Happy New Year from Game Show Newsnet!
Thanks for visiting!

SS Monday SS Tuesday SS Wednesday SS Thursday SS Friday SS Weekend SS Archives Primes Lineup About Us
InSites On the Buzzer Numbers Game State of Play WLTI Block Party Video Wall Replay News Archive Contact

Janaury 8

Opinions expressed in the State of Play do not necessarily reflect those held by Game Show Newsnet as a whole.

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. Copyrighted material appearing on this site constitutes fair use, and no challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

Haterade's Idol Primer: The 2010 Edition
February 19

Welcome once again to the primer. Whether you are a fan, or just want the scoop for your office pools, this is your reference guide to your contestants. We go back to the selection process of 2 seasons ago; 6 men and women make the Top 12. But who? Here are my selections, which are guaranteed not to be perfect, but which will hopefully shed some insight as to who you may see in the months to come.

The Men
Aaron Kelly Aaron Kelly
Where you've seen him: The Best of the Rest auditions (February 3), with Social Services right behind his heels while his family is trying to take him to Witch Mountain...wait a sec.
Where else you may have seen him: Mutilates 'Angel' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). And if you visited Orlando for the Disney 'Idol Experience' contest, you saw him win that, which gave him the opportunity to audition for the judges.
Why he's here: He's little orphan Aaron and makes the Utah-based David Archuleta look like Daddy Warbucks.
Pre-season Verdict: He's got a heart-warming story and a good set of pipes. More importantly, he's going to attract a lot of teenybopper girls, you know, the Ashley Perls of the world that vote for Sanjaya and Kris Allen. If he can sing like Archuleta did and not forget the lyrics, then he's good for the Top 12 and a dark horse to go very, very far in this competition.

Alex Lambert 
Where you've seen him: Day 2 of Hollywood Week (February 10) creating some musical nightmares with his group 'The Dreamers'. 
Where else you may have seen him: Plays with his ukulele during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). 
Why he's here: Based on his weak effort in the Group round, I can only think that the judges wanted a Lambert to grace their stage for the second straight year. 
Pre-season Verdict: Everything we've seen from him has been less than inspiring. He'll make it to week #2 if he can convince everyone that he's Adam Lambert's very long lost cousin from North Richland Hills. If not, he's gone early. 

Andrew Garcia 
Where you've seen him: The L.A. Auditions (January 26) with his gang-banger parents.
Where else you may have seen him: Does an acoustic 'Straight Up' on Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9). Sings 'No One' with Katie Stevens during group week (February 10). When he's not re-arranging songs, he sings vocals and plays the guitar for the band The Adrian William Project. He also has done charity events all around California. And people seem to know who he is - he has thousands of people following him on his Twitter account. 
Why he's here: He's an urban version of Kris Allen. 
Pre-season Verdict: Because of said Twitter fans, the oddsmakers have put him as the favorite to win this year. What happens to the favorites? They don't win. Never have and never do. He'll make the Top 12, but I don't see him winning the whole thing, though I do see him with the potential of getting real close.

Casey James 
Where you've seen him: The Denver Auditions (February 2) with his broken motorcycle and his shirtless body, care of Kara DioGuardi. 
Where else you may have seen him: Singing 'I Don't Need No Doctor' during Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9). Sings 'Closer' with Janell Wheeler during group day (February 10). Singing 'Bubbly' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). If you've been in the Texas area and have seen been in the local bars, you may have seen him play the role of a lead singer in the Casey James band. However, if you've spent some time in the local jails between 2001-2003, you may have also seen him there playing the role of a prisoner; according to RadarOnline.com, James has spent a total of 135 days in the hoosegow for various minor felonies and paid $700 worth of fines in the process. Oops. 
Why he's here: He's got a strong country presence about him. And Kara likes to undress him with her eyes...or hands...or tongue.... 
Pre-season Verdict: If the country ladies like Casey as much as Kara does, he'll waltz into the Top 12. Then he runs into Janell Wheeler's fan base at around 9th or 8th and finds tears in his beer. By that point, either he'll be like Bucky Covington and get a country contract or he'll be like Corey Clark and take lessons on how to milk as much money from American Idol judges who have a crush on them and how to outlast their 15 minutes of fame. Isn't that right, Paula? 

