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Carly and Kristy (and others) had record deals. They blew that shot. So they're not underdogs, they're seasoned pros. From what I read the only true "out of nowhere" contestant in the final 12 was Amanda who had no industry ties and was plucked from the small towns of Indiana. And of course she was out quickly. David A. is probably the most experience professional in the top 12 and everyone thinks he's this innocent little kid getting his first chance.. nothing could be farther from the truth.
I have a feeling if David A. wins that we may have witnessed the season that AI jumped the shark. They've been focusing on Randy Jackson and Paula's careers propping them up. It's the same thing that happens in network TV series that almost always ruin them.. you know where they have a show about doctors or cops or lawyers and at first they have interesting cases to deal with.. but slowly they start focusing more and more on side personal stories and then eventually they start inserting their cast into nearly every case or crime.. they all get kidnapped or nearly die or some other major tragedy happens and then they sort of pass it around and the shows collapse... happens over and over... so AI now is clearly biasing towards a specific set of competitors and they are focusing more and more on people who won/competed before, or who run the show. And they're also being used by the labels to release albums and promote movies and products to the point where the music is barely even part of the show. Sure, it's always been a commercial bonanza, but they've gotten lazy with it all and it's wearing people out on it. David A. will be the final nail in their coffin and you'll see major declines the next two seasons until they put it out of it's misery when one of more of the judges is out of their contract. Then we'll have something else to obsess over.