Sing for the Moment: Picking the next American Idol

by Jon Minners

It is that time of the year again.  FOX has fully established itself as the mid-season station with the best shows on television.  Whether it is House, Bones, Prison Break or 24; FOX keeps doling out the hits, but no show gains as much attention this time of the year as does the nation’s #1 reality show – American Idol

While ratings for other reality shows start to dip each season, American Idol’s ratings continue to rise.  Five winners and several losers have gone on to make major names for themselves in music and in the case of Jennifer Hudson; movies, too. 

In the past, picking American’s Idol’s winner was almost a sure thing.  There were usually three singers each year who stood out and were favorites to win right from the get-go.  Tamyra Grey and Kelly Clarkson stood out in season one.  Ruben Studdard was the favorite right away in season two.  Fantasia was a virtual lock in season three.  Carrie Underwood was a bit of a surprise in season four, and if you could look past Katherine McPhee’s and Chris Daughtry’s looks, Taylor Hicks had an instant connection with the fans through his whole soul patrol gimmick. 

But this year is different.  More so than ever before, FOX has decided to go a different route and cater to the fans by drowning us in one bad singer after another.  The good singers got little time to shine and picking this year’s Idol is a little more difficult, at least right from the shoot.  Given time, favorites will emerge, but right now, in a bold move – G-Pop will pick the top contestants – one of which is a guaranteed winner. 

There wasn’t much going on in Minnesota, but Denise Jackson could be the next Fantasia.  Her story, growing up as a crack baby, was a remarkable tale.  She had a great look to her and a very positive attitude that could take her far into the competition.  Her voice is amazing. 

Rachel Jenkins is also very talented, but the Army Reservist just doesn’t have the look to keep her far into the competition.  The same can be said for Navy officer Jarrod Fowler, who has incredible talent, but will not be able to use his military career as a crutch to lean on far into the competition. 

Sarah Kruger is one of the picks to win the whole thing.  She changed up Somewhere Over the Rainbow and made it her own song.  Very well done.  I think she has a nice look and is someone that people will like enough to vote for.  I could definitely see her as an American Idol

Memphis was even worse when it came to talent pool, but two people shined.  Jason Sundance Head was amazing.  He is a very burly man who totally surprised the judges with his singing ability.  He has a very powerful voice and can hold a note, but his best quality has to be that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.  He could be an unexpected star in this competition. 

Melinda Doolittle is awesome.  She is so cute.  People like shy girls with powerful voices and she is the type of person you could watch grow in a competition like this and become attached to.  As a professional backup singer, Doolittle has what it takes to win the competition.  The only thing holding her back is her nerves. 

New York had more to offer.  It is hard to select favorites.  Sarah Burgess comes to mind.  The Ohio crooner who lied to her parents and came to New York in an effort to prove she could make it, did exactly that and received a golden ticket to Hollywood, but will probably not make it further than that. 

Jory Steinberg is a favorite.  She has great pacing, sounding at first generic before hitting a homerun.  She is absolutely amazing.  But her personality does not shine through and that could hold her back. 

Porcelana Patino is probably the hottest of all the contestants and an inspiration to more than just singers.  She trained her body and her voice to be an American Idol and stayed so dedicated to the cause, blowing away judges with her passion.  A unique voice could get her far, but what could be perceived as overconfidence will turn her off to viewers in the long run. 

Rachel Zevita is like…wow.  I mean, she is the Ugly Betty of this competition, but why the hell not.  People love that show and I can see this girl going far with an amazing range.  She just needs to get past the Hollywood stage.  If she does, viewers could fall in love with her nerdy, yet confident, style and vote her through as the most unlikely winner ever. 

Christopher Richardson is great.  But the Justin Timberlake sound could hold him back to viewers who think he is trying too hard to sound like the award-winning performer. 

Nicholas Pedro is one of the more talented singers in the competition, but he quit last year because of the pressure.  He had a hard time remembering lyrics and I think he may not quit this time around; but I don’t think he will make it either. 

Over in Birmingham, Tatiana McConnico has what it takes to win this competition.  She is a former Star Search finalist and has a family background in music.  She can handle the pressure.  Her awesome voice will overpower a lot of people in this competition.  Definitely one of the favorites. 

Chris Sligh is awesome.  He looks nothing like an American Idol, but those who like Hurley on Lost will love this guy.  He’s funny and personable and he can sing, too.  I would vote for him. 

In Los Angeles, Brandon Rogers is the favorite.  He, too, is a former background singer, but he also has the confidence in himself to go for the gold.  I like his chances. 

Those are the picks this year, but in a couple weeks, it will be up to you to determine the next American Idol.  When you vote, please don’t pick the winner the same way you picked our president.  May the best singer win.

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