ONE LAST CYCLE, THRILL FREAK UNCLE SAM // PAUSE FOR BUSINESS, HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND: The tier analysis is where my Idol kvetching begins -- it's not as important that the contestants are eliminated in exactly the right order as long as over the course of each multi-week period, the sets of ousters are more-or-less accurate. Based on what we've seen so far, here's how the final twelve ought to leave us:
Doesn't Belong Here, And Will Not Be Around By The End of Passover: Tim, Aaron, Paige
Could Linger For A While, But Each Seems Too Limited To Win: Didi, Lacey, Andrew
Will Go Even Longer Than Them, And We All Like Him, But He Ain't Winning Either: Big Mike
The Wild Cards With Serious Potential To Fulfill My Theory #2, and Believe Me Alex Lambert Would Have Been Listed Here With A Bullet: Lee, Katie
My Presumptive Final Three: Siobhan, Crystal, The Outlaw Casey James -- with Siobhan winning.
My theory on Crystal Bowersox is essentially that she's Melinda Doolittle 2.0 -- exceptionally poised, talented and ready. Will never screw up, and will always be in the A to B+ range of performances. But her genre isn't quite what the marketplace is seeking, and this competition will reward Siobhan's perceived growth/rise (because of her relative youth) more than Bowersox's every-week maturity and hyper-competence, even though The Pride of Marston Mills is plenty experienced herself.
Now let's see how wrong I can be. (Here's last year's initial tiers from when the competition was down to ten -- but given the change in wild card format we're dealing with similar levels of exposure now. And in 2008 at this very stage, I was very, very wrong.)
added: Alan Sepinwall with his own tier analysis. And Fienberg interviews the twelve. You'll never guess who said, in re "what's your dream theme week," the following: "I want to have a Disney theme week. Me being young, that's kind of a cliche for me to say, but I think it would be awesome to see everybody pick a Disney song and do it."