American Idol Odds Makers Project the Final Five
It may go down as the worst season of American Idol ever, but don't tell the audience that.  Viewers are still turning to FOX by the mega-millions to watch this years talent afflicted gaggle of contestants warble their way through butchered pop anthems, quite a few of them are also lining up at their friendly neighborhood online bookie to place bets on who will take the American Idol contest.  Sure, there are a couple of really talented singers on this years contest (and I stress 'couple'), and that is making the odds-makers job all that much easier.  As a matter of fact, this is the first year where odds making for who will be axed in what order are a prevalent part of the American Idol betting game.  Read on to see the top five, according to the betting community.

Odds of winning.  There are few surprises here except for one, which is the next to last. 

1.  Melinda Dolittle.   Odds, 1.24:1

Almost even money on Melinda here,  this is the consensus amongst the armchair critics out there as well.  The problem is,  the soul singers rarely make it through the themed shows,  will Melinda be an exception to the rule?  With the notable exception of Fantasia, there haven't been many other exceptions, so we'll have to wait and see if Dolittle's enormous range exists in genre as well as pitch.

2. Lakisha Jones.  Odds, 3.4:1

Again, the odds makers seem to be focusing on singularities here.  Lakisha is awesome in her element, will she make it in Country, Disco, or Hard Rock week?  I'm open minded, but history has seen a lot of Lakisha and Melinda's voted off for not being able to survive outside their fishbowl.

3. Blake Lewis.  Odds 9:1

Blake brings some very interesting stylistic variations to the show that he seems to be able to work in to anything.  I was totally suspect of his 'beat boxing' until I heard it a couple of times, now I get what its all about for this guy.  The fact that he honestly is a good singer also gives him an edge.  I'll admit though, I wouldn't give him third simply because by the end of the contest, no matter how good he is, the beat boxing is going to become a gimmic for audiences and he will be stressed to leave it behind.  Will he take the gamble and stick to the singing, or risk being labeled a contestant with a 'schtick'.   Bare feet wore out real quick for Paul Kim.

4. Chris Sligh.  Odds 11:1

My guy Sligh.  On a personal level I give Chris even money, but hey, I know how the world works.  The most irreverent of the contestants, its only a matter of time before his 'personality' becomes an detriment, namely the first time his jokes bomb or appear contrite. I've thought that Sligh had that odd-guy-out quality that America liked about Taylor since the beginning except, hey, he can really sing!

5.  Jordin Sparks. Odds 14:1

Hmmm... trying to think of a witty iteration of the soul singer thing, with a cautionary note to the young contestants that recalls last year's Princess P.  Nah, I've got nothing.

None of this is surprising, particularly the obsession with the soul/gospel sound that produces many red herrings every year.  if there is one constant in the American Idol world it is that this stage of the game is way too early to make even a well educated guess on what the final five weeks will look like. Heck, last year at this time Taylor Hicks was not being treated very kindly at all by the bookies.  But as always, the fun is not in projecting accurately how the contest will unfold, but having fun watching it happen.

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Data Courtesy of
(Image Courtesy Fox)