Jermaine Sellers 
Where you've seen him: The Atlanta Auditions (January 13) with his mom, who has Spina Bifida. 
Where else you may have seen him: Sang with Phoenix during group auditions (February 10). Mutilates 'Man in the Mirror' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week and then blames the band for it (February 16). Besides being busy on Idol, he's been really busy on both the TV and Music circuit. He's appeared on 106 & Park Generation Gospel and Season 1 of the Gospel Competition Sunday Best, where Jermaine finished in 3rd. He's also toured for Tyler Perry's 'The Marriage Counselor' and has been a background singer during tours with Monica. And he's also performed on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, so he may not be too offended by Simon calling him someone that he could hear on any cruise liner - he's sang there. 
Why he's here: He's got a very pure R&B/Gospel voice, with a lot of experience behind him. 
Pre-season Verdict: He'll be competing against Todrick Hall and Michael Lynche to make the Top 12 (since you're not going to take all 3 R&B singers to fill 6 spots). If he can survive that (and keep his ego in check), he could be a dark horse in this competition. Between his TV experience and his active fan base, he could be one to watch. 

Joe Munoz 
Where you've seen him: During the last day of auditions with 'Man in the Mirror' on Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). 
Where else you may have seen him: As Joe Munoz? Not much. As Jose Munoz, however, you saw him performing all over the place while he was at the Universidad de Sonora. 
Why he's here: He's got a pure pop sound to him. 
Pre-season Verdict: Last year, a young Latino singer by the name of Jorge Nunez surprised America with a booming voice, then couldn't capitalize on it due to his lack of camera time and terrible song choice and got booted the next week. The similarities here seem eerily familiar. 

John Park 
Where you've seen him: The Chicago Auditions (January 19) with his English Major and his 'Nice Bottom End', according to Shania Twain. 
Where else you may have seen him: If you're in the Chicago area or go to Northwestern, you've seen him performing in the Northwestern University acapella group 'Purple Haze'. The group just released an album called Mosaic. 
Why he's here: He's this year's Male token Asian, following the footsteps of legendary stalwarts like Paul Kim, Anoop Desai and Sanjaya Malakar. 
Pre-season Verdict: If that last list of people doesn't thrill you, then neither will this; no male Asian of Chinese/Japanese/Korean descent has gotten past week #1. John could break that trend, but unless he blows the roof off the building, I don't see him progressing much further. 

Lee DeWyze 
Where you've seen him: The Best of the Rest Auditions (February 3) with his guitar that he was not allowed to use.
Where else you may have seen him: He's got a band and has released some albums; So I'm Told (As the Lee DeWyze Band) and Slumberland (as Lee DeWyze). He was also in the horror flick Deadscapes: Broken Road, so if you like dead zombie movies, he's your man. 
Why he's here: He's a Texas rocker with a guitar and he's not afraid to use it. 
Pre-season Verdict: His fan base will give him a chance to shine, and I think he will take advantage. He should make the Top 12, where he will get into a showdown with Crystal Bowersox. Should he win that, he'll put himself in a position to win the whole thing. 

Michael Lynche 
Where you've seen him: The Best of the Rest Auditions (February 3) with his teddy bear and unborn baby, who popped out of the oven during Hollywood week. 
Where else you may have seen him: Maybe not him, but his brother Marques Lynche, who made the semi-finals in season 3 of American Idol. Sings 'Waiting on the World to Change' on Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9). Sang with Team Awesome for Group Day (Feburary 10). Sings 'I'm Yours' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). And you almost didn't see him at all thanks to his dad blabbing that he made the show - a definite no-no, according to Idol producers. 
Why he's here: He's Ruben Studdard 9.0 with a baby. Everyone loves baby stories. Goo goo ga ga.
Pre-season Verdict: And because of that, he'll make the Top 12 easily. Now will he get any further? He will, but my pick is that he'll be the contestant that leaves way too soon and gets the audience wondering if the fix is in (while there will be a perfectly good reason why he got knocked out, but everyone will ignore it because it's way too much fun to go after the establishment. Anarchy!) 

