Odds are on Jordin to win Idol

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted May 14th 2007 3:23PM
Jordin SparksWe're down to three remaining challengers in this year's American Idol, and it looks like it's going to be a very tight race for second place. But according to odds makers, first place is pretty much a lock for Jordin Sparks -- the odds-on favorite to win this year's Idol.

Odds makers are also predicting a final showdown between Jordin and Blake, leaving Melinda as a third place finisher. But we all know that anything can happen - and it ain't over until Seacrest is out.

Will Melinda go home this week? If so, I think it will be somewhat of a shock. As the consummate pro, Melinda has displayed flawless vocals throughout this year's competition. She's never given a bad performance, and she's never even been in the bottom three. But are excellent vocals enough to keep her in the contest?

If this was purely singing contest, I'd say yes. But popularity is obviously a big part of the American Idol package. And many people don't think Melinda has the "It" factor. Her flawless performances have been so consistent that now people are dismissing her as "too predictable." Even Paula criticized her last week, telling Melinda to throw away "technique" and try to surprise us. Melinda also has an "older" look and sound, that may hamper her appeal to the younger, more diligent voters. Then again, looking and sounding "older" didn't hinder Taylor's success on last year's Idol.

Meanwhile, Blake has given inconsistent and sometimes thin vocal performances, but has been saved by his unique beatboxing skills, slick dance moves, good looks, laid-back personality, and his rabid "Blaker Girls" fans. He also gains bonus points for his originality and willingness to mess with classic arrangements. I'm still not convinced that his arrangements are "contemporary," as they remind me of the 1980s music I grew up with. But there's no doubt that Blake possesses a talent. Like others, I believe Blake may eventually turn out to be very successful arranging and producing music.

Jordin doesn't always nail the vocals perfectly, but when she does, she is amazing. She's also charismatic, cute, and likable, and shows the most emotion during her performances. Jordin gains bonus points for her willingness to challenge herself vocally. And her youth helps her tremendously. Since she's only 17, we're willing to overlook her flaws. Many of us have enjoyed watching Jordin blossom over the course of the competition. And we feel as if we're all watching the development of a major talent -- one who's already great, and can only getter better. The sky seems to be the limit with Jordin, which is why she's my personal favorite.

I also believe that of the remaining three contestants, an album by Jordin would have the widest appeal. That doesn't make her the best. It just makes her the most "marketable" contestant. I'm not sure "kids" would line up to buy a CD from Melinda Doolittle, just as I'm not sure anyone BUT the "kids" would line up for Blake's. Not that viewers are necessarily thinking about who has the broadest market appeal when they cast their votes. They're just voting for their personal favorites. But because American Idol is primarily a reality TV show, that means that the most popular contestant isn't necessarily the best or the most marketable artist. And as Taylor Hicks can attest, receiving millions of popular votes -- doesn't automatically translate into millions of records sold.

Right now, Melinda is being given odds of 3.5 to 1 to win. They've given slightly better odds to Blake, at 3 to 1 odds. Meanwhile, Jordin is getting -1.75 to 1 odds of winning. Of course, the bookies chose Taylor as the "underdog" in last year's finale -- so they're not always right. Truth is that nobody can really predict how America will vote. And that unpredictability is part of what makes Idol so fun and addictive.

Tell me who you think is headed for the finale. And tell me who you think should win this year's Idol. Let's try to keep the discussion positive and focus on the reasons we love our favorites, rather than reasons we hate their competitors. Jordin, Melinda, and Blake have all come this far -- rising above all the rest -- because they have something special. And it's obvious that a lot of people like them.

So, who do you like?

Check out AOL's blogger predictions to see what others are saying.

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Kellie Jo

JORDIN'S GONNA TAKE IT!..SHE'S JUSS FLAT OUT THE BEST THEY'VE GOT!...SO TO ALL YA'LL, THERE AIN'T NO NEED TO SAY "I THINK JORDIN'S GOT IT"...SAVE YOURSELF A BREATHE OR TWO...CAUZE SHE DOOOOEEESS GOT IT, SORRY BLAKE!!!

May 19 2007 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Monie

Blake is my guy!!! I don't think it's just the young people voting for Blake. I know many people that love Blake and what he stands for and were all over 50 some close to 60. Malinda and Jordan certainly have the very best voices but they both do the same kind of songs all the time. Blake can take a song rearrange things and throw in his beatboxing. He has stayed true to himself and performed in an all around mannor that makes him the best. Both Jordan and Melinda will be making a lot of money and Jordan has many many years ahead of her.

May 17 2007 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LT

Its pretty sad to think popularity wins over talent. Jordin is what I would call the "current package". She is beautiful with cross over looks, her voice isnt really distinctive, but can pass, and her most important asset is personality. Not to take anything away from Ms. Jordin, but she makes a more market worthy product than her highly talented opponent...Ms. Doolittle.

Melinda Doolittle, should win hands down, but she has become a casuality of the watered down expectations of American Idol's adoring public. I hope she becomes the next idol reject to win top honors ... hint has anyone heard of Jennifer Hudson?

Melinda if you read this....Push on and do what you do!

You are one very talented woman....that should NOT sing back up!

May 17 2007 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shelia

The next American Idol-MELINDA MELINDA MELINDA MELINDA

May 16 2007 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shelia

I think Melinda should be the next American Idol she is excellent she is the best I can not wait to purchase her CD the next American Idol is Melinda.

May 16 2007 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Torre

I think that Melinda is for the older people. Blake is awesome and Jordin is good to. American Idol isnt only about who sings the best. But we will see.

May 16 2007 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
roseann

Jordin is the one. She is an incredible singer. She has everything and more to be a successful entertainer. Melinda has a beautiful voice but she lacks the charisma to be #1. As for Blake, I cannot believe he is still around. The boy is totally mediocre, funny looking and is still there as a joke.

May 16 2007 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christina

There are three amazing talents left and one has to go tonight. Melinda has been consistent, she's got the pipes, and she is such a humble woman, which is a very endearing quality that makes her so likable. Blake brings a different genre to the show and he is very entertaining and brilliantly talented. I enjoy watching him when he is doing HIS thing. Jordin is young, absolutely beautiful, and full of so much positive energy (not to mention she's got the pipes as well!) I couldnt possibly have anything negative to say about Melinda, however, I would like to see Jordin and Blake in the finals. Blake has introduced America to a surprisingly entertaining type of perfomance, which is why he has made it this far--keep it up Blake! What's in a name??? SPARKS speaks for itself. I think Jordin will take home the gold...and deservingly so. She has won America's heart with her courage, the innocence in her voice and the beautiful spirit she brings every week, whether she nails it or not, (which she has for the most part.) Her talent will continue to blossom as she does. Jordin...you are America's next idol and Melinda and Blake wont be far behind. I say GREAT JOB to all!

May 16 2007 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary

I have been watching Jordin since she was 3 years old and yes she is awesome and has grown the most on the this years show. Malinda is good and will do very well but she is "old" school and not a fun to watch as Jordin. She is a better signer at this point but not 3 years from now.

May 16 2007 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beth

Blake all the way!
Melinda is too professional for this show. Jordin a bit dull for me.
Blake has the talent, charisma and voice to win it all! Now hopefully, he'll get the votes.

May 16 2007 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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