I watched another Idol show for Intrade purposes. Some impressions:
I'm extremely annoyed by Cowell's attempts to seem like a snob while gushing over every second or third Idol singer. A real snob (how do I know this? :-) not only would never praise any of these people, he would honestly dislike every bit of their singing as well.
The judges rarely pass up a chance to advise contestants to lose control during their performances, as if the stage was some kind of a giant WC. In real life nothing of any worth is achievable without laser-like focus and a ton of self-control. This applies to good music as much as to anything.
Every week that I've watched this show this year Simon has predicted that a contestant named Crystal Bowersox will win the entire thing. She's got a nice, friendly face and seems like a genuinely good person, but somebody must have told her that she's "alternative" and she seems to have really believed it. She expresses her alternativeness by trying to sing one or two verses of every song like a fat, drunken, middle-aged man, by wearing blond dread locks and a piercing on her chin, and by constantly talking about how alternative she is. I'm considering shorting her main Intrade contract. Since when has brooding, status-conscious middle class youth been a part of the Idol's core audience?
All successful Idol singers are belters, so this season a girl named Siobhan Magnus has driven this to its logical conclusion. She ends every song, regardless of its mood or genre, by shrieking at the very top of her young, healthy, freakishly capacious lungs. Everything else about her is either boring or weird, but Intrade puts her chances of winning in second place, right behind Crystal's.
I put a bit of money on a guy named Michael Lynche. He's a born smoothtalker, the judges love his singing and his Intrade contracts were selling below 7 before I started buying them. I don't think he'll win the entire competition, but he'll probably stay until the final 3 or 4, at which point his Intrade contracts would sell for at least twice the price at which I got them.