American Idol Durbin
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Eight weeks after we met our Top 13 in March, we are now halfway through American Idol‘s finalist round, with six contestants fighting for the title. (Well, not really halfway, but season 10 doesn’t boast a half-competitor to make it official. Plus since when have entertainment journalists been good at math?) So, with just weeks left in the competition, I’m finding myself looking back on the season thus far, which has waffled between having a clear-cut favorite to being completely devoid of any frontrunner at all. And, boy, how things have changed! If you asked me back when we were first introduced to Idol‘s Top 13 who would become Your. American. Idol., I would have named our jazzy Fraggle Rock Casey without any hesitation. Now, I can’t help thinking (sadly) that Casey’s niched days are numbered.

Instead, someone I wrote off as an Adam Lambert-wannabe back in March has emerged as not only a contender for the crown, but one of my favorite contestants in several seasons as well: James Durbin. Even after hearing him audition in February, I pegged him for an Idol sob story that would never truly get off the ground on the show. But lo and behold, he has gotten off the ground, leaping high above Idol‘s other competitors with not only his vocal strength, but his undeniable stage presence. This is exactly the reason this season has been so much fun to watch: Seeing a tossed-aside contestant (at least in my mind) grow into a fan favorite is as brilliant as J.Lo’s fashion choices.

But I want to toss this out to you, PopWatchers. Eight weeks ago, who did you think would take the title? And who do you think will win now?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

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