Seven of Idol’s eight Southerners remain, despite being underrepresented in the top 24

When American Idol‘s top 24 were unveiled, a minority were from the South. That’s significant because every single winner so far has been a Southerner.

However, as the New York Times points out, only two of this season’s eight Southerners have been eliminated. (I initially counted seven, excluding LaKisha, who FOX says is from Maryland; tangentially, some of her more annoying supporters want to insist she’s from Flint, where she was born.)

Perhaps more importantly, two of those initial eight, Melinda and LaKisha, are easily the favorites to win. The other remaining Southerners are Haley Scarnato, Chris Richardson, Chris Sligh, and Phil Stacey.

Not that Melinda or LaKisha need any additional support, but the Times also notes that this year, as last year, more viewers are from the South. Last year, “the South accounted for 39 percent of ‘Idol’ viewers, compared with 21 percent each in the Northeast and North Central regions and 19 percent in the West.” This year, “the two-hour season premiere had a 34.7 share in Atlanta, compared with 22.3 in New York and 18.2 in Los Angeles.”

On ‘Idol,’ the South Rises Again … and Again [New York Times]