“American Idol” has seen this kind of thing happen all too often: A frontrunner (sometimes two) in polls and power rankings lists will lead for most of the season, only to be defeated in the season finale — sometimes by someone who will not enjoy the success of their fellow finalists. Could Season 10 be a carbon copy of the last two seasons (it has happened in Season 5 and Season 2 as well), where the seeming frontrunner loses in the end but goes on to a more successful career afterward?
And then there are times, such as Season 7, where the two finalists are neck-and-neck to the finish, only to seemingly prove that the voters got it right after all (although both David Cook and David Archuleta have done reasonably well for themselves afterward). In short, can Top 5 frontrunner James Durbin (per TVGuide.com’s power rankings list) hold off close contender Scotty McCreery all the way through to the Season 10 finale? And, if so, will he be as successful as a rocker after the win as Scotty most undoubtedly will as a country performer?
It is difficult to tell at this point what might happen in the next four weeks going into the season finale, but it appears that Jacob Lusk has found himself at the bottom of a few power rankings lists, not to mention being a 30/1 longshot at winning the contest, according to oddsmaker website Bodog.com (which also has Durbin in the lead at 5/4 odds). He has been there twice before — and possibly a third time, but since producers decided to shake things up a bit during the Top 6 results show and not actually say whether or not the three “not safe” finalists were actually in the Bottom 3 among vote recipients, Lusk very well may not have been.
The one finalist who just might find herself going home in Lusk’s stead, though, would appear to be Haley Reinhart. She rings in at 15/2 odds, over four times better than Lusk’s, but Reinhart has precedent running against her — she’s been in the Bottom 3 four times (and perhaps a fifth time last week). However, TV Guide seems to believe that her chances are better than 16-year-old Lauren Alaina, whom they rank just above Lusk in power rankings for the Top 5.
Lauren, Scotty, and Durbin have never been in the Bottom 3. (Although host Ryan Seacrest did have Scotty on stage with the Top 6 cast-off, Casey Abrams, it is unlikely that the popular country crooner was actually in the Bottom 3. The producers were likely just trying to work off of the fears of another shocking elimination, like when Pia Toscano was voted off on the Top 9 results show.)
But it is looking as if the finale just might come down to Scotty and Durbin. Both have been in the top tier of contestants since the beginning. As mentioned, they’ve never been in the Bottom 3. And Lauren seems to lack the confidence the two guys show when they’re performing. And yet, none of that could matter. This week’s theme is “Songs of Now and Then,” where each finalist will sing a contemporary tune and a 1960s classic. Performances can sometimes shake up the voting results.
When it is all said and done, Lusk may square off against Reinhart in the finale. Just don’t bet on it.
TV Guide’s “American Idol” Top 5 Power Rankings
1. James Durbin
2. Scotty McCreery
3. Haley Reinhart
4. Lauren Alaina
5. Jacob Lusk
American Idol Top 5 Odds To Win (Bodog.com)
James Durbin 5/4
Scotty McCreery 7/4
Lauren Alaina 4/1
Haley Reinhart 15/2
Jacob Lusk 30/1
“American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 5,” TVGuide.com
“Odds To Win American Idol Season 10,” Bodog.com