On Thursday night, "American Idol" revealed its Top 12 finalists for the ninth season of the hit show. MTV News "Idol" expert Jim Cantiello whipped up a handy cheat sheet for each finalist, breaking down each candidate's journey thus far. He also got the "Idol" hopefuls to weigh in when he caught up with them at Thursday night's Top 12 Party in Hollywood.
With angsty rock vocals and a troubled-youth past, Lee Dewyze is the brooding bad boy of this "Idol" season. Lee's weathered voice shares traits with rock superstars like Chad Kroeger and Daughtry, which might explain why the judges are especially supportive of Dewyze's "Idol" journey.
Best Performance: Simon may have loved Lee's "Chasing Cars," but we thought his unexpected take on Owl City's "Fireflies"
showed more promise. Plus, it was the only time the former paint salesman looked like he was having fun onstage.
Weakest Performance: Dewyze struggled to stay on pitch during Hinder's "Lips of an Angel." He also struggled to keep his pants up, making him look like a low-level amateur.
Tragic Backstory: We found out last week that Lee was kicked out of public school ... for something. In a sincere interview package, Dewyze pointed to music (and his teachers) as an inspiration to change his troubled ways.
Why He Will Win: Lee's voice is a slam dunk for radio, and the only thing "Idol" fans like more than voting for their fave is to see their fave's music move up the charts. It appears Simon Cowell has picked Lee to be his pet project, too, yet he talks about him as if he's the dark horse of the season. A dark horse who's also getting plugged by Cowell? It seems foolproof! Finally, Dewyze is starting to attract a heavily female cougar fanbase, and it wouldn't be the first time those ladies have pushed a dude to the top of the heap.
Why He Will Lose: Lee's constant battle with pitch may prevent him from ever having a true "moment."
What He Should Sing: If given the chance, Dewyze should return to the modern rock format, but deviate from vocalists who share a similar rasp. How about the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge"?
On His Least Favorite Performance, "Chasing Cars": "I was so nervous and [the judges] said I was pitchy and I knew I was. It was nerve-wracking, you know? And I looked at myself and was like, 'What are you doing?' But I'm kind of one of those guys that just gets up there and jams."
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