Odds are on Jordin to win 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.
So, who do you like?
Check out AOL's blogger predictions to see what others are saying.