I spent weeks on end predicting Aaron Kelly's demise on "American Idol," only to see the kid squeak by week after week while his barely-superior brethren (and sistren) were shown the door in his stead. Last week, I boldly went against the grain and declared that Casey James would be the biggest loser, only to see Kelly finally given the boot. So you would think that I would have learned my lesson about going against the general consensus when it comes to predicting who will be the next contestant to be denied a victory.
And yet despite the fact that most everybody — including fellow "American Idol" experts Jim Cantiello and MJ Santilli — seems to believe that Casey James has plucked his final guitar lick, I can't help but thinking that this is the end for Michael Lynche. Big Mike has been hanging by a thread since he was rescued a few weeks back, and his performance of Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" was a perfect storm of "Idol" failure: Terrible song choice, boring vocal, strained performance and utter lack of presence despite an assist from that wacky choir. Though James' "Mrs. Robinson" wasn't anything special vocally, his cougar-friendly looks and inventive redirection of the song should buy him one more week in the spotlight. But don't worry, Casey: You'll be sent home soon enough so Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze can duke it out for the "Idol" championship.
With only a few episodes to go, the standings are as tight as they have ever been. Since there are some seriously divergent opinions this week, it could easily decide who comes out on top in the end.
Gil Kaufman: 9-of-17
Jim Cantiello: 8-of-17
MJ Santilli: 7-of-17
Who do you think will be the next "American Idol" contestant to be eliminated? Let us know in the comments!