American Idol 10: Odds and Predictions
by Christopher G. Shepard - 3/15/2011
Diva-in-Training wildcard pick Ashton Jones was the first finalist voted off “American Idol “last week and now 12 talented contestants will belt it out for the coveted title of America’s next American Idol. Prop culture enthusiasts should know that BetUS is offering futures odds on the outcome of American Idol: Season 10.
As Randy would say, “Did America get it right, dog?” Definitely.
Too bad the judges didn’t get it right when they offered Jones, the 24-year-old Georgian, the wildcard nod on account of her sass and her weak rendition of “And I’m telling you.” Personally, I think Lauren Turner would have been a better choice to keep as a wildcard.
Last week the top 10 finalists and three wildcard (judges) picks took the stage on Wednesday with song choices from his or her favorite performers. On Thursday, elimination night, the finalists watched AI alum Adam Lambert. Diddy-Dirty Money with Skylar Grey also performed while the finalists saw Jones leave the stage to David Cook’s warmed over rendition of “Don’t You Forget About Me.”
In a switch from the past 10 seasons, the semifinal stage was axed in favor of selecting the top 13 finalists faster without the melodrama that has bored viewers in the past. The X-factor this season is voting by Facebook, which had the total up to 40 million votes two weeks ago. I have listed two ways you can make the next 10 weeks of American Idol viewing more exciting; by investing in the gender of the Season 10 winner or by picking the winner straight-up.
American Idol Odds and Predictions: Gender of 2011 American Idol Winner
This is your basic coin toss proposition. However, you may have an edge if you’ve been following the audition and Hollywood rounds. Despite what J-Lo, Randy Jackson, and Steven Tyler said about the Round of 24, in my mind the girls were clearly superior. While that might be the case, last week the odds were -120 on either gender. This week females are +120 and males are -150. However, there is the favorite factor, two of the three favorites, Alaina and Toscano, are clearly superior to their male counterparts save for James Durbin and Casey Abrams. Consider that males have dominated this prop for the past three years, but have been duds on the hit charts. The last female to win AI was Jordin Sparks. Jordin, who?
Pick! Female +150
Odds to Win American Idol 10
Casey Abrams (+500) – The 20 year old from California called out Jackson’s bass-playing ability last episode, but it looks like he could be this season’s Taylor Hicks. The quality of talent this season is huge, which makes another run by a singer of this ilk unlikely. The more serious Abrams looks when he is singing the more fun we have watching him. I hope he goes deep in the competition.
Haley Reinhart (+4000) – She slipped in as the 10th female selection. It is hard to know what you are going to get from Haley as sometimes she brings the sexy and sultry other times she is warmed-over Velveeta. The judges loved her Alicia Keys’ cover, but I think it wasn’t super and that she’ll have a hard time rising to the occasion every week.
Jacob Lusk (+1000) – Lusk came as close as any guy, other than Mark Anthony, to getting in J-Lo’s pants with his Luther Vandross sublime rendition of “A house is not a home.” Lusk’s stock, however, went way down last week, but I everyone has a bad day. I think he’ll rally big time this week.
James Durbin (+300) – He is having a blast. Finally a contestant who says he’s having a blast and actually looks like it. Granted, his cover of Judas Priest was inspired and fun. Even so, I was surprised to see that this hard-rocker with a twitch is one of the odds-on favorites to win this season. There’s no doubt Durbin will go far, but ultimately there is too much talent and he is a bit too weird to make the finals.
Karen Rodriguez (+4000) – the 21-year-old New Yorker redefines perky. She brings with her the ability to seamlessly switch from English to Spanish and has the Latino vote, which could be huge for her. The fact that she can speak two languages gives Rodriguez a lot of upside potential despite her middle-to-long odds.
Lauren Alaina (+400) – Yeah, she’s talented. Yes, the judges love her. However, there is something missing from her stage presence and her voice. I was sort of surprised that she made it through to the finals; but not really since the judges seem to love her. Her emotions might get old for America, perhaps sooner than you think.
Naima Adedapo (+4000) – She is in the finals thanks to an emotional version of “For All We Know” that showed how much she wanted this when she ended the song in tears. But it will take more than emotion and tears to win this season and ultimately she will be a casualty of her inability to stand out from her fellow contestants. Last week Adedapo was +2000, this week those odds have doubled. Not good.
Paul McDonald (+800) – do his teeth have an on/off switch? When Paul smiles it is very hard not to grin back at your TV. Like a fool. Maybe that is his strategy, but whatever it is, McDonald has charisma to spare. He won’t win, but his smile might be enough for him to go deep into the finals.
Scotty McCreery (+300) – Okay, can anyone say George Strait or Randy Travis? I mean when I hear Scotty all I hear is….all my exes live in Texas .McCreery is this season’s Carrie Underwood and could be the next crossover/breakout country star. Last week McCreery was +500 and his stock is steadily rising.
Stefano Langone (+2000) – I liked him from the earlier episodes. He comes across as a good guy. He made it into the finals by virtue of the wild card picks and his performance of “I need you now.” Langone is this year’s David Archuletta, the AI 10 mascot. He’s holding on, but will need a great performance this week to keep him going.
Thia Megia (+1000) – She rocked her Christmas sweater at the elimination round, but was shaky in her performance in the first finals’ elimination. Randy gave her huge props by saying she reminded him of Michael Jackson. The question is at her age will she be able to bring it for the next 10 weeks? Megia has dropped from +600 odds last week so her stock lowered substantially since Jones was booted. Megia might be next.
Pia Toscano (+300) – Her rousing performance in the Round of 24 put her solidly in front-runner status. And of the three favorites she is most likely to win. The bad news for Toscano is that as any viewer of AI will tell you the best singer rarely wins American Idol. If you haven’t been glued to your set during the initial rounds Toscano has an uncanny resemblance to Glee’s Lea Michelle. Toscano has an amazing stage presence, is a versatile singer with a tremendous range will ultimately help her get to the finals and this time, I think, America gets it right.
Pick! Pia Toscano (+300)
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