Starting tonight, "American Idol" gets really real. The Top 4 will be performing songs from the movies, and it will also feature a pair of duets. The four remaining contestants — Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Michael Lynche and Casey James — all have a pretty clear shot at winning the whole thing (though everybody seems to think that the finals will come down to DeWyze and Bowersox).
But who has really made the best case for being the winner of "American Idol" in its ninth season? Let's take a look at the four remaining contestants.
Despite some recent slip-ups, she remains the frontrunner and the one to beat. It's unclear where her votes are coming from, though being the only woman left on the show certainly works in her favor. If she can remind everybody why we fell in love with her in the first place, she should plow towards the finale and we'll be grooving to her album in November.
In the past two weeks, DeWyze has made a case for himself as the other frontrunner. He's a charming guy with a dynamic enough voice who has managed to dance around some of the left field genres better than Bowersox over the course of the last few episodes.
Though he's probably the biggest longshot, you shouldn't underestimate the power of rock on "American Idol." James' voice may be spotty, but his guitar skills are spot-on, and if he manages to exploit his own talents in a direction that works for him (not unlike David Cook did two seasons ago), he could sweep in from the rear and make a race out of it.
Big Mike is the true wild card. Though he hasn't done the best job establishing his own personality (of all the finalists remaining, Lynche's is the hardest album to imagine), but perhaps he could spin that into the kind of dynamism that carried Blake Lewis a few years back. He has had truly great performances and profoundly awful ones, so his survival on the show will undoubtedly be dictated by the strength of his vocals.
With all that in mind, vote in our poll for who you think will be winning this season of "American Idol." We'll take a look at the results tomorrow, and be sure to let us know your thoughts on the four finalists in the comments!