American Idol outright preview
The ninth season might be Simon Cowell's last appearance but American Idol is still as popular as ever. Cowell is joined by regular judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi as well as Paula Abdul's replacement Ellen DeGeneres in the hunt for the next American Idol.
The regional auditions are through with and we are now down to the final 24. This is broken down in to the top 12 males and the top 12 females.
Here is a quick rundown of the top five current favourites to help you decide where your money can go.
Andrew Garcia (7/2)
This 24 year old from California goes straight in as favourite. Even in this early stage, this man seems to epitomise what this type of show is all about. He is a young father, struggling to make a better life for his young family, has no formal vocal training and has been thrown in to the spotlight with an impressive acoustic audition. Will he be able to keep up this early lead?
Didi Benami (8/1)
Didi is a 23 year old from Hollywood with big aspirations in the music industry. She notes her influences as Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell and John Lennon. She wowed the judges with her rendition of the judge Kara DioGuardi's own song Terrified. Her sound also acoustic, the music clearly means a lot to her as she dedicates her career to her ex-band mate who tragically died in a car accident.
Katie Stevens (8/1)
Katie is one of the youngest of this year's finalists at 17 and hails from Connecticut. She says she has been singing from the age of three. Katie dedicates all her success to her grandmother to whom she is close. As her grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's she is hungry for success to show, he sound is soulful and cites Whitney Houston as her biggest musical influence.
Crystal Bowersox (9/1)
This single mother from Ohio wants to make a better life for her son. She says it's not about the money but doing something that she loves. With her acoustic guitar she got the crowd on her feet with her take on Aretha Franklins You Make me Feel. Simon Cowell described her as "infectious and real".
Ashley Rodriguez (10/1)
This 22 year old from Maine rounds off four women in the top five artists in our betting. It has been her dream ever since she was little to make it as a singer. Simon Cowell says whatever "it" is - Ashley could have "it". Even Victoria Beckham, one of the guest judges, said she was beautiful and talented. Her rendition of Alicia Keys' If I Ain't Got You was how she staked her place as an early front-runner.