Without Siobhan Magnus, Crystal Bowersox Clear ‘American Idol’ Favorite

Regular viewers of “American Idol” are all too aware this season’s edition lacks much of the punch of previous seasons.

It seems unlikely another Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson will emerge from this group. And there certainly is no one who can match the stage presence – or create as much controversy – as Adam Lambert did last year.

As a Today Show blog correctly indicated, tattooed Massachusetts glassblower Siobhan Magnus was perhaps the closest thing. Her often quirky appearance was beset by a powerful voice, but one that had clearly been dimming in the eyes of the judges in recent weeks, due in part to misplaced theatrics.

After somewhat surprisingly being bounced from “Idol” last night, it’s fair to say two things:

  1. The decision will leave some thinking, like me and perhaps you, that Magnus should have been allowed to stay longer because of the mediocrity of most of the other remaining contestants.
  2. If it wasn’t already, the title is clearly Crystal Bowersox’s to lose.

I’ve liked Crystal from the beginning – her personality, her humility and her style of music. Her rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee” was wonderful in her eerie similarity to Janis Joplin in tone and appearance.

Is there another Kris Allen lurking here to take the title? If you recall – and granted memory can be quite short when it comes to these things – Allen, the Arkansas church musician, gained momentum in the final weeks to trip Lambert at the finish line. The answer is maybe, but probably not.

Lee DeWyze is probably the closest bet. Almost camera shy at the outset, DeWyze has parlayed his guitar strumming Dave Matthews-ish appearance into rising status. For it to be enough to knock off Bowersox – or even make it to the final – may be a stretch.

But without Magnus, that road became wide open.

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