City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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How my ‘Idol’ predictions three months ago panned out

I’m off today so I pre-wrote this one to amuse you for the Memorial Day weekend:

AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 13: Clockwise from Top Center; Jermaine Jones, Erika Van Pelt, Jeremy Rosado, Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick, Hollie Cavanagh, Shannon Magrane, Colton Dixon. Heejun Han, Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips, CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 13: Clockwise from Top Center; Jermaine Jones, Erika Van Pelt, Jeremy Rosado, Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick, Hollie Cavanagh, Shannon Magrane, Colton Dixon. Heejun Han, Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips, CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Three months ago, I made some brave predictions on the top 13. I actually didn’t do as badly as I’ve done in the past. My worst miss was Heejun, followed by Hollie.

1. Phillip Phillips. Glory glory! I actually predicted this one right. This is probably a first in the history of my predictions. This is what I wrote at the time:

He is the template that has done well season 7 to 9. He’s a good looking white dude with a guitar, evoking previous winners Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze with a bit more panache. He moves just like Dave Matthews and brings a bit of smokey blues to the table vocally. He embodies songs with a singular electricity that is infectious. And when he’s just talking, he’s charmingly humble. ODDS TO WIN: 4-1

2. Skylar Laine. Actual finish: fifth. I really liked Skylar so I let my optimism color my decision to place her second. I actually like her more than last year’s runner up Lauren Alaina.

3. Jessica Sanchez. Actual finish: second. I was not a big fan of hers early on. I didn’t like the tone of her voice and never quite “felt” her as an artist. But I placed her high because I sensed she had a following and skills to make it far. And she did. Well done, Jessica (even if she needed the “save.”)

4. Heejun Han. Actual finish: ninth. Ulp. He was the biggest disappointment of the top 13. His vocal skills were kind of limited, his song choices really boring. When he tried to change things up with Billy Joel, he got panned. His best shot is doing something comedic rather than melodic.

5. Colton Dixon. Actual finish: seventh. I really didn’t like Colton early on. He just seemed like a poseur. I mentioned that he was far less engaging than comparable “rock’ singers of “Idol” ilk like James Durbin and Adam Lambert. Though he did a few decent interpretations of songs (especially “Love the Way You Lie”), his efforts to truly rock out were busts ( ummm. Lady Gaga anybody?).

6. Joshua Ledet. Actual finish: third. He did better than I expected. Based on Jacob Lusk finishing fifth last year, I thought Joshua would end up in about the same place. But Joshua, screaming and all, is superior to Jacob. I was hit or miss with him all year, preferring him when he didn’t go all church on us. But a well-earned third place.

7. Elise Testone. Actual finish: sixth. She finished about where I expected. I wasn’t sure if she had that Haley Reinhart momentum in her. Ultimately, she did not. Technically, she had the skills. Personality wise (and looks to a degree), I felt she was lacking. And some of her stage mannerisms (the pointing and bobbing) were distracting.

8. Hollie Cavanagh. Actual finish: fourth. She ended up being the Haley Reinhart of the year, starting out slow out of the box, then building momentum and confidence. I always liked her more than Jessica. She possessed a vulnerability and sweetness that I found endearing even when she struggled with notes or interpretations of songs. My favorite: “Bleeding Love.”

9. Erika Van Pelt. Actual finish: 10th. I was close on her. I really liked her low-register rock vocals but she simply lacked intrinsic star power to draw votes. I’m glad she made it on tour, at least.

10. Deandre Brackensick. Actual finish: 8th. He has the cute factor and an over-used love for the falsetto. He’s a work in progress and could certainly find his niche in R&B. He got as far as he reasonably could given the competition and the circumstances, outlasting the other wild cards.

11. Jermaine Jones. Actual finish: 12th/disqualified. He was never officially eliminated. By lying about his past, he kind of eliminated himself. A wasted slot to say the least that should have gone to David Leathers or Johnny Keyser, two singers who could have made the top 5 in my opinion.

12. Shannon Magrane. Actual finish: 11th. When I saw her on the finale, I forgot who she was! How time flies! Hearing her, I also realized why she failed to make it very far. Her vocal abilities are nothing special compared to the top 10 and she has very low-wattage stage presence.

13. Jeremy Rosado. Actual finish: 13th. I couldn’t remember his name during the finale either. Easy come, easy go. He had that background boy band feel to him with absolutely no chance of being a lead singer.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

20 comments Add your comment


May 28th, 2012
10:44 am

I remembered Jeremy but couldn’t think of his last name until you just posted it! Not surprised by his finish. The judges’ wildcard picks were pretty much a disaster this year. There were much better choices available. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Erika, I did. But like Rodney said, she definitely lacked the star power. I think if she’d had to new haircut right from the beginning, she would have done a bit better. Yes, that’s shallow but……


May 28th, 2012
10:46 am

You did a lot better on the list than some years, Rodney. You should have stuck with your first impressions of Joshua and you might have nailed the top 3.


