American Idol: Top 2 Power Rankings
The table is set.  Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis are our two, quasi-unlikely finalists and their face-off tonight will play a part in deciding the American Idol champion.  The conclusion, however, may very well be foregone (barring, of course, a monumental choke by one of the two singers on live television tonight.)  There probably isn't a significant population of undecided voters still out there, and the two performers are going to have a difficult time swaying viewers to their side at this late juncture.  Blake and Jordin are so vastly different in their styles that it doesn't really make sense to compare and contrast the two.   If you're a Jordin fan, no matter what Blake does tonight, your sensibilities will still lie in the Jordin camp, and vice versa.

For all the uproar over Melinda Doolittle's elimination from the show, this final two is the right final two.  They are both viable commercial entities.  If this sounds cynical, it isn't meant to.  Melinda was a great singer, but not much else.  She was a little boring, but everyone liked her, so people fooled themselves into believing that she might actually win this thing.  Melinda didn't stand a chance. 

There are hundreds of great singers in this country of Melinda's ilk.  There are not hundreds of 17 year olds like Jordin Sparks.  There are not hundreds of people that can do what Blake Lewis does.  Blake Lewis has creative potential.  Melinda was only a singer.  Jordin Sparks is young enough to improve, be molded into the product that America/the record companies want.  Melinda had peaked as a singer. 

Anyway, here are the rankings.  These are based on who has the best chance to walk away the American Idol winner on Wednesday night.

#1: Jordin Sparks

Jordin is the overwhelming favorite.  She's the safe pick.  She is mainstream, likable, youthful, dynamic, etc.  Pick and choose any attribute and it will be enough to garner votes from a certain niche of viewers.  At this point, there's not much more to say about these contestants' singing abilities.  Jordin is still inconsistent, but her voice is big and she has show the ability to reign it in and provide subtlety (unlike, say, Lakisha Jones).  Jordin is probably going to walk away the winner of American Idol this season, but is she the worthy champion?   It's hard to say.

#2: Blake Lewis

Step back for a second.  Try to gain a little perspective.  Isn't it sort of incredible that a white-boy beat-boxer from Bothell, Washington who doesn't possess a great voice, that relies on charismatic performances and bizarre arrangements, and whose best performance came when he turned a beloved Bon Jovi song into a techno/dance tune, has made it into American Idol's final two?  The lesson to take away from this is that you can never underestimate originality and creativity.  Technical proficiency is good, but as with Melinda Doolittle, it isn't everything.  Viewers, voters, they all want something more, something they haven't seen before, and Blake Lewis has been there all season to fearlessly attempt things that American Idol has never seen.  Will this equal a victory tomorrow night?  Probably not, but it would be unwise to count out Blake Lewis, who has been surprising us all season.

What do you all think?  Who should be the favorite going into tonight?  Who is going to win on Wednesday?

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

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