasts longest is probably in a fairly good spot. I think you are probably right that Kellie hasn't been picking up a lot of new votes, and I don't know if she will from the people that are left. Chris has something of the same problem. On the other hand I really am not sure where Chris and Kellie's votes will go if they go leave.

Sorry for the long post, that went on longer than I originally intended.

- Allen

4:09 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

No apologies for long comments allowed. The longer the better, and I really enjoyed your analysis. Actually my friends tell me the best part of my blog are the comments. I try not to let that hurt my feelings. :D

What I'm loving about this F6 is how much fun it is to speculate because pretty much any scenerio is plausible. That's a first, I think.

4:24 PM, April 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments here are usually well worth reading. But I have been following your blog since the beginning of this season and I have really enjoyed your posts. Thanks for doing the blog, it has been great to read.

- Allen

5:43 PM, April 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to your middle school girl experts - how do they feel about Taylor?
My two young teens don't like him - call him the "old man"...Even if his hair were black, they don't like his singing or his dancing (although they will watch in amazement when he's in a groove).
Their favorites are Paris (daughter) and Elliott & Chris (son).
Me - I liked Chris, still want to like him, but he's losing me. He's becoming boring, and he never smiles when he's singing! How can you not smile when singing "What a Wonderful World"??

6:02 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

I haven't figured Chris out yet.

Like the anonymous poster above, I wonder why Chris can't sing without that intense glare that he has. When he was singing, "Making Memories of Us" and the line was "And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you/And I'll win your trust makin memories of us", instead of feeling like he was singing a love song to his wife, it looked like he was some creepy stalker.

When he's not singing, he smiles a lot and is engaging, but his angry white guy act is not getting him any new voters.

As Jennifer rightly points out, this is the stage in the competition where picking up new votes isn't really the name of the game; sure there are probably a million or so "undecided" voters who go with the best performances every week, but the powervoters are already committed to a contestant.

The trick is for each remaining contestant to pick up as many of the last ousted singer's votes as possible (in this case, Ace's powervoters).

Who will it be? I think the logical choices for Ace's following are Chris (the hottie vote) and Paris (the youngster vote).

Katharine is peaking at the right time and Elliott is making a slight charge (although it may be too late for him to have any serious chances of winning).

I think Kellie's sob story and stupid Picklerisms have grated on the other contestants's fanbases and that she won't pick up too many more votes. The voters she has right now are loyal and they powervote with the best of them, but I don't see anyone else going to her.

Taylor might be Fox/19TV's worst nightmare. Seriously, their record execs are crapping thumbtacks and 5W-30 motor oil trying to figure out a way to rig the competition so this guy doesn't win. Fans may love him, but I don't think the masses will buy his records (Rueben Studdard, anyone?).

That leaves Paris as the wild card in all this. There are a lot of folks out there (me included) who love to hear her sing, but can't stand the ways she talks. Plus there are people out there (me included) who wonder why she's even on this show to begin with. She comes from a musical family. Her grandmother has three Grammys. Why does she need American Idol? I think that keeps some people (me included) away from voting for her because they think that she would be doing fine without the show if her grandmother would just get her audition tape to the right people.

In my opinion, if anyone other than Kellie wins, America will generally accept the results. No one is as polarising as Fantasia (remember her?; American Idol apparently doesn't because when she was in the audience a couple of weeks ago, she didn't get a head shot and her name on the screen even though Camryn Manheim and Mickey Dolenz did) except Kellie and I don't think she'll make it to the top 3.

The folks who have momentum right now are Katharine, Elliott and Taylor. Chris and Paris have been on a slide for the past couple of weeks and both need to change it up to get the momentum back.

I don't think "America" wants another Carrie Underwood who is trashier and stupider, so I don't give Kellie a snowball's chance in hell, but she could play the spoiler and knock out a couple of other competitors before getting the boot herself.

7:43 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

I so agree about Chris and his angry rocker persona, but I think he'll grab a lot of Ace voters, just on the basis of that Afleck & Damon remark.

If Kellie Pickler wins this thing, even I might consider throwing in the towel. And Dave is right - TPTB at 19E are crapping right now over a Taylor win. That's why I really expect them to sabatoge him during F3, just like they did Jasmine and, to an extent, Vonzell.

My kids totally EWWW at Taylor as being weird and old. But the same went for Elliott and Katharine. (LOL at Katharine being old and not as pretty as Pickler.)

I would do cartwheels over a Taylor/Elliott F2, but I just can't envision it. I can totally envision, however, a Taylor/Elliott/Katharine F3. I think I would lay down and die. After the show, of course. That would be a dream.

