Handicapping American Idol

The judges have spoken and there are only 24 people left in the quest to be the next American Idol — and it’s boys against the girls with 12 of each remaining. (listed in the extended section) There are some notables… (In alphabetic order)

Boys
David Brown has the voice and the look to get him this far and potentially further. New Orleans had George Huff last year who made it to the final 5, so there are many people in New Orleans anxious to vote for the local again… That is diffused by the fact New Orleans sent 4 people to the final 24.

Anthony Fedorov OK, who doesn’t want to see tracheotomy boy do well? I mean, the Doctors said he would never talk again and now the kid can sing! Not to mention (though I’m far from a teenage girl) I bet he gets many a dreamy look cast his way. (He’s also form NYC, a big vote block)

Constantine Maroulis The likable rocker from New York who quit his band to be on the show. His problem is that his base will be diluted by Bo Bice. If Bo goes before him, he’ll be around a while… benefitted greatly by the face time Fox has already given him. He won’t win but he’ll get a record contract and make more money than if he stayed in NY.

Anwar Robinson Good looking, smooth voice. Potential.

Scott Savol Let’s just say it and get it out the way… If he bombs on American idol he looks like he could be an extra on the set of a Deliverance remake… (there, I’ve said it) But come on.. His dad told him he was a loser and he’d never amount to anything. America loves an underdog… and Scott defines it. He’s sure to pull some votes from the red states. He won’t win, but at this stage people are voting for the story as much as the singer… The kid can blow and he has the story… His ride ain’t over yet.

Mario Vazquez He just has a fun name to say. No joke, that means something. He’ll likely corner the hispanic vote.

GIRLS:
Lindsey Cardinale Serious hottie who can certainly carry a tune. Her biggest problem is not her voice or looks. The New Orleans vote is split early and Carrie Underwood seems to be winning in the “sweet country girl” category. Still, she made my list. Seems to have a good work ethic and NEVER discount that.

Janay Castine Good potential, has to beat Vonzell Solomon and Aloha Mischeaux… One of those 3 will stick around a while.

Mikalah Gordon Like, she’s so sweet and likable -um- like everyone likes her don’t they, do you think they like her, I know I like her and you know one of the things that keeps you in the competition early is if people remember you and everyone will remember her for no other reason than she said that if she won she would buy her mom a boob job which you know like well when I saw her on TV I said Ok maybe she does need a boob job – the mother not the daughter- and you know I like her so much and she sings so well and Simon called her the most confident 16 year old he had ever met and well then there was the time [breath] that Simon was not paying attention to her singing so she chastised him with the lyrics of the the song and then he started to pay attention, was that cool or what plus she is likely to get votes from 16 year old girls who never know when to stop talking. tee hee hee thank you

Sarah Mather Another cookie cutter gorgeous girl who can sing. (That’s not a bad thing!) I like her but she is going to have to earn it. So far, if for no other reason than the happenstance of Fox editing, she hasn’t been getting the face time.

Nadia Turner The look does nothing for me personally but I know that many love it. … good voice, stands out in a crowd to be sure. I’m going to see how strong this limb is and say final 8. (or higher???)

Carrie Underwood She was my pick weeks ago from her first audition. With the props from Simon and the press she has gotten, my prediction she will be in the top 10 looks like a gimme shot from here.

And some tidbits.

#1) Gene Simmons can bite me. He was the guest judge in New Orleans and he voted against anyone who was not a heavy metal freak. He voted against one kid who had a stunning voice and a good look simply because the kid was a youth pastor. Simmons even told him that was the reason. Blog Critics BLEW their assessment!

Was it even worth it for “AI4” to visit the Big Easy? You’d think that New Orleans would have more than its fair share of musical talent, and probably also more than its share of freaks. Unfortunately, you’d only be right on one of those counts. [No, it would be both -ed] Unlike St. Louis, which is apparently filled with tone-deaf singers with delusions of grandeur, most of those turned down in New Orleans didn’t seem all that surprised. And there were quite a few turned down: out of more than 9,000 auditions, only 16 contestants made it on to Hollywood.

Appropriately enough, the guest judge was KISS’s Gene Simmons. Unlike Mark McGrath, whose bland, mind-numbing commentary dragged down the Washington D.C. auditions, Gene offered honest, constructive criticism to nearly every contestant, often upstaging the regular judges with his insight and accuracy. Here’s hoping that the rest of this season’s guests will bring as much to the table as Gene did.

Of those 16 contestants from New Orleans, 5 of them made the final 24. If we had 40 people go thru like most other cities, no doubt even more would have made it. Which leads to tidbit #2

#2) Over 100,000 people tried out for AI this year. Of the final 24 contestants, 4 of them live within 40 miles of my home. — New Orleans held its own.

#3) While I picked my favs, any one of them can be sent home on the basis of one bad song. They must not only sing well but continue to improve.

Winning AI is similar to winning a campaign, you have to get votes… that means appealing to a base. There is NO WAY that Bo Bice and Constantine Maroulis will be the final 2. They are both 29 year old, hard rock, white males… They will bump each other… thems is the breaks.

I remind people of that because when good people go home, it will probably have as much to do with genre and demographics as talent. (In other words, no whining)

#4) So far, everyone’s impressions have more to do with Fox’s editing than talent. After we get to hear them all sing next week, there might be some surprises. The voting in the early rounds will be based on their story, the later rounds will be when the talent takes over.

BOYS:
Bo Bice, 29, Helena, Ala
David Brown, 20, New Orleans
Anthony Fedorov, 19, Trevose, Pa.
Judd Harris, 27, New York
Constantine Maroulis, 29, New York
Joseph Murena, 26, Smithtown, N.Y.
Anwar Robinson, 25, Elizabeth, N.J.
Scott Savol, 28, Shaker Heights, Ohio
Nikko Smith, 22, Town & Country, Mo.
Travis Tucker, 21, Manassas, Va.
Mario Vazquez, 27, New York
Jared Yates, 18, Danville, Ill.

GIRLS:
Amanda Avila, 23, Las Vegas
Lindsey Cardinale, Ponchatoula, La.
Janay Castine, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Mikalah Gordon, 17, Las Vegas
Melinda Lira, 19, Hanford, Calif.
Sarah Mather, 22, Wilmington, N.C.
Aloha Mischeaux, 18, St. Louis
Celena Rae, 29, Fort Worth
Jessica Sierra, 19, Tampa; Vonzell
Solomon, 20, Fort Myers, Fla
Nadia Turner, 28, Miami
Carrie Underwood, 21, Checotah, Okla

More on the final 24, including pictures.

CPAC Day One In Photos
CPAC Day One

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