Paul McDonald, Lauren Alaina, or Scotty McReery likely to win “American Idol”

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By Kim Palacios If history is any indicator of what’s to come, the winner of “American Idol” may be easy to predict. Given the trend of southerners winning seven of the first nine seasons, it follows that Paul McDonald, Lauren Alaina, or Scotty McReery might come out on top.

Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, David Cook, and Kris Allen all had roots in the south. In fact the only two “Idol” winners who aren’t from that region were Lee DeWyze and Jordin Sparks.

Ratings data from some seasons suggests that higher viewership in the Southern U.S. may contribute to the advantage enjoyed by contestants. Yet, this may go beyond a mere show of support for the region—some of the more memorable non-winners who have seen sustained popularity are also from the south.

Also in their favor: Lauren Alaina (Rossville, GA) and Scotty McReery (Garner, NC) have never found themselves in the bottom three. Paul McDonald (Huntsville, AL) did this week, though we know he wasn’t in the bottom two—Naima Adedopo and Thia Megia were both voted off.

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