We interrupt this hockey site to bring you a few thoughts on this season of American Idol.
Time for a few comparables–Idol contestants from yesteryear–based on demographics (Place):
1. Siobhan Magnus – Better than Diana DeGarmo (2), more mainstream than Paris Bennett (5), way better than Mikalah Gordon (11). The numbers say 2nd place might be a good guess, but I’m going with my gut here that this could be a special talent.
2. Crystal Bowersox - Clearly more artsy than Carrie Underwood (1) or Carly Smithson (6), more talented/less cute than Brooke White (5). A shot to be this season’s Idol; this is more of an Anti-Michael choice.
3. Michael Lynche – Not my cup of tea, but the judges and most folks seem to like him. Ruben Studdard (1) is his number one comparable, and that’s just demographics! Less awkward than George Huff (5), a big athletic guy like Matthew Rogers (11). Numbers say number one, but he looks like an overexcited jock on karaoke night to me, and the vocals aren’t any more special, than say Phil Stacey (5).
4. Casey James – The woo factor–and not just Cara–though I imagine that will start to annoy folks. Less animated than Taylor Hicks (1), better looking than Elliot Yamin (3) or Danny Gokey (3)…But somehow, Ace Young (7) seems to fit well. Just a hunch that his looks like carry him a ways, but that his ultimate talent cieling will hold him back from the top few spots. Oh, and Kip Winger (1987) is definitely a comparable for the teeth and hair.
5. Tim Urban – Not one of the best talents, but then again, I utterly and completely missed on Kris Allen last year. Yes, David Cook (1) and Allen (1) are among the comparables, but he’s not in Cook’s league and–I’m guessing–not as hunkable as Allen. Of interest is that the rest of the comparables are what I see as overachievers, a sign that Urban might go further than you’d think: Anthony Federov (4), Scott Savol (5), Anoop Desai (6-7), Sanjaya (7), Kevin Covais (11). And Urban’s not as bad as the latter two.
6. Didi Benami – Katharine McPhee (2) is the cieling, not completely out of the question. In a way, she’s a dead ringer for Brooke White (5), without the gee shucks stuff. Going down the list, she’s more substance than Kristy Lee Cook (7). I thought Alexis Grace (11) should have placed much higher last season…that’s the floor here.
7. Katie Stevens is kind of a wild card. Pretty good talent, but exactly how grating is she going to be with that sh*t-eating grin that’s constantly plastered on her face? More confident than Jasmine Trias (3)–though without the voting block–less talented than Paris Bennett (5), Connecticut girl like Julia DeMato (10), more talented than Mikalah Gordon (11) and Leah LaBelle (12) but only slightly less annoying. Her placing could be anywhere in the bottom two thirds.
8. Paige Miles – Not a big fan. Lacking the youthfulness of Jordin Sparks (1), less polished than LaToya London (4), and even a notch down from last season’s Lil Rounds (6-7). More experienced than Lisa Tucker (10), but Mandisa (9) might be about right.
9. Lee Dewyze – Would get votes if it weren’t for the negative vibe, which is a shame because he’s got the demographics. I see him as an underachiever, and ultimately, another bottom half wild card like Katie. You can throw out Cook (1), Allen (1), and even Blake Lewis (2) as applicable comparables. Chris Richardson (6)–who I liked–is another underachiever that might be Lee’s cieling. Scott MacIntyre (8) is about right based on talent, though that vibe pulls my prediction down.
10. Lacey Brown – Nikki McKibbin (3), recently of Dr. Drew fame, is literally her highest comp. Less talented than Brooke White (5), but more talented/less blonde than Kristy Lee Cook (7) – 7th is about the highest I could see for Lacey, who I kind of like, but who doesn’t have the whole package. Haley Scarnato (8), Megan Joy (9), Amy Adams (10) and Jessica Sierra (10) are all about in the right range.
11. Aaron Kelly – is no Anthony Federov (4), as they say. But he could be John Stevens (6)–though I can’t see similar appeal. Kevin Covais (11) seems right on.
12. Andrew Garcia – For whatever reason, Hispanic contestants rarely make it out of the semifinals; if they do, they are almost always eliminated quickly. I’m guessing that Idol is not popular in Latin households. Garcia’s got decent talent, with Joshua Gracin (4) as an absolute max comp. More likely is Scott MacIntyre (8), Matthew Rogers (11), or David Hernandez (12).
Fun to look at these, but talent and charm speak to America. Let’s see how it goes…