If you believe the pop-culture peeps at Entertainment Weekly, this week's cover boy Adam Lambert isn't just the favorite to win season eight of American Idol, the guy-linered howler is also a sexually ambiguous revolutionary. It's a pretty drooly endorsement from EW. But don't go engraving that trophy just yet: Danny Gokey and Kris Allen, also in the Final Three, might have even bigger fan bases. With tonight's judges' choice theme — each contestant will warble one song selected by the judges, then one song selected by themselves — we handicap Idol's remaining boys club:
Why he'll win: Thanks to an easy charm and a tragic backstory, the Gokester, a.k.a. Robert Downey Jr. Jr., has been a vote-gobbling dynamo all year. If I recall, David Cook also had family sadness and an unflappable manner — and things turned out rather well for that young man.
Why he won't: Forgetting lyrics is one thing. Butchering Aerosmith's Dream On to the point of screechy, cat-exploding horror is another. Meeouch! Last week might have sealed his fate.
Why he'll win: Despite having Jim Nabors' jawline, Allen is the show's heartthrob and could win it all on the Tiger Beat vote. Don't underestimate the power of 12-year-old girls with super-heroic texting thumbs.
Why he won't: He's not a terrible singer, but do you see him selling albums, concert tickets? His future is TV, possibly the next incarnation of 90210. He'll play down-to-earth Midwesterner Larry, looking to school rich girls in humility … and passion!
Why he'll win: By mixing metal, emo and Broadway, Adam "Silence of the" Lambert proved to be must-see TV, an octave-spanning eye-opener who was one part Axl Rose, two parts the Cure — and maybe a little Liza Minnelli thrown in there, too.
Why he won't: Let's break this down. The Grandma and soccer mom vote goes to Danny. Tween and teen girls go for Kris. I'll vote for Adam, but will you? He's unlike anything Idol has ever seen — but in this day and age of pop conformity, that, sadly, might spell doom. Stay tuned …