Now that the American Idol
top 24 is official, we must look to the future. Who will make the finals? Who will be eliminated in the early rounds? We've seen most of them sing at least a little bit, and based on that little knowledge, their appearances, and the fickle histories of American Idol
voters (Phil Stacey
, really?), here are BuddyTV's initial American Idol
First up are the men. I use that term loosely, because five of them aren't even old enough to have a beer, legally. There aren't a whole lot of recognizable faces here, about half of them didn't show up on our screens until Hollywood week. That said, there are two clear frontrunners among the men, guys with great voices who have been given plenty of screentime to become America's favorites before the actual competition even begins.
Also check out the TOP 12 WOMEN POWER RANKINGS
12. Luke Menard
Who is this guy? Based on the photo, he's a generic older white dude with zero appeal. America won't care, and he's a near certain lock to be eliminated in the first week.
11. Garrett Haley
Another guy with absolutely no screentime, he's a part of what I call the Boy Band contingent this season, four teenage boys ready for tween girls to fall in love with them (also see: Colton Berry
, Danny Noriega
and David Archuleta
). The trouble with Garrett is the hair. The Shaun White look is so 2006. With three other teen boys for girls to vote for, Haley will get lost in the crowd.
10. David Hernandez
This one is based largely on my confidence in Simon Cowell
. Even though Simon thought Kyle Ensley should be in the top 24, I still trust his judgment, and he was against Hernandez being in this competition. I suspect we'll see why in the preliminary rounds.
9. Colton Berry
The second of the Boy Band contingent, he too will simply be overshadowed by the other two, more popular guys. Also, while I know this isn't fair, the little we saw of him during Hollywood week seriously pinged my gaydar. While this will never be explicit, I suspect there will be a little bit of backlash against him for this.
8. Jason Yeager
Another older white dude we know absolutely nothing about. The only reason I give him a better shot than Luke Menard is that Yeager is apparently more of a country-style singer, and there don't appear to be any others among the men. This gives him that genre all too himself.
7. David Cook
From what we've seen, he seems like a mildly quirky guy, sort of a Jason Mraz-esque singer. He'll win over people early with some impressive performances aided by his guitar, but the appeal will quickly die down. Despite being much skinnier, he's this season's Chris Sligh
6. Robbie Carrico
The judges will speak very highly of this former boy bander, and for a while, that will be enough to keep him around. But once we get into the top 12, the judges will start pimping a girl (no, not Chelsea Clinton!) and Robbie will be nothing but an afterthought.
5. Chikezie Eze
Being the only black guy will help him a lot. He has his own niche, a name that is oodles of fun to pronounce (Chick-Easy Ezzy) and he'll sing well enough to fly under the radar for quite some time, never being the worst, but never being the best. Eventually, middle of the road just isn't good enough.
4. Jason Castro
I'm blinded by love for his dreadlocks. We've never heard him sing, or even talk for that matter, so who knows what he's capable of. What I do know is that he's capable of having awesome hair, which instantly makes him a recognizable personality, unlike the other anonymous faces. In a competition with so many people, you need to stand out, and Jason Castro does.
3. Danny Noriega
In both my live thoughts and my recap, I called him the new Sanjaya, and that is totally true. He's young, androgynously pretty in a completely non-threatening way, and he had the illusion of singing ability during the auditions. Sanjaya was the same way. And like Sanjaya, he will make it very, very far, much farther than he should. How do I know this? Well, VotefortheWorst.com already has its sights set on him.
2. David Archuleta
This kid has it all. He's young and adorable in a Zac Efron way that not only makes tween girls scream with delight, but also makes their mothers look on approvingly. He's sweet and wholesome, and a great singer to boot. Tack on a little human drama with the vocal paralysis and you have a kid America can root for.
1. Michael Johns
I'm on record as hating this guy. I have been from day one, and despite everyone raving about what a great singer he is, I feel my opinion will be vindicated late in the competition when there's a huge backlash against Johns for being overly confident. But sadly, that's not going to happen for a while. In the meantime, I will have to slowly build up my anti-Michael Johns coalition member by member. It will be too late, because Johns will win people over with his ability to sing both tenderly and like a rocker. If any guy is going to win this whole thing, it's him.
But he won't win it. Who do I think will? Check back tomorrow for the American Idol
top 12 women power rankings. In the meantime, what do you think about the men, and who do you think has the best chance to win American Idol
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Images courtesy of FOX)