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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)

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.

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? [answer below -ed] 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.

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.

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.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Handicapping American Idol:

» Byrd Droppings linked with Could NC Produce A Third American Idol Star?

» The SmarterCop linked with LET THE IDOLIZING BEGIN!

» Hans Bricks linked with If there's one thing I know.

Comments (27)

My gf forced me to start wa... (Below threshold)

My gf forced me to start watching this for the first time ths year. It's beautiful in HD.

Every tear stands out as its own tribute to shattered dreams.

You're cruel.-- bu... (Below threshold)

You're cruel.

-- but funny!

AI is a rigged marketing pl... (Below threshold)

AI is a rigged marketing ploy. It's pretty obvious from the start that certain "singers" are targeted for exposure, get more face-time and then somehow make it on to the next round beating out better singers. Ceratin members of the group are crafted into a position, given breaks where others would not have been, or are given so much time on the show over others that you forget about the other contestants. I still enjoy the show at times, but I go into it fully knowing that its a rigged "competition" and it serves only the studio execs who get to pay these guys next to nothing during their 22 week info-mertial and who will go onto sign contracts that screw the performer and enrich the studio.

Yeah, cruelty is what sells... (Below threshold)

Yeah, cruelty is what sells the show. I thought the best was the other night when Randy and Paula went on and on about "this is so hard, everyone is so talented, I hate doing this, I hate sending people home" and then Simon chimed in with "I don't mind it."

Saw an interview with Cowell on Fox & Friends last week; he said there are 5 burly security guards off-camera and in the early stages they have to restrain a half-dozen people from assaulting him in every city.

TV shows like this are a di... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

TV shows like this are a disgusting waste of time for anyone with half a brain. It's all facile marketing and shallow crap. The music is mostly awful, and they never respect the songs I grew up with.

It is also DISGUSTING that more people are enthusiastic to vote in this liberal media garbage THAN ELECTING OUR OWN GODDAMN LEADERS!!!

Pssst...your link for David... (Below threshold)

Pssst...your link for David Brown goes to Constantine's profile.

Rob,Would you real... (Below threshold)


Would you really WANT those people to vote?

I can't remember who it was (some celeb) that said, "If you're ignorant about the issues -- don't vote."

thanks MD, naturally with 1... (Below threshold)

thanks MD, naturally with 15 or so links in the post, I goof the very first one! grrr

Rob, isn't your mother calling you?

I will finally start watchi... (Below threshold)

I will finally start watching it this week. I really like watching the real performances, but the early stuff just drives me batshit. It makes my ears hurt.

AI would be much better if,... (Below threshold)

AI would be much better if, at the end of each episode, that Ryan Seacrest guy beat Simon Cowell repeatedly about the head and neck.

P.S. - Oliver Willis inspired caption contest here. Spread the love.

I think the secret behind N... (Below threshold)

I think the secret behind New Orleans success is Cat's Meow...

well either that or moonshine...

How is voting against someo... (Below threshold)

How is voting against someone b/c of religion different from voting against someone b/c he/she fell into another protected classes, i.e., race? Would they vote agains someone b/c they were black? Female? Would they tell them that?

Julie,But of cours... (Below threshold)


But of course it's okay to vote for someone because they're black, esp. if you're black. Of course, that also makes you just as racist -- but a socially acceptable racist.

Which is why my personal philosophy is that there should be no black, white, Asian, Hispanic, etc. We're all just people who should be judged, as MLK wished, by the content of our character.

Who. Gives. A. Shit?... (Below threshold)
Chris W.:

Who. Gives. A. Shit?

Why are you obsessed over t... (Below threshold)

Why are you obsessed over this crap? I don't really watch television for this very reason. "reality" tv has hit its apex and is on the decline. These rags to riches "she's all that" type of shows stink.

blech I need to go shower and wash my mouth out now, I just feel dirty talking about this shit.

Then Henry feel free to ski... (Below threshold)

Then Henry feel free to skip the post and/or shut the fuck up.



Now why do some people feel... (Below threshold)

Now why do some people feel compeled to put down what Kevin (and millions of other people) might enjoy? It's not like it's infringing on you in any way, is it?

I call it the law of expone... (Below threshold)

I call it the law of exponential idiots. The more popular the blog, the chances of getting idiot posters raises exponentially. we get a ton of traffic so we get good comments and bad.

For the last several weeks people have been whining about what I what topics I write about... When they start paying me to write I'll be more interested in their opinion.

Personally, I think it is equivalent to walking into someone's house and asking "Why the hell did you hanging on THAT your wall?"

It's just rude.

You know... As a reader, I've occasionally written bloggers and asked them to blog a particular story simply because I was interested in their take on that story. I view that as as a compliment. This ain't that.

The same people who critici... (Below threshold)

The same people who criticize you for posting about this are likely glued to their television during America's Top Model, they'd just rather keep it their deep, dark secret.

They seriously need to get rid of Ryan Seacrest. Just looking at him makes me nauseous.

sorry paul, and i'm the gra... (Below threshold)

sorry paul, and i'm the grasshopper.

I am foisting my own standards of entertainment on the other readership here, apologies.

Someone said that S Cowell ... (Below threshold)

Someone said that S Cowell nearly got punched out in every city. That's nothing new. The very first 'pop idol' was in the UK, and someone wanted to knock him out on live TV. So there after, he had to have body guards. It had everything to do with his put-downs, but I like to think, it had everything to do with how high he likes to pull his trousers up. Has anyone else noticed that?

Going back to Julie and Tal... (Below threshold)

Going back to Julie and TallDaves post. I got a lot of flack for voting for Clay during Season 2 because he was white and Ruben was black (I'm black) and I was called a traitor. I thought they were all insane. I vote for the singer I like, male, female, short, tall whatever.

I'm waiting for a contestan... (Below threshold)

I'm waiting for a contestant to walk up to Ryan Seacrest at the end of the show, give him a right hook to the jaw, look to the camera and say, "Seacrest...Out!"

Let's have a contest to inv... (Below threshold)
Just Don:

Let's have a contest to invent a more inane sign-off than "Seacrest, Out!"

WHAT was he thinking? Sounds like a "home-run" call made up by a really bad radio baseball commentator.

i think american idol is a ... (Below threshold)

i think american idol is a stupid teenage show not worht commenting, enough said. yucks

i wont respect you knowing ... (Below threshold)

i wont respect you knowing you are voting in that stipud show. how old are you? paul or paulina?

Whta a bunch of Garbage. If... (Below threshold)

Whta a bunch of Garbage. If you want REAL American Idol coverage, visit www.idol-thoughts.com






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