7:54 PM, April 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, guys! I'm always reading this blog and this the first time I'm posting here. My name is Sheila and I live in Brazil. I'm totally addicted to this season! I don't even try to make a list of the probably places the contestants may end up (It's almost impossible!). I really really want Elliott to win this, but I don't think he will and that worries me a lot because if he doesn't It will be very dificult for him to get a deal... Diferent from Kat, Chris, Taylor and Paris that don't need to win to get one... I think Kellie will get a deal to host a child's tv show :P That's the only thing she can make well... I hope you understand what I wrote... If yes, I'll come and write more :)
Jennifer, I really like your blog! It's my favorite one about American Idol! See ya, guys!

8:15 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger tracyintpa said...

Has anyone listened to Taylor's CD? I ordered it from his website and it is awesome. If Simon or any of the management team from 19 or Idol were to listen to it, they would see just how marketable Taylor is. The CD is all original songs he wrote and several of them are "radio worthy" for lack of a better term. His sound is kind of Michael McDonaled meets Eric Clapton with his own flair and style. The songs are great and he and his band do an awesome job. I predict a Taylor win, and I predict that he will go on to success that rivals Kelly and Clay. THats my official prediction!

11:25 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger Sunny said...

You guys are definitely right about Chris. I do like the guy, but for some reason he's not final 3 material. If he can somehow change it up a little and prove that he can smile while he sings and show the audience that he wants this more than the others, then maybe, just maybe he can be worthy of being in the final 3 or 2. (I think thats how Carrie beat Bo; she proved that she wanted it so much more. And with Fantasia and Ruben....well I'm just not going to go there cos I voted Diana and Clay.) With that said, I give Chris 5th place.

I also agree with you Dave about Paris. She doesn't need this competition just like Nikko Smith didn't need the competition. It's all about "knowing people" these days. I also think that she is too young for this competition but I don't see it as an age thing because Diana DeGarmo was 16 and she made it to #2. I just think she doesn't know where she stands yet. She's unsure of herself still (insert Jennifer's identity comment here) and she tries to sing fuddy duddy songs, instead of showing that shes the youngest one in the competition and she's just as good as the rest of them (for example, she could have sang the "Moulin Rouge" version of "The Show Must Go On" and made it so much more memorable and up-to-date!) IMO, Paris needs to go next week. Place #6, bye Paris!

Elliott is amazing but he still has that personality issue that Simon keeps bringing up. I would personally
like to see him win this competition or at least be in the finale, but I think even the Pickler fans are going to outvote the Elliott ones. Totally not deservingly (is that a word?), but quite possible. So therefore, Elliott will come in 4th.

Kellie.....oh Kellie, you lucky girl. Yes, I fell for the stupidity at the very beginning, I will admit it. But since I became an "Idoling Along/High Lord" junkie, I learned a little more about Pickles than I knew, so I'm not falling for it anymore! You are the weakest link, but we're not going to say goodbye quite yet. Kellie's fan base is still too big so I think shes going make it farther than everyone thinks. I figure another Season 3 coming on. Cute little girl cries when Simon is too harsh and makes it another week. (Who knows, maybe the whole state of Hawaii is voting for her too!) I give Kellie 3rd place.

Finale!! Top 2!! The cream of the crop!! Katharine and Taylor. There isn't much I have to say about either of them. They are both awesome, and deserve it equally. If it comes down to these 2, I will be voting for Katharine. Not only because I like her just a tad bit more than Taylor, but also cos I want to prove dumb Randy wrong. So with saying that, my thoughts are Taylor as your runner up and Katharine as your Season 5 American idol!

11:51 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

Last week I predicted a Taylor vs Katharine finale. I still think that holds true, partly because of what I have read here. When it is all said and done, America will vote for the best vocalist left standing. Between Taylor and Kat...that would be Kat. I really like Taylor, but he does not have great range. While many posts thought his performance of Levon was brilliant, I thought he cut a few of the high notes short because he couldn't get there. Taylor is undeniably the best performer in the group, but Katharine is the best vocalist left standing.
Side bar...Pickler is not pretty as some teens and pre-teens think. She is attractive, maybe even cute, but she is not as pretty as Carrie, and she is not in the same league as Katharine. Again, I will admit that I am a sucker for brunettes, but Kat is just drop dead georgous, end of conversation. Later all.

11:55 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Well, JR, they're 12, so they don't have much in the way of taste. Kellie = blonde. Good enough.

And Sheila, so glad you posted! Hope you continue to do so, and thanks for your kind words. Go Elliott!

7:26 AM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my...I'm sad for my boy Chris. I see what you all are saying and I think you're right but I just love his voice. I think Taylor is gonna win this and I hope it's against another guy. -Jenna

8:44 AM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One other thing I wonder about: My first season was AI3 and I remember once the top 12 were picked they had a little piece when they moved into this big house (reminded me of like REAL WORLD or BIG BROTHER). My question is this...are the kids like, sequestered?, do they have access to message boards, blogs and the like? Do they spend time with their families? I'm curious. -Jenna

8:49 AM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have Taylor's CD, tracyintpa - It is wonderful! It is a CD I would definitely buy. My 16 year old daughter love's Taylor, too. He's a bit quirky, and confident, without being overly so. I do believe he crosses many age-barriers.

