Monday, February 19, 2007

making the tough calls...

The top 12 men take center of the little stage Tuesday night as our long national nightmare of auditions has concluded and we're getting set for live competition. The women take over Wednesday and the first of this years assassinations is set for Thursday.

This year is different for me than previous seasons, as the length of auditions made me too weary (and bored) to pay close attention to, and the abbreviated Hollywood rounds kept us from getting to know many of the top 24. So to predict who's going through, based on the unusually limited amount of airtime, is a tough one. So a lot of it is gut instinct, because any one of these 24 kids could blow us away. Or blow it. Away.

With that in mind, here goes.

I think Chris Sligh is a lock for the final 12 unless he swallows the microphone, falls off the little stage or both. Or unless his one-liners, which I find endearing without being obnoxious, start grating early. But he has received a ton of pre-competition buzz, and his fan group(s) have already formed. Same goes for Beatbox Guy, Blake Lewis.

I expect Brandon Rogers to advance to the big stage, along with Nick Pedro. And I'll be surprised if the tween vote doesn't send Sanjaya Malakar through as well.

That leaves one more slot and seven guys. It's a crapshoot, and not nearly as easily predicted as in years past. But I'm going with Chris Richardson over Sundance Head and Rudy Cardenas. The others, I think, with be early-round casualties.

Now for the women. My picks for the locks are Gina Glocksen, Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones. They each have the skill, the backstories and the familiarity with voters that is so critical during the semi-finals.

Aside from Antonella Barba and her considerable airtime during the earlier episodes, the other women could pass for Melinda Lira. (For new viewers, Melinda Lira was a season four contestant, plucked out of obscurity and ended up being the first one booted because nobody knew who on earth she was.) Unless one or both of them turn in amazing performances (or get royally crucified by Simon) I see Alaina Alexander and Amy Krebs as early exitees. Same is true for Sabrina Sloan and Stephanie Edwards.

From what little we've seen (heard?) from Nicole Tranquillo, she could be this year's LaToya London. (For new viewers, LaToya was plucked from obscurity, but belted out a masterpiece to earn a spot in the season three finals.) And Antonella has the advantage of exposure, so veteran viewers know that is a plus, even if the exposure is less than positive. (How many viewers out there would like to see her advance, just to tick off BFF Amanda, after all?)

The others are simply too tough to call.

So here are my predictions before the first song is sung.

The final twelve:

Nicole Tranquillo, Melinda Doolittle, Lakisha Jones, Jordin Sparks, Gina Glocksen, Antonella Barba, Sanjaya Malakar, Nick Pedro, Chris Sligh, Chris Richardson, Brandon Rogers and Blake Lewis.

THIS is American Idol.



Blogger Dave said...

I'd like to see Antonella make the Final Four just to hack off Amanda. However, the cynic in me thinks that the two of them might have schemed this whole thing up to make Antonella look extra good and get her some air time (remember, she's the only one of this year's singers we've seen in a bikini).

I know it sounds a little weird, but what makes for better TV than having your best friend scamming on every guy with a heartbeat in Hollywood? We knew from the minute those two opened their mouths that Antonella was better than her friend, but they put both of them through anyway.

What if A&A have figured out how the show and how the voting works and planned all this from the get-go? Pretty devious, don't you think?

Of course, I could be reading way too much into this, but it works out nicely for Antonella, doesn't it?

8:14 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

I wouldn't put it past the show or the BFFs. That's the sad thing about this show, Dave. It turns us all into cynics.

Bikini? She was in a bikini?


8:24 PM, February 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't see her in a bikini either, maybe I fell asleep. I was thinking the same thing that if Antonella makes it to the final 12 I wonder how Amanda would feel and if they'd still be BFFs. Leave it to a guy to notice the bikini. lol
The show has really played this up and given them a lot of air time. Not too fair to the other ones, but it could go the other way and make everyone not like her.
I think your list of the last 12 is pretty good Jennifer. I have no idea at this point, no real favorites. I don't think they showed us enough of the good stuff. I can't wait for tonights show to start. By next week we'll all have a better idea of who's going to end up in the final 12. dk / Dori

10:08 AM, February 20, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

In the audition show where we "met" A&A, they showed the two BFFs frolicking on the beach in bikinis.

Not that it was the high point of the episode or anything . . .

5:08 PM, February 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

watching the show and chris richardson just put on the only good performance so far. sundance BOMBED. which is a shame, i wanted him to do well. i am still not motivated to actually VOTE for anyone though...what do you guys think?


8:51 PM, February 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen, what was the name of the song Chris Sligh sang?


9:01 AM, February 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


..I looked it up...yes I know I was being lazy asking LOL


10:38 AM, February 21, 2007  

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