has announced its Top 31 contestants for season 13, although one of the
guys will be cut as a result of a public vote for the last spot in the
Top 30 and another 10 (five guys and five girls) will be eliminated
before even getting a chance to sing on the live shows.
But for now we have 31 singers to look at, and a closer study reveals that there are certain patterns among the contestants this season. American Idol season 13 has two noticeable trends: teenage girls and singers from the South. In fact, those two categories alone make up 26 of the Top 31 contestants this season.
Here's some fun information about this season's Top 31 singers, based on their hometowns and ages.
Where Are They From?
Geographically, there are four regions in the United States: the South, the West, the Midwest and the Northeast. The South is the largest, made up of 16 states, and the Northeast is the smallest with nine states.
On American Idol season 13, a massive 19 contestants in the Top 31 come from the South. The other regions barely register, with five from the Midwest, four from the West and only three in the Northeast (New Hampshire's Alex Preston, Massachusetts' Jillian Jensen and New York's Ethan Harris).
The numbers are even more staggering if you look at the gender divide, as 13 of the Top 16 guys are from the South. Preston, Harris and Michigan's Maurice Townsend are the only ones who aren't Southern boys.
The girls, however, are much more evenly spread out across the country, with six in the South, four each in the West and Midwest and one (Jensen) in the Northeast.
What State Has the Most Contestants?
Florida and Alabama are the two biggest states, each providing four contestants. Florida isn't much of a surprise, but Alabama is very well represented this season, with 'Bama boys Casey Thrasher, C.J. Harris and Dexter Roberts, as well as pink-haired Jessica Meuse (one of these things is not like the other). Michigan and Georgia also have strong showings this season with three apiece, meaning almost half of the contestants come from those four states, three of which are all next to each other in the southeastern most portion of the U.S.
This might help Alabama return to its dominance in early seasons. For four straight years from seasons 2-5, the state was home to a contestant in the final 2 (winners Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks, plus runners-up Diana DeGarmo and Bo Bice). But since season 5, no one from Alabama has made it back to the finale. In fact, since then, season 10's Paul McDonald (who finished in eight place) is the only Alabaman to even make the Top 13.
Will the South Rise Again?
Does any of this matter? Well, historically, yes. Of the 12 past winners of American Idol, the South was home to 10 of them. The only winners outside of the South were Lee DeWyze from Illinois and Jordin Sparks from Arizona. At the very least, statistically, we can narrow the field of potential winners down to 19 singers this season.
So congratulations to one of these contestants: Ben Briley, Briston Maroney, Caleb Johnson, Casey Thrasher, C.J. Harris, Dexter Roberts, Emmanuel Zidor, George Lovett, Jordan Brisbane, Malcolm Allen, Neco Starr, Sam Woolf, Spencer Lloyd, Brandy Neelly, Bria Anai, Emily Piriz, Jessica Meuse, Kristen O'Connor and Majesty Rose. Odds are one of them will be the winner.
The Men Are Older
Moving on to age, of the 16 guys in the Top 31, a surprisingly high 12 of them are 20 and over and nine are 22 and over. The only teenage boys in the mix are 16-year-olds Briston Maroney and Jordan Brisbane, 17-year-old Sam Woolf and 19-year-old Spencer Lloyd.
The Women Are Much Younger
Compared to the massive number of older guys, the woman are astoundingly young this year. A whopping 10 out of 15 are teenagers, including two 16-year-olds and four 17-year-olds. And of the remaining five, three are only 20 or 21. That leaves 23-year-old Jessica Meuse and 24-year-old Kristen O'Connor as the oldest women in the competition.
Who's the Oldest?
This season's resident senior citizen is 26-year-old Maurice Townsend. After him, there are only three contestants who are 24: Ben Briley, George Lovett and Kristen O'Connor. Everyone else is 23 or younger.
The Name Game
Finally, this might be a trivial and random coincidence, but if you look at the first names of all the singers in the Top 31, only three of them have names that start with a letter in the second half of the alphabet: Neco Starr, Sam Woolf and Spencer Lloyd. Everyone else's names start with a letter in the first half of the alphabet, with six singers whose names start with the letter "M."
The first half of the alphabet does seem to have an advantage, because eight of the past winners and all 12 of the runners-up had a first name that started with a letter in the first half of the alphabet. The only exceptions are: Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.
(Image courtesy of FOX)