With the Top 13 finalists chosen (though we miss the good old days of a Top 10), we can now get down to the business of crowning a new "American Idol"… for the teenagers and grandmas out there who still care. We have our predictions on who will become America's sweetheart and who will disappear faster than Anoop Desai.
First Impression: Technically a second impression, since he almost made it to the finals last season. We liked that he seemed disgusted with the show and didn't want to audition again, but then he got suckered into doing it anyway.
Odds of Winning: 4 to 1. He's clearly got the little girl fans, as they were screaming like crazy when he hopped up on the piano. And he's technically a rocker, in the most harmless way possible.
First Impression: He's all about falsetto and makes dreadful hair choices. What we wouldn't give to get at that mop with scissors and a flat iron. There's something about him that reminds us of Justin Guarini, and we don't mean that in a nice way.
Odds of Winning: 50 to 1. The judges can't save him forever.
First Impression: She has a great voice, but she lacks personality and originality. Mostly she made it to the finals for singing the same Adele song better than someone else.
Odds of Winning: 25 to 1. We're curious about what she can do with a song that isn't being performed by someone else on the same night, but we're not convinced she has much of a shot.
Erika van Pelt
First Impression: She's a DJ and has a bit of an old-school Kelly Clarkson look going on. Otherwise we've forgotten she exists.
Odds of Winning: 30 to 1. She only got into the top 13 because Randy put her there, not because America liked her. That's never a good sign.
First Impression: He's dorky and we find that charming and irritating at the same time. He has trouble playing with others and, let's face it, is not a good singer. At all.
Odds of Winning: 100 to 1. Once America gets tired of his gimmick, he'll be gone faster than you can say Sanjaya.
First Impression: We're told that she got through the audition rounds last year, but we suspect the show could be lying because we don't remember her at all. This season, she does cute and sweet with the most peculiar speaking voice possible.
Odds of Winning: 17 to 1. Even if she lets her hair down, as Steven suggests, we doubt that would make much of a difference.
First Impression: He's likeable and sweet and has a sucky day job at an infectious diseases clinic that he does with good cheer. His singing talent is fine, but nothing special, so he'll need to rely on tearful breakdowns to endear himself to voters.
Odds of Winning: 12 to 1. J. Lo is in love with him, so that might help. Better song choices might also help.
First Impression: He was eliminated during the infamous chair round, but then the judges had a change of heart and ignored the rules to bring him back. He has a big booming baritone, and we won't get sick of the juxtaposition of this giant being interviewed by the petite Ryan Seacrest any time soon.
Odds of Winning: 9 to 1. Could he be the next Velvet Teddy Bear?
First Impression: She had some of the best vocals of the first live shows, and she didn't even have time to rehearse because of voice troubles. We can't wait to hear her when she's at full strength. And our moms already love her.
Odds of Winning: 7 to 1. The girls seem to be at a disadvantage on this show thanks to the boy-crazy voters who dominate the audience, but maybe they'll find some love for Jessica. Or our moms will finally learn how to speed-dial.
First Impression: He has a gorgeous gospel voice and, according to Seacrest, people have started calling him "Mantasia." That makes us want to hate him.
Odds of Winning: 15 to 1. Gospel won't get him all the way. Unless he can show range, he's not going to last.
First Impression: He's a mini-version of Dave Matthews, complete with his awkward guitar-playing stance and stoned-sounding voice. But what's with the double name? Were his parents really that cruel?
Odds of Winning: 2 to 1. Jimmy Iovine already wants to sign him, so the "American Idol" title seems like a shoo-in. If you ever underestimate the popularity of Dave Matthews, just go to any college bar.
First Impression: She's the girl that Tyler called "hot, humid, and happening" in front of her dad. She's a solid singer, but even though she's tall, this young girl got lost in a sea of blondes this season.
Odds of Winning: 10 to 1. She might stand a chance, but we're actively rooting against her so that we don't have to hear Ryan bring up that awkward moment again.
First Impression: She's young, but she exudes confidence. And her interviews paint her as a down-home charming girl. And she's definitely more than a little bit country, but has crossover rock appeal.
Odds of Winning: 3 to 1. We're betting that if a girl wins this season, she'll have a country twang, so our money is on this one.
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 PM on Fox.
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