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For the past few years I have dedicated an article to handicapping the ten/twelve finalists on American Idol during the weekend before the first show featuring the twelve finalists.  Well that weekend is now, so here goes:

This year (like every year) we have three groups of contestants: Those who are likely to be in the final three, those likely to round out the final six, and the six contestants who help extend the show into May Sweeps.

I will list the contestants according to what I'd imagine what opening odds would be on them, not necessarily order of elimination.  (However I will predict final six and final two)

Disclaimer: These odds are unofficial, and have been formulated without consultation of or consideration anyone else's odds.  Odds are based mainly on the "gut feeling" of the author of this article.

Sanjaya Malakar  (500 to 1) Sanjaya will last a lot longer than he should, and each week we will be "outraged" that this poor kid is still in the competition.  It has happened before, it is happening now, and it will definitely happen again.

Phil Stacey  (150 to 1) Phil has one or two good songs in him, but he doesn't sing well enough and he isn't charismatic enough to last until the end.

Haley Scarnato (120 to 1) Somehow I like Haley.  She reminds me a little bit of one of my all-time favorite contestants: Julia DaMato.  The differences being that Haley isn't (allegedly) single, she isn't as pretty, but she is a better singer.  The comparison that I am drawing is based on the fact that she made the final twelve, but everyone knows that she won't be on our TVs for much longer.  It is nice for her that she'll have a chance to be on the tour.

Stephanie Edwards (80 to 1) Stephanie is a good singer, and a nice Idol talent.  I have a strong feeling however that Stephanie will get "screwed" and be eliminated much earlier than she should.

Brandon Rogers (80 to 1) Brandon is coasting on a charming smile and early TV exposure.  Besides that, he hasn't shown much.  I think people will increasingly lose interest in Brandon beginning this week.

Jordin Sparks (50 to 1) Like Stephanie, I think that Jordin may get eliminated earlier than she should.  Jordin is a good contestant, but I don't think that she's top-six material.  I'd compare her to Jennifer Hudson: Jordin sings well, cries a lot, has little chance to win it all, and will eventually make something of herself.

Chris Richardson (40 to 1) Boyish good looks and a modern style will propel Chris into the second half of the competition.  Still I haven't seen enough from this guy to guarantee big things.

Gina Glockson (40 to 1) Gina has the ability to stick on for quite a while.  She's a good singer, she has an interesting look, and she is unlike the rest of the female contestants.  Her biggest mistake so far has been mentioning her boyfriend.  Pop stars aren't supposed to be "attached". 

LaKisha Jones (12 to 1) Lakisha will hammer out one good performance after another, but will eventually fall prey to people having to choose between her and Melinda.  She doesn't need to win, she'll be famous anyway.  (How could I formulate an over-under based on how many times Paula will call her "beautiful"?  That is so patronizing, isn't it?)

Blake Lewis (10 to 1) Blake has picked up lots of fans.  Blake stands out among men performers, as he can do the noises and sing too.  I hope that Blake will be able to continue making cool song choices and being unique.

Chris Sligh (5 to 1) Chris's recognizability was huge going into the studio rounds.  (Hopefully "recognizability" is a word. . .)  Chris stumbled a bit with a stupid comment to Simon early on, and has since toned down the "humor".  Good move.  I forsee a final episode featuring Chris Sligh going against:

Melinda Doolittle (EVEN MONEY) Not since Fantasia has there been such an obvious "winner" among the contestants.  I wonder whether anyone will even make it interesting this year.


1) Melinda   2) Chris S.   3) Blake   4) LaKisha  5) Gina  6) Chris R.


1) Melinda (Winner)   2) Chris S.

on Mar 10, 2007
Your predictions seem to be right on. Melinda looks to be the best bet right now, with Chris, Blake, Chris, and Lakisha not too far behind.
on Mar 10, 2007

I was reading Professor Chan's Blog from  I read about Phil Stacey's performance.  The Prof's nickname for Stacey is HILARIOUS!

Name: Phil "Nosferatu" Stacey

Song: "I Need You" by Leann Rhimes

Attempt at getting sent home: Dressing like Lenin (the dictator, not the Beatle) in his intro clip, and SINGING LEANN FREAKIN' RHIMES... Phil, grow a pair.

Notes: Phil gives another breathy, out of tune shouting performance.  He's in danger of out VFTW-ing Sundance.  Phil likes to sing one phrase high, and the next phrase low, then the next phrase high, and the next phrase low.  His singing is unpleasant and his taste in music is deplorable.  So of course Randy loves him.  Randy compares Phil to Steve Perry, because did you know, Randy was in Journey.  Paula gives her second actual singing critique of the night.  Simon says Phil has bug-eyes.  So he was trying not to listen to Phil's singing, like me.

Grade: Fail