'Renegade' Daughtry Is Odds-On Favorite to Win 'American Idol'

With "American Idol" about to be cut to its final four contestants, Chris Daughtry, the show's resident rocker, has emerged as a 2-1 favorite to be crowned the next champ.

"He's got a different type of singing voice, a little fluttery," Wynn Las Vegas oddsmaker John Avello said to ABC News Radio.

Each of the final five contestants was asked to perform two songs Tuesday night, with one of them being a Billboard hit the year that they were born.

Daughtry, 26, got high marks for his choice of the Styx chart-topper "Renegade." The curmudgeonly Simon Cowell said he "sang rings" around the competition, and the other judges agreed.

Avello believes the greatest challenge to the McLeansville, N.C., native is Katharine McPhee, at 3-1. As if to confirm her underdog status, the 21-year-old from Los Angeles sang Phil Collins' "Against All Odds."

Unfortunately, Cowell thought that McPhee's performance was a mess and that the song ran away from her. She received a better response from the panel with her later performance of "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree."

With another contestant set to be voted off tonight, the odds are not as good for the remaining three. Avello has Taylor Hicks at 4-1, Elliott Yamin at 7-1, and Paris Bennett at 10-1.

Hicks 'Just Seems to Be Connecting'

Hicks opened with Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music," and judge Randy Jackson called it a wild choice. Fellow panelist Paula Abdul had some kind words, but Cowell likened it to a horrible "wedding performance."

Hicks closed out the show with The Beatles' "Something," and Cowell complimented his singing abilities.

Yamin seemed to stumble through George Benson's "On Broadway." Jackson and Abdul thought he got off to a bad start but picked up steam. Though the judges had kinder words for his second performance of Michael Bubles' "Home," Cowell picked up on the lyric, "I wanna go home," suggesting that the 27-year-old might be headed back to Richmond, Va., sooner than he'd like.

Bennett, the youngest contestant at 17, opened with Prince's "Kiss," which Cowell called "screechy." She closed with Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You."

"Taylor, the entertaining one of the group, seems to get a lot of votes every week. The question is why is he getting those votes every week? I don't know, maybe it's where he lives," said Avello, who calls Hicks an "average singer" who "just seems to be connecting with the audience right now."

"I don't think Paris is the weaker, but I do know that her rapport with the viewers is not good."

Though betting on the outcome of a TV show is against the law in Nevada, Avello is following the competition like a sporting event, and updating his just-for-fun odds from week to week.

ABC Radio's Al Mancini in Las Vegas and ABCNEWS.com's Buck Wolf contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...