It would be a huge upset if the preternaturally gifted 16-year-old wins Season 11 of American Idol on Wednesday. Online odds-makers unanimously consider the Dave Matthews-influenced Phillip Phillips to be the favorite — which would make him the fifth consecutive white guy with a guitar to take the prize. Ireland’s Intrade gives Phillips a 78% chance of winning. At Curacao-based Pinnacle, a $1 bet on Phillips would pay $1.262, while one on Sanchez would pay $4.22 if she wins. Antigua’s Intertops says $1 should pay $1.40 on Phillips and $2.75 on Sanchez. And at Bodava, based in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Canada, a $13 bet on Phillips would net you a $4 profit if he wins while $2 on Sanchez would pay $5. What to do? As far as I’m concerned, nothing. Despite the show’s hype about the democratic nature of its “nationwide vote,” we know little about who casts ballots and how accurately their votes are counted. Frank Luntz isn’t out there conducting focus groups. Still, if you’re foolish enough to bet on the outcome, why not be bold? Perhaps NBC’s The Voice this year lured away some of the viewers pre-disposed to support a good looking guy. Maybe Sanchez will win the lion’s share of people who supported gospel-influenced singer Joshua Ledet, voted off last week. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’ll admit that Idol is a guilty pleasure — and that I admire Sanchez’s musical intelligence, vocal control, versatility, and nerve. I’d like to see her shake things up. The show’s producers, and record label, probably should as well just to make the cheesy proceedings a little less predictable. As the New York Lottery says, hey, you never know.
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