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American Idol

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Early 'Idol' Favorites

We predict the frontrunners of the FOX reality competition

Sure, the judges have only hit a handful of cities. It's never too early to predict who could zoom into the top 12.

JONATHAN BAINES
There's always one nonthreateningly cute boy that gets tween fingers dialing. Unlike some of the past hopefuls to fill those shoes (we mean you, John Stevens and Sanjaya), this 17-year-old has a killer voice to go with his adorably shaggy hair.

KRISTY LEE COOK
Her personal story (she lives in a log cabin!) and model-worthy looks are just the icing on the cake. So what if she once had a record deal? Kristy Lee's rendition of ''Amazing Grace'' should carry her all the way to the finals.

PIA ''ZPIA'' EASLEY
We're a little scared of what look like facial tattoos. And we don't get the nickname. But we're positive Pia ''Zpia'' is one of the most interesting singers Idol has ever found. Her audition left even Simon slack-jawed.

MICHAEL JOHNS
Normally, we would comment on his pitch-perfect rendition of ''I've Been Loving You Too Long.'' But those biceps and that Australian accent have pretty much left us incapable of stringing more than a few words together.

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Originally posted Jan 25, 2008 Published in issue #976 Feb 01, 2008 Order article reprints