American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Michael Sarver
I'm all for people being nice.  It's a good thing.  However, it shouldn't be any sort of factor in a competition like American Idol.  Michael Sarver is a family man, a working class dude, a likable guy who happens to have a pretty good singing voice.  He didn't wow anybody in his very first audition, made his way through Hollywood due to his winning personality and was somehow voted into the Top 13 by America following an OK performance in the Top 36 round.  As heartwarming as his presence in the Top 13 might be, his potential isn't very high.  He has neither the talent or performing ability to win the competition, which makes his inclusion over other, better singers all the more unfortunate.

American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main Page
American Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow

Strengths:

His only legitimate strength is his background.  As the blue collar worker singing under the bright lights, he will gain a certain amount of votes regardless of how well he sings.  He is modestly talented as a singer, and seems to know his limits.  If he advances more than a week or two, it will be due to some very shrewd song choices. 

Weaknesses:

Lack of a great voice or impressive stage presence.  That's about the nicest way to put it.  Doesn't possess the potential to greatly improve as the season goes along.  Has likely hit his peak.

Best-Case Scenario:

Michael makes some good song choices while others around him falter.  Maybe he makes it into the Top 6 by default, giving forgettably inoffensive performances while others make disastrous song choices and falter on the big stage.

Worst-Case Scenario:

Michael shows his lack of talent as the Top 13 starts and is rightfully eliminated within a week or two. 


American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main Page
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-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)