Tim Urban 
Where you've seen him: Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9), with his guitar, singing 'Come Back to Me' and boring Simon Cowell at the same time. 
Where else you may have seen him: Sang with Team Awesome during Group Day (February 10). He's also got a MySpace music page with a bunch of songs on it. 
Why he's here: Because Chris Golightly (who would have gotten this spot instead) was less than upcoming when it came to discussing contracts that he was allegedly currently signed to. Or if you believe Chris, it's because he was let go of a contract and couldn't find the paperwork that proved it (which he should have had on hand just in case he got accepted into the Top 24). Either way, Tim is in because Chris was a dufus. 
Pre-season Verdict: If the judges had no hope for him to make the Top 12, and the producers had no hope for him to be at least teased as a potential during Hollywood week, then we as an audience should have no hope that he gets any further than week #2. 

Todrick Hall 
Where you've seen him: The Dallas Auditions (January 27) with the Fantasia Barrino name-dropping. 
Where else you may have seen him: He sang 'Bad Romance' with Destiny's Wild (February 10). Sings 'I'm Yours' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). In addition to The Color Purple (with the aforementioned Barino), Todrick was also in 'Beauty and the Beast' at Disney World. He also has TV experience, appearing in 'High School Musical 2'. And like Jermaine Sellers, Todrick also did a stint on the cruise line circuit. However, if you're a parent in the Southwest and you paid $50 to have your kid be a star in 'Oz the Musical', you're not going to be too thrilled because Todrick wrote and directed the show, which was canceled and as a result many of those parents never got their $50 deposit fee back. With allegedly over 1,000 complaints logged in, that makes around $50,000 and change that Todrick has a financial (or at least moral) responsibility to. 
Why he's here: He flipped for the judges during 'Bad Romance', and the judges flipped for his voice. 
Pre-season Verdict: He's going to be competing against Jermaine for that last R&B spot to get into the Top 12. I think thanks to Jermaine's previous singing record and Todrick's previous musical failure record (don't forget, it's those same parents and kids who vote), it will be Jermaine that gets the last spot in the Top 12 and Todrick on the outside, looking in. 

Tyler Grady 
Where you've seen him: The Boston Auditions (January 12) with his broken wrists sustained from falling out of a tree. 
Where else you may have seen him: If you like Philly bands, you've seen a lot of him. Tyler is the lead singer of the rock band 'Wailing Waters', which has competed in and won three battle of the bands competitions: Mayfair Festival Band Battle, Croc Rock Band Battlefest and Nazareth Day Battle of the Bands.
Why he's here: He's got the Jim Morrison vibe going on, but he can also sing some R&B. 
Pre-season Verdict: He certainly has the chops to get far if he sings pop songs. However, I think he's going to stay in rock and butt heads with both Lee DeWyze and Casey James, a decision that will result in him getting cut right before the Top 12. 

The Women

Ashley Rodriguez 
Where you've seen her: The Boston Auditions (January 12) with her special place. 
Where else you may have seen her: Sang with Michelle Delamor during group day (February 10). Sings 'Battlefield' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). She's also known as 'Ashley Makailah' and was in the gospel ensemble 'Overjoyed' and R&B group 'Blaque Lyte'. In addition, Ashley, while at the Berklee Performance Center, got to sing with artists such as Philip Bailey, Chaka Kahn, and Berklee alums Lalah Hathaway and Paula Cole. 
Why she's here: She's got a sweet R&B soul voice. 
Pre-season Verdict: She got the look and the chops (not to mention the age range) to go very far. If Haeley Vaughn and Paige Miles leave early, then she will be the lone female R&B singer, which she can use to start gathering a voting block. She could wind up being the last R&B singer standing. 

Crystal Bowersox 
Where you've seen her: The Best of the Rest Auditions (February 3) with her guitar that she was not allowed to use. 
Where else you may have seen her: Sings 'Natural Woman' on Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9). Sings 'If It Makes You Happy' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). She also has a following in Ohio; Crystal was one of the Battle of the Band winners who got to perform with Foreigner for The Andersons 26th Annual Northwest Ohio Rib-Off (apparently the Rib-Off is a big thing in Ohio, and I'm not ribbing.)
Why she's here: She's an indie folk-rocker who's got a unique image that American Idol hasn't seen since Brooke White. 
Pre-season Verdict: Like Brooke White, I think Crystal cruises to the Top 12. Unlike Brooke White, who had no natural predators in her genre, Crystal does, in the form of Lee DeWyze. Should Lee also make the Top 12, then Crystal is going to get derailed sooner rather than later. 

