I was recently interviewed by the Nashau Telegraph about the odds that Alex will win the big prize. You can read it there for some of my thoughts, but let me give a few more details here:
Demographically, Alex has the makings of a winner, for sure. The well known white-guys-with-guitars phenomenon is certainly in play, and Alex resembles David Cook, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, and Phil Phillips to a certain extent. To wit: they take songs and re-arrange them to fit the WGWG milieu.
Indeed, Alex has charted near the top of the Top 3 Tracker since the 2nd week of the finals, when his popularity shot up, and he started getting rave reviews on the internet. He has never been in the Bottom 3, unlike Sam, C.J., Dexter, Malaya, and arguably Jena (who was a wildcard).
That being said, the Top 3 Tracker really only tries to guess the Top 3, not the winner. A good example of why this is can be seen in last year’s contest. Angie Miller was rated the most likely Top 3 contestant, but was eliminated in the Top 3 to give a finale with Kree Harrison and Candice Glover. Why? Most likely because Amber Holcomb’s votes transferred to Candice rather than to Angie. There is a huge amount of unpredictability present when going from 4 people to 3.
So consider a Top 4 made up of Alex, Caleb, Jena, and Jessica. Suppose further that Jessica is eliminated. Supposing that people would switch voting (rather than just cease their voting), to whom would her votes go? Your guess is as good as mine. If the voter likes classic rock, the obvious choice is to Caleb. If they like singer-songwriters, Alex becomes most likely. And if they just prefer women, Jena would be the biggest beneficiary.
My instinct is that Alex is about 50/50 to win the year. His numbers look good, he’s shown that he’s not prone to stumbling badly, his demographic profile is similar to the plurality of winners. That being said, recall that David Archuleta initially looked like the winner running away early in season 7, as did Crystal Bowersox in season 9.