Jennifer - do you have any idea on how many people read your blog? I know that I have sent you around. Now you are a must and 1st read for a whole group of Midwesterners.

10:50 AM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous starr4all said...

I must be one of the few people but I'm hoping for a Katherine and Chris final two. With Katherine winning it only because Chris doesn't need a record deal. I think after the show he'll make a pretty d*mn good record! Both hubby and I love that kind of music and have already decided we would buy his. Probably not anyone elses. This is how I would hope it finishes out:

6. Paris
5. Kelly
4. Elliot
3. Taylor
2. Chris
1. Katherine

11:59 AM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

Of the 6 remaining contestants, I can easily see Paris going home this week. I, and I'm sure many other viewers, wonder why she even needs the show. She's Ann Nesby's granddaughter, for goodness sake! I think that may keep people from voting for her as much as they would for Elliott or Taylor and the like.

I REALLY hope Kellie goes home soon. I just can't see her in the final three. I think people are growing increasingly weary with her schtick, and it's about time to end it. I see her coming in 4th or 5th, no higher.

My final 3 prediction? Much as I'd love for Elliott to be there, I just don't know if his fanbase is as strong and large as say, Taylor's. With that in mind, I imagine the final 3 will probably be Taylor, Katharine, and Chris, in no particular order. A lot of people I know are predicting a Kat-Chris finale, but Taylor has a lot of potential to shake up that theory.

It's anybody's game from here on in, and if Kellie delivers another performance like last week's, she just may be taking her snotrag to center stage on Wednesday.

1:52 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Abby said...

I would love to see Chris and Taylor in the finals but I don't see Chris being there. His voice is amazing but his stage presence is kind of spooky with that whole angry look.

I really think it's going to boil down to Taylor and Kat, with Taylor winning it.

Pickler really needs to go. But I think we are going to have a Jasmine repeat and she'll finish 3rd.

BTW, this is my first post, but I read your blog every few days religously. I'm in Colorado(and NO, I wasn't voting for hometown hottie Ace)and read the results on Weds even before I watch the show. Your blog is the best AI blog out there. Keep up the great work Jenny

2:16 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Awww. You guys are so sweet. Thanks. :o)

3:54 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous friedrice said...

"Seriously, their record execs are crapping thumbtacks and 5W-30 motor oil trying to figure out a way to rig the competition so this guy doesn't win."

LMAO!!! Just about the funniest sentence I've ever read!

As for my picks, get rid of Kellie and Paris and I'll be happy with whoever wins.

3:59 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

I think it may be more serious than Dave has expressed. If the Fox execs swallowed lumps of coal, they'd crap diamonds, they're under so much pressure to figure out how to keep the Gray Fox from winning. Roll on Taylor Hicks, roll on.

6:50 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Maggie said...

I love this blog, Jennifer I've told you that each time I visit, honestly that's not nearly enough. I appreciate all your hard work and it's good to see others do too. : applause :
I really do think 19/fox is grooming Chris for the crown. I do believe that there really isn't a fan selected winner. I find that obvious by the amount of air time and the back stories that go out before we even know the contestants. I think proof of that is Gideon. He had a backstory that would have built him a very large fan base. When the auditions were moved due to Katrinia, his church took up a collection to send him to the auditions AND this is a very big AND his FATHER passed away before the semi-finals and he felt an obligation to those who had sent him to Idol and choose to continue. Not to mention he is the valor dictorian of his class. His vocals were amazing! Why didn't he make it? Ah, but I digress.
I think the finals will see Chris, Taylor and Katharine and Chris and Taylor will duke it out and Chris will win. I wish Elliot could sneak in too, but I really don't think that will happen.
I've noticed something interesting even with staging. In the first several shows we saw Chris playing from the back of the stage to the center. That's actually a techique often used in large rock shows, sometimes to accomodate for lacking vocals. NOW we see him come forward, closer if you will, and he seems CREEPY to some. Strange, isn't it? I wonder if he would have the same following or support had we seen all that early on. I don't really think his vocals are all that great, nor would I perchase his cd. But that's just me. Sorry I ranted Jen, but I gotta say one last thing. I [heart] Elliott. lol. Happy viewing everyone!

9:41 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous evie said...

love your blog, jennifer. i'm a die hard elliottfan....very emotionally it's hard to be objective. but can you imagine if elliott won ??? what a shot in the arm for AI. a young man whose talent is so amazing, and a real "everyman"...most people are able to relate to elliott because he is so natural. he would be such an inspiration for the young people of today. with a message that dreams really can come true....
anyway, it was just a thought !!!!

