You didn't seriously think the networks were going to let a month go by without a singing competition to sweeten the ratings, did you? And we certainly didn't hope you thought Fox would let January pass without its star show. Yep: American Idol descends upon us once more, specifically by descending upon Savannah, Georgia to find the worst and best voices the country has to offer and hasn't already offered during the show and its followers' umpteen other seasons.
We'll be watching along, of course, because that's what we do. And we'll bring our ultra-comprehensive power rankings we did for The X Factor to Idol, that show's big sister. But before the show, we're bringing back another tradition: the prop bets! Predict what'll go down in Georgia, maybe make a dollar or two (note: Popdust does not endorse actual gambling et cetera so on so forth), then check back tomorrow for our take.
How many golden tickets will be given out?
Fewer than 10: +250
Fewer than 30: +100
Fewer than 50: 0
Fewer than 70: +500
More than 70: +1000 and a nap voucher for the producers
Which song will appear first?
Anything by Michael, Stevie, Celine, Whitney, Mariah or Alicia: -500
"Rolling in the Deep": -100
"Forget You": +200
Anything by J. Lo or Aerosmith (sorry, Randy): +300
Nobody will do any of these: +500 to your score and our Idol respect
What'll be closest to the proportion of crappy auditions to great ones:
Entirely crappy auditions: +500
Entirely great ones: +2500, but Idol immediately gets canceled, rendering your bets null and void
Who will be the first to cry:
An auditioner: -100
An auditioner's family and/or posse: -50
Simon Cowell will show up from The X Factor to provide deus ex cross-promotional tears: +5000
How many girls will Steven hit on?
Fewer than three: -50, but much
Fewer than five: +100
Fewer than eight: +300
Fewer than twelve: +500
More than twelve: +1000
Everyone who auditions: +2000, to your score and to his number
How many of Steven's statements will even make sense?
Less than one-quarter: +250
Less than one-half: +100
Less than three-quarters: 0
All of them: +200
How long into the episode will J.Lo's annoying Fiat commercial run?
Less than 15 minutes in: -100
Less than a half-hour in: -0
Less than an hour in: +50
Toward the end: +250
It'll never air: +500
Who will say "in it to win it" first?
A successful auditioner: -50
An unsuccessful auditioner: +50
Which past Idol winner will be mentioned first?
Kelly Clarkson: -500
Carrie Underwood: -200
Scotty McCreery: -100
Jordin Sparks: 0
David Cook: +50
Fantasia Barrino: +100
Kris Allen: +200
Ruben Studdard: +500
Taylor Hicks: +1000
Lee DeWyze: +2000
How long will the longest note be held?
Fewer than 10 seconds: -200
More than 10 seconds: +250
What nudity-related stunt will a contestant pull first?
The full monty: +500
None of these: -250
Will there be any awkward allusions to Ryan Seacrest possibly-maybe leaving?
Will there be any awkward digs at The Voice and/or X Factor?
How long will the longest obvious joke/viral-video bait audition (think "Pants on the Ground") last?
Fewer than 10 minutes: -100
More than 10 minutes: +500
How long will it take for the contestants to marvel at how a contestant's so young?
Less than an hour: -200
More than a hour: +200
They won't: +500
What will be the most arduous tale of how auditioners got to Savannah?
Traveling hundreds of miles: -250
Traveling thousands of miles: -100
Traveling lots of miles despite their car breaking down: +50
Traveling lots of miles despite their parents disapproving: +250
Traveling lots of miles and simultaneously experiencing a sob story: +500
Embarking upon a Rat Race-style comedy of errors just to make it to Idol: +1000
Will an auditioner proudly announce that she traveled all the way to Savannah because her name is Savannah?
Yes, but her travel and dreams will be thwarted: +100
Yes, and she'll make it: +500
When will the Internet start complaining about so-called "plant" contestants with prior record deals?
Immediately, over Twitter: +200
A few hours later, on forums / after Wikipedia comes back up: -100
The next morning: 0
A few days later: +200
Nobody will ever complain about this: +1000