Didi Benami 
Where you've seen her: The Best of the Rest auditions (February 3), with the spirit of her best friend rooting her on.
Where else you may have seen her: Sings 'Terrified' on Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9) under a fake name. Fake, you say? Well, yes - Didi's real first name is 'Vered' (making her full name Vered Didi Benami). Yes folks, Vered is openly Jewish, which makes her one of the first noticeable Jews singing in Idol history. (C-Note: ahem, Elliott Yamin, ahem...)
Why she's here: She's got a great voice and a very emotional back story. 
Pre-season Verdict: Let's see...death of a close loved one propels someone into the Top 12 and further. It worked well for Danny Gokey, who finished in 3rd last season. It will work here as well, and I can see her finishing at around the same position. 

Haeley Vaughn 
Where you've seen her: The Denver Auditions (February 2) with her lisp and premature baby body. 
Where else you may have seen her: Sings 'Change' on Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9). And she sings many things at the Poudre High School talent shows. 
Why she's here: She's an African American who wants to sing country. 
Pre-season Verdict: During her selection, Simon Cowell said that Haeley has the potential to be either cute or annoying. I think she's going to be the latter, and I also think she's going to make the foolish choice of trying to sing country early in a crowded women's country field instead of saving it and singing R&B in a relatively wide open genre. America also sees her as one of the two people who knocked Angela Martin out of the Top 24, and honestly, I think another year of Haeley getting technically better would have served her much more good than throwing her to the lions this year. All of those factors will combine to result in Haeley not making the Top 12. 

Janell Wheeler 
Where you've seen her: The Orlando Auditions (January 20) with her golden locks and her rising sun. 
Where else you may have seen her: Sings a sweet stripped down 'American Boy' on the Day 1 auditions (February 9). Sings 'Closer' with Casey James during group week (February 10). You may have seen her in Orlando, winning 'Orlando's Got Talent', which allowed her to audition in front of the judges. And if you've seen her at University of Florida football games cheering for senior quarterback Tim Tebow, there's a reason; Wheeler, as of right now, is Tebow's 'good' friend (take that as how you read it).
Why she's here: Knockout vocals, knockout look, knockout body. 
Pre-season Verdict: Simon has said in the interviews that he's looking for the next 'Taylor Swift'. Janell certainly seems to fit that package, and she's got all the tools (and vocal range) to win the show. The last blonde bombshell with smarts, a vocal range and the ability to diversify? Carrie Underwood, and we know what happened there. Janelle can sing pop, R&B and country, and with her being well known (though not a front-runner yet), it makes her a huge threat to win the whole thing. 

Katelyn Epperly 
Where you've seen her: The Chicago Auditions (January 19) with her divorced parents and spaced out hair. 
Where else you may have seen her: Both a vocalist and pianist, Katelyn is the former lead singer for the band, Katelyn & the Bruises. The band is considered indie/folk while according to her MySpace page, her music sounds like 'gorillas eating humans'. Her words, not mine. 
Why she's here: The judges like gorillas eating humans. My words, not hers.
Pre-season Verdict: I don't think America will like the sound of gorillas eating humans. If she's too indie and experimental, her chances of winning will be digested by King Kong. I think Katelyn slips on a banana peel on the way to the Top 12. 

Katie Stevens 
Where you've seen her: The Boston Auditions (January 12) with her grandmother who has Alzheimers.
Where else you may have seen her: Singing 'For Once in my Life' on Day 1 of Hollywood Week (February 9). Sings 'No One' with Andrew Garcia during Group Day of Hollywood Week (February 10). And if you go to Pomperaug High School concerts, there she is, accepting her crown for Outstanding Teen by the Greater Watertown Scholarship Pageant. See, she's a good girl, the type you would bring home to mother as she makes a nice apple pie or whatever they bake for a Portuguese family. 
Why she's here: For a 16 year old, she's got an very nice set of pipes. And the producers must have drooled all over themselves when they found this backstory of good little kid helping grandma. 
Pre-season Verdict: The backstory and some good performances in the pop genre could result in Katie sneaking into the Top 12. She has to improve her game if she wants to get any further. 