12:31 AM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

Jennifer, I agree with you. There won't be any big shockers here because they all deserve to stay and go equally (except Pickler; she should have been gone 3 weeks ago). Having said that, here are my picks in order of "next to go" to "last man standing."

Paris: She doesn't need this competition and I think everyone in America knows that. She has an impressive pedigree and the chops to make it on her own.

Pickler: For all the reasons Jennifer gave. Plus, her fans will be coasting on a false sense of security in her standings, and the phone lines will show it. I believe Paris' fans will split up between Elliot and Katherine, who most closely resemble her singing style. In addition, Paris' fans know good singing when they hear it, which is why I think they won't be giving their votes to Kellie...even if she is the youngin' left.

Katherine: As good as she is, she still has yet to connect emotionally with the audience. She's improved over the weeks, but there's still something missing. I can't quite put my finger on it. I think many voters will think she's so good that she's safe and dial in for Elliot to save him.

Elliot: He could win this thing. He's that talented. And I rather wish he would purely for the fact that I think he would most benefit from being crowned the next AI. But, alas, I believe the next two have a larger fan base, and that's why he'll go out at number 3.

Taylor: He'll make the top two, but this is when the judges will choose Debbie Gibson's "Electric Youth" for him to sing and that will be his undoing. But it doesn't matter. His future's so bright, he's gonna have to wear shades. The exposure 2nd position brings will launch him into the stratosphere, just like it did Clay Aiken.

Chris: I've believed from day 1 that he would win this thing. He knows who he is and what style of music he excels at. He's hugely talented and has "the look" to launch his career yesterday. Why he hasn't already been snapped up by a label is beyond me. But I think winning this competition isn't always the best thing. My fear would be that they pigeonhole him into some genre of music he doesn't belong in (a la Reuben) and it kills his career before it ever gets off the ground. Crossing my fingers.

And I'm REALLY looking forward to this week's songs! woohooo!! Who doesn't love a good love song??

P.S. From the get-go, I predicted this would be the boys' competition...and my top 3 have not changed. :)

1:43 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

RE: maggie

American Idol is very picky about the backstories they provide and it reflects in the voting.

Seriously, who thinks Anthony Fedorov would have advanced as far as he did if Fox/19TV didn't milk the whole "miracle baby" angle and encourage him to wear shirts that showed off his tracheotomy scar?

If your hand is up, you're either lying or stupid.

What about Melissa McGhee? Her parents have both served time in prison for writing bad checks (although she herself has never had any trouble with the law). She works a job and is trying to bring herself up by the bootstraps, but she doesn't get half the air time that Kellie got. Of course, she doesn't break down into crocodile tears at every opportunity and she doesn't have beauty pagent good looks.

Gedeon may have made the top 12 if they had given him more screen time, but his "I'm in a cult" smile was a little creepy, but you're right that if he'd gotten even half the exposure Kellie did, he'd have outlasted Kevin and maybe even Bucky.

8:09 AM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taylor, winning it all?

Well, suppposedly Chris is singing "Wicked Game" tonight...if that happens there is no way Taylor is making it further than him.

9:20 AM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I like your prediction, and I pray every week will be Kellie's last....however I would like to see Chris and Kat in the finals, and not Taylor. Being a consumer (and a devoted voter) I can say right now I wouldn't buy Taylor's music...not in a million years. Come to think of it, the only CD's I own from past Idols are Kelly's.

I'd like to add Chris or Kat to my collection :)


10:16 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger lorguru said...

I am not going to even try to make my own predictions...Jennifer, yours sound wise to me.
I just wanted to take the time to thank you, again, for writing this column and making this my favorite blog (not only of AI blogs,either). You are a great writer and I enjoy your humor and wit. I would really like to know if you write as a profession.

12:20 PM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous Trace said...

I think that Idol needs to compile a list of songs that should never ever be done again. Don't even offer to get the rights for any contestant ever. If they want to keep the show fresh, then they need to change it up a bit. Whitney, Celine, Mariah, Martina, Stevie, Aretha... all should be retired forevah!

But of course, it's all one big

Come and play - we're deliciously evil!

1:44 PM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger alphawoman said...

I miss you! Since I have no interest in American Idol, I guess I'll just have to wait for you to come home. LOl...

1:52 PM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Mary, you're not interested in AI? :::gasps::: Actually I go home occasionally, but I don't hang out there as consistently during Idol season as I do the rest of the year.

And thanks Lauren. That's so nice of you to say. Actually I don't write professionally anymore - I did spend a few years at a newspaper - but I work in education, so writing is a big part of what I do. And I do hang out at my other blog (home). But not as consistently during Idol season as I do the rest of the year. :o)

5:12 PM, April 25, 2006  

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