POTW: Katy Perry, Gaga, Bieber and more '2011 Billboard Music Awards' Finalists
Rihanna, nominated for twelve 2011 Billboard Music Awards, hits the stage at the 'Nivea and Rihanna Celebrating Years of Skincare' event on May 6, in Paris, France.

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

CAN A BALLAD STILL TOP THE HOT 100?

Hola Gary!

I knowfor so long. I also thought I was the only one, so I want to give a shout-out to all of us "weirdoes"!

When I look back to my charts and see those songs, together, I go back emotionally and remember the feelings I was experiencing at the time.

My first chart was dated Feb. 25, 2005, after I bought the album "Ultimate Kylie" and became obsessed with Minogue's track "Red Blooded Woman." Not waiting to see how it might fare in Billboard, I placed it atop my newly-formed chart.

Once my own iPod era dawned, I could count songs' "airplay" by monitoring my iPod's song counter. That technology made it possible for a large number of songs to debut at No. 1 (42 such starts to-date!)

I'm now at chart-topper number 127. The longest stay at No. 1 is 14 weeks forthe first three contestants voted out in order: Ashthon Jones, Karen Rodriguez and Naima Adedapo.

My girlfriend Michelle and I had both predicted that Lauren Alaina would ultimately emerge as this season's victor. While we both fell one place short on our guess, Michelle was more upset that I had originally tabbed McCreery as a possible finalist and she had not, forcing her to admit that after viewing McCreery's audtion, only I had spotted the eventual winner's potential.

(She couldn't bring herself to offer a concession speech following our personal competition. In her defense, she has little experience to draw from when it comes to my being right about too much).

Despite Alaina having just missed claiming this season's crown, " How could I be unhappy with second place?," she reasoned yesterday. "There's a million people out there that would love to be in my position and I'm blessed.

"I couldn't pick a more perfect person to get second place to. I know that's cheesy, but he's my best friend."

More accolades await next week, when McCreery and Alaina will storm the Hot 100 with their debut singles.