Published May 16, 2003
NEW YORK – One thing's for sure about next week's American Idol finale: It's going to be anyone's game.
Yesterday, an offshore gaming Web site, Betwwts.com, posted its odds on who the winner will be -- and it's a real toss-up between the show's two finalists.
Its odds-makers have Ruben Studdard as the favorite with 4/5 odds. But Clay Aiken is right behind him at even money.
But with an average of about 20 million votes being cast each week and a thin margin -- less than 2 percent -- separating Ruben from Clay, there could easily be an upset.
Even snarky judge Simon Cowell said earlier this week on the Tonight show that Studdard is his favorite to win.
"Ultimately I think it's going to be Clay," said Q104 radio host Zach Martin. "From an industry standpoint, he's got that certain way about him where he's just a little bit more endearing than Ruben. He's got that mass appeal effect. Ruben's the kind of guy that you'll root for because you relate to him on a personal level," he says.
Of the two, Martin thinks that Studdard might have the star-power to sell more records than Aiken, although at this point it really doesn't matter -- the runner up is almost guaranteed to land a recording contract anyway.
"Win or lose, if you make it as one of the finalists you definitely have some sort of career," he said.