KELLY CLARKSON (U.S.) A down-home girl with a powerhouse voice, Clarkson beat out curly-haired heartthrob Justin Guarini-then starred with him in the worst movie of 2003, From Justin to Kelly. But the singing career of this former cocktail waitress from Texas is still going strong, and she’s favoured to win the World Idol title (5-2 odds).
WILL YOUNG (U.K.) The original Pop Idol and a big star at home, Young, 24, is openly gay, has a poli-sci degree, and can converse about pop iconography and capitalism. He favours jazz standards but will perform the Doors’ Light My Fire at World Idol. Oddsmakers have him as runner-up to Clarkson (3-1).
GUY SEBASTIAN (AUSTRALIA) Possibly the most musically proficient of the bunch, Sebastian is a high-school vocal coach and recording engineer who plays piano, drums and guitar—and is a prolific songwriter. But it’s thought the 22-year-old Pentecostal Church singer won the first Australian Idol because he declared he’s a virgin and won’t have sex until he’s married (6-1).
THE MIDDLE CONTESTANTS:
ALEXANDER KLÂWS (GERMANY) Known as the housewife’s favourite, Klaws, 20, nearly dropped out of the German competition in the semifinals because of inflamed vocal chords (8-1).
HEINZ W1NCKLER (SOUTH AFRICA) After winning his country’s title, this hunky law student, 25, provided the theme song to the Disney movie Treasure Planet (8-1).
RYAN MALCOLM (CANADA) Oddsmakers have our guy tied for sixth place (10-1).
JAMAI LOMAN (NETHERLANDS) The youngest idol, 17-year-old Loman was a high-school student before winning the competition and a recording contract (10-1).
ALiCJA JANOSZ (POUND) This 18-year-old student looks like a cross between Bjork and Avril Lavigne, and sings in an Avril-ish pop-punk style (14-1).
THE BOTTOM THREE:
PETER EVRARD (BELGIUM) the oldest contestant, Evrard is a 29-year-old construction worker, married and with two sons. Known for his long hair and what the Belgians call a “satanic goatee,” Evrard will be the only world idoler who dabbles in heavy metal (14-1).
KURT NILSEN (NORWAY) This 25-year-old smalltown plumber, who has two kids with his longtime girlfriend, has achieved minor success with his band, Fenrik Lane: its first single, a cover of Canadian Tal Bachman’s She’s So High, was No. 1 in Norway for 11 weeks (20-1).
DIANA KARAZON (JORDAN) Karazon, a 19-yearold aviation student, battled finalists from 12 nations to become the first Arab idol-and the only one on this list who doesn’t sing in English. On the second-to-last episode of the dramatic Arabic competition, Karazon and her competitor, a young woman from Syria, both fainted on live TV and had to be carried offstage (20-1).
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