May 28th, 2012
11:07 am

I was surprisingly accurate on my predictions as well. I’m starting to wonder if that is a bad thing. This year was just too stereotypical right down to the winner, WGWG#5.


May 28th, 2012
12:50 pm

I remember reading RoHo’s column on his early predictions because of his usage of the word “panache”. I congratulated you on that because I had not heard it in a long time, and I said I would have to continue to read the column of anyone who used “panache”. As for the outcome I didn’t make any predictions this year, but was overjoyed I think more to see JS not win, than to see PP win it. I knew the judges would take credit for her simply because they “saved” her. Hopefully a lot of fans recognized that and voted for Phillip to keep that from happening. That would have been wrong. Finally, I look at PP and WGWG a little differently since he’s from South GA. To me, it’s “White Guy With Grit(s)”. He indeed had plenty of that!


May 28th, 2012
1:11 pm

I, for one, loved Erika, then Colton. I agree, D, that the black hair and new cut added a dimension to her performance and looks and probably would have taken her a bit farther than she got. I am glad she made the tour, too, Rodney.


May 28th, 2012
1:33 pm

Rodney, I hope Beryl isn’t messing up your cruise. :-( Though I think most cruise lines tightly monitor, and change itineraries to avoid storms if necessary. Hoping that was the case with you guys!

I don’t think I posted any predictions… I remember thinking Jessica should be the winner based on the early talent she showed, but I also knew either Deandre, Colton or Phil would get latched onto by the herds. I wasn’t sure if she could possibly defeat that.

And I wasn’t sure which of them would end up in the ‘beloved WGWG’ spot… though I feared it might be Deandre.

Like Rodney, I too was disappointed in Heejun. He never pulled that great voice from his audition back out. And I also feared that Skylar might make the final (but unlike Rodney, I only liked her joy and her energetic performances… not her singing.)

I do think if it HAD to be another WG this year, Colton would’ve been a better choice. Again, like Rodney, I didn’t really care for him early on, but he grew on me. And wow, the finale performances really showed that he has a far better voice than PP. (Anyone who liked him – or even was on the fence – go and download the studio version of “Love The Way You Lie”. I promise you will thank me. :-) )

Y’all have a great holiday!


May 28th, 2012
3:34 pm

Talk to y’all tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Ed Stone

May 28th, 2012
8:26 pm

Do you really think anyone gives a rat’s a#$ about this?

Mercedes S.

May 28th, 2012
10:25 pm

Thanks for visiting Ed, good to see you’re one of the many who do give a rat’s behind about this!


May 28th, 2012
10:45 pm

Ed is a classy individual

Johnny Rotten

May 28th, 2012
11:07 pm

Sanchez and Phillips were the ones expected to battle for the title this year. Jones, Van Pelt, Brackensick and Rosado were all Judge selected, with back room advice, because they were the least threat to the favorites. That’s how they tilt the pinball machine for a little better roll.

Rodney Ho

May 29th, 2012
7:35 am

Got back yesterday from the cruise. Despite Tropical Storm Beryl, we mostly escaped the bad weather, save for one brief t-storm Sunday afternoon and a bit of rockiness that evening. So I am back, rested and ready to enter the summer TV season!


May 29th, 2012
7:47 am


Welcome back, Rodney. We were a little concerned about you when Beryl started making waves.

Have you seen Duets? Many of us found it less than stellar.

I am looking forward to Falling Skies coming back.


May 29th, 2012
8:09 am

Good morning, and hey, Rodney! Welcome back and glad you mostly dodged Beryl.


May 29th, 2012
11:04 am

Honestly folks, it wasn’t a stretch to pick pp to win and it won’t be a stretch to predict WGWG#6 for next year either. All of Rodney’s predictions made sense to me, even if I didn’t like’em. On Idol, predicting #2 and #3 is more of a challenge.


May 29th, 2012
1:12 pm

Tip of the cap Rodney on your prediction. Now what are the mega million numbers tonight. I didn’t care for Philip at the start but did warm up to him somewhat. He wasn’t the best pure singer but the best singer hasn’t won since Carrie. I still think it might be time to pull the instruments and revert back to just singing. Say what you will but WGWG does have some effect on voters.


May 29th, 2012
3:24 pm

Hey RoHo, glad you somewhat dodged Beryl. Welcome back!

jessie j

May 30th, 2012
4:27 am

I predicted a Phillip-Jessica top 2 right after the airing of the first live show. At that time I already had a strong feeling that Phillip would win, but didn’t voice it out yet. The next episodes of the show only strengthened my gut feeling. I was already sure of a Philip win as soon as that time when Jessica was voted out and saved by the judges.

jessie j

May 30th, 2012
4:30 am

I was hoping that Jessica would win, but I knew that it was a long shot considering that she’s not pure american.

Colorado Springs

May 31st, 2012
10:52 pm

What the devil is a “pure American?” Are you talking about being Native American? I don’t think there were any “pure Americans” on the show by your standard. You do understand that is a racist comment made on a forum written by one Rodney Ho! I wonder if he considers himself to be a “pure American?”