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Friday, April 29, 2011

UPDATED ODDS: Casey gets the surprise boot; Haley, Jacob survive into the Top 5

The second surprise elimination of American Idol's Season 10 is much less likely to cause a stir than the first. It's not that people won't be surprised that Casey Abrams was shown the door instead of color coordination-challenged Jacob Lusk. Most of America was certain that Jacob was heading for the door. But Casey's time was drawing near, so the outrage over his elimination will be limited, if evident at all.

Don't get me wrong -- this was a surprise. On Rickey's American Idol "office pool" on, only 15 out of 560 people put most or all of their confidence in Casey going home. By comparison, 194 people gave him no chance of going home. And while Jacob is picked by four people in this group to win the show, Casey was picked by 49. But neither of those numbers is staggering. Out of 439 people in this group who made a final winner's prediction, 386 chose someone other than Jacob or Casey. Scotty's the overwhelming choice (210), followed by James (93), Lauren (79) and Haley (4).

Casey leaving now is the wrong choice, in part because someone needed to send a message that "wardrobe by Ronald McDonald" isn't acceptable on the Idol stage. (Not to mention that Jacob's chances of winning are only slightly greater than mine.) But it was clear that Casey wasn't going to win Season 10, especially since he had resumed his embrace of the Angry Idol persona. So when the Top 5 resume next Wednesday, there will be a little sadness at the void left by Casey, but not much outrage.

Still, more of the genuine interest in the show is now gone. Die-hards will stick with Idol, but with NBC's The Voice gaining momentum, you have to wonder if AI will finish the season in a blaze of glory, or just fizzle out. I've already spoken to a number of people who were previously fans and who have given up interest in American Idol altogether. Others are just watching casually. But several of those people have already said they've seen the first episode of The Voice and are switching their loyalty to that show. As for me, I can't wait for Idol to end so I can devote my undivided reality show attention to The Voice.

Following are my updated odds for the Top 5 for winning and elimination. Let us know what you think about these rankings and about this week's eliminations. Do you agree? Did Casey deserve to go home? And remember to follow this blog on Twitter at Also be sure to follow our Facebook group, American Idol Update.

Top 5 (Odds to Win)9
1. James Durbin (2/1)
2. Scotty McCreery (9/4)
3. Lauren Alaina (4/1)
4. Haley Reinhart (9/1)
5. Jacob Lusk (12/1)

Top 5 (Odds to Go)
1. Jacob Lusk (7/4)
2. Haley Reinhart (3/1)
3. Lauren Alaina (4/1)
4. Scotty McCreery (29/4)
5. James Durbin (12/1)

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