Odds of winning and commentary
Published on March 7, 2008 By Jamie Burnside In Movies & TV & Books

From seasons 2-6, and 7 of American Idol, I have always dedicated one blog to handicapping the top 12 (10) finalists. It is usually one of my favorite Idol-related blogs of the year.

This year’s competition features significantly fewer “straw men” than in previous years.  I am expecting several surprise eliminations before everything is all said and done.

So here is my list of odds of winning as well as order of elimination.

1.    David Archuleta 3 to 1
2.    Brooke White 5 to 1
3.    Carly Smithson 7 to 1
4.    Michael Johns 10 to 1
5.    Jason Castro 15 to 1
6.    Syesha Mercado 25 to 1
7.    David Cook 40 to 1
8.    Ramiele Mulabay 50 to 1
9.    Amanda Overmeyer 100 to 1
10.    Kristy Lee Cook 500 to 1
11.    Chikeze 600 to 1
12.    David Hernandez 601 to 1

Category-by-category in-depth:


I don’t think that Idol has ever had a contestant stronger than David Archuleta.  The only contestant who may have been closer to “winning it before it started” was Fantasia.

Brooke and Carly are both really polished.  My guess is that America loves Brooke a bit more, but Carly isn’t far behind.

Recently Michael Johns smells a bit like Constantine, but his adoring older female fans will keep him in for a long time.  Personally, I am already tired of him.


Jason Castro will stay for a long time.  I’d guess that many people see his awkwardness as kind of charming.  He’s okay. . .

Syesha has the same style as earlier contestant Nadiah Turner, but I don’t think she sings as well.  Nadia was eliminated seventh, I predict similar for Syesha.  Does Syesha strike a chord with the voters?  I doubt it, but I may be wrong. . .

David and Ramiele are both really talented.  Both of them are however likely to hit the wall right before the competition comes into the home stretch.


Amanda is horrible. She belongs in a 60s tribute band.  Can she fool us, ala Taylor Hicks?  I think not.

Kristy Lee Cook (my favorite female contestant) will go the way of all of my personal favorites.  Pretty, but not good enough.  Eliminated early.  (See: Julia DaMato)

Chikeze and David: each of these guys is one bad performance away from being eliminated/ one good performance away from getting one more week.

on Mar 08, 2008
I adore David Archuleta...beautiful voice, wonderful presence. He does seem like a shoo in, but you never know what will happen during the top 12 performances.

I actually think the male contestants are stronger than the female contestants this year...I'm betting on a male winner this year.

Other contestants I like are Michael (I think he does better with more soulful songs...he should show off that side of his voice more) and Jason (sweet vocals...nice and gentle stage presence...which can help him or hurt him). I actually didn't care for David Cook too much in the beginning, but his last two performances have been pretty good...he might be a darkhorse, who knows.

I'm not too crazy about the females this year, but I do enjoy Carly's voice. Brooke has a unique style, but that style might get old for some viewers. Syesha and Ramiele have strong voices, but there's something missing there (don't see them in the top five). As for Amanda, she has strong vocals, too, but people might tire of her Janis Joplin style.