Lacey Brown 
Where you've seen her: The Best of the Rest Auditions (February 3) with her second chance ticket. 
Where else you may have seen her: Last season, when the judges passed her over in favor of train wreck Megan Joy Corkrey. 
Why she's here: Lacey paid her dues to the Society of American Idol judges. Now before people wonder why she's here and Angela Martin isn't, let's look at the genres; Angela was competing in a very crowded R&B field where 6 singers got in. Lacey is in the not-so-much-crowded pop field, where there are no standouts and she could make a move. 
Pre-season Verdict: But if she doesn't produce quickly, America is only going to remember her as one of the 2 hussies that took Angela Martin's spot. And at that point, the only question is if she leaves during week #1 or week #2. 

Lilly Scott 
Where you've seen her: Performing in the Group Round (February 10) with her bleached white hair. 
Where else you may have seen her: If you're in the Colorado area and you've seen a band named Varlet with a white-haired lead singer, chances are it's her. 
Why she's here: She's got a unique voice and look. Despite bleaching her hair, Lilly is not a rocker and is instead more of a pop singer. 
Pre-season Verdict: If she stays that way and isn't foolish enough to go to either rock or country, she'll make the Top 12. That's when she should diverse and go further than the similar-styled Alexis Grace did. 

Michelle Delamor 
Where you've seen her: The Day 1 Hollywood auditions (February 3), with her guitar singing 'Lullaby of Birdland'. 
Where else you may have seen her: Sang with Ashley Rodriguez during group day (February 10). You may have also seen her modeling a fashion line, as that's what she wants to do when she grows up. Fashion line? 
Why she's here: The judges think she's Pret-A-Porter? 
Pre-season Verdict: So why is she here when she clearly likes fashion more than singing? Oh yes, we need fodder to leave during week #1. She'll suffice. 

Paige Miles 
Where you've seen her: ...WHO? 
Where else you may have seen her: Ok, so you saw a little bit of her during Group Day on Hollywood week (February 10). 
Why she's here: The judges saw something in her that we apparently didn't, because we've seen barely any of her before this point. 
Pre-season Verdict: She has a shot to advance if Haeley foolishly goes country to start. I could see that happening and Paige could come out of nowhere to be another Kris Allen or Latoya London. But if Haeley knocks America's socks off, Paige could be in trouble very early. 

Siobhan Magnus 
Where you've seen her: Day 2 of Hollywood Week with Destiny's Wild. 
Where else you may have seen her: Sings 'Living in the City' during Day 3 of Hollywood Week (February 16). She's also active as the lead singer for the band Lunar Valve. 
Why she's here: The judges like the way she blows. She can blow the notes, and she's an expert glassblower (Mind. Out of. Gutter.)
Pre-season Verdict: She's competing against Lilly Scott for the last spot in the Top 12. I think Lilly's back story and style will edge Siobhan out. 

So to sum this up...
Top 12
Aaron Kelly
Andrew Garcia
Ashley Rodriguez
Casey James
Crystal Bowersox
Didi Benami
Janell Wheeler
Jermaine Sellers
Katie Stevens
Lee DeWyze
Lilly Scott
Michael Lynche
Bubbling Under Or Just gets In:
Haeley Vaughn 
Sioban Mangus
Todrick Hall
Tyler Grady
Top 6
Aaron Kelly
Ashley Rodriguez
Didi Benami
Janell Wheeler
Jermaine Sellers
Lee DeWyze
Final 4
Ashley Rodriguez
Didi Benami
Janell Wheeler
Lee DeWyze
Janell Wheeler
Lee DeWyze
Janell Wheeler

The fun starts this week. Join us then.

Gordon Pepper will be on hand with his columns on who got in, who got out, why they got in, why they got out, and anything else you may need or want to know or not know. Meanwhile, e-mail him at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.