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Congratulations on eight of your "American Idol" contestant picks making it to the top 13!
This year is so full of talent I am sure we are all eager to hear this season's upcoming performances.
Of the eight that I voted for, six made it:
I would be happy to be surprised by any of the others' upcoming performances (as I was with Stefano Langone in the wild card round), but my top four are Abrams, Lusk, McDonald and Reinhart, with Haley my pick to win the season!
Before commenting on my remaining favorites, let's praise two top 24 finalists that impressed me despite departing last night.
With his jazzy cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire" Tuesday, Brett Loewenstern would have made for an energetic, quirky member of the top 13.
And, contrary to the consensus of judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson (and voters), I give points to big-voiced Rachel Zevita for her creative and commanding reinvention Wednesday of Fiona Apple's "Criminal."
As noted in "Ask Billboard" in previous weeks, I'm hoping to identify this year's eventual 2011 "Idol" champion early on.
(With eight of my original 41 choices still remaining, I have a better chance of picking the winner than my girlfriend, Michelle, who counts six remaining picks. She reminds me to remind you, however, that she chose only 25 contestants, so her 24% success rate is more impressive than my 20%).
Of the remaining lucky 13, we do share the same prediction for the eventual top three (in a rare and boring moment of agreement).
Here is my early forecast for how the voting for the top 13, a promising group, could play out:
13, Ashton Jones
12, Karen Rodriguez
11, Naima Adedapo
10, Stefano Langone
9, Jacob Lusk
8, Scott McCreery
7, Haley Reinhart
6, Thia Megia
5, Paul McDonald
4, Pia Toscano
3, James Durbin
2, Casey Abrams
And ... 1, Lauren Alaina
How do you foresee the final order of this season's "American Idol" contenders?
Follow Billboard.com's complete coverage of the 10th season of "American Idol" and, as always, please feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.