High school senior revealed Idol’s top 24 early by talking to contestants, researching

An 18-year-old high school senior correctly predicted the top 24 semi-finalists last week, long before the final Hollywood round episode of American Idol 6 aired.

The list Ricky Hoggard Holman posted was first “brushed off because names like fan favorite, Baylie Brown, had been left off,” according to Access Hollywood. But unlike most people posting stuff online, he actually had reliable sources and did research.

He “talked to seven contestants who were let go in groups, six who got booted during the rooms cut and … 5 who were let go in the Top 40,” plus “at least two low-level staffers” from the show, according to Access Hollywood’s Dish of Salt blog.

In addition, “[h]e checked Myspace, personal web pages and Googled for any other tidbits. He knew that once you reach the Top 40, all personal web pages must come down. The domain name fiasco of last season caused a change in the way Idol handled things. Still, a website under construction was a good sign, he said. Myspace pages sometimes yielded a chance to send an email, or to hit up one of their friends for information which led to phone numbers: Did your friend audition for ‘American Idol?’ Did they make it through to Hollywood? Can you tell me any of the names of other people who auditioned? The information poured in.”