Who will have a career after American Idol wraps in May?

It’s no secret. Winning American Idol doesn’t guarantee success after the show. Ask Taylor Hicks. Likewise, plenty of contestants who got the boot never looked back. Ask Chris Daughtry.

Tampa Bay’s two Season 11 American Idol finalists both made an early exit. After being saved by Jennifer Lopez, Valrico’s Jeremy Rosado was eliminated in week 1 of the finals. Tampa’s Shannon Magrane left the show the week after. Neither will be required to tour with the Idol Top 10. Maybe that could give them an early jump start on a solo career?

What about the comical Heejun Han, Justin Bieber lookalike Eben Franckewitz, country standout Skylar Laine, or will Phillip Phillips‘ brand of Dave Matthews raspy pop sell?

Tampa’s Play 98.7 Program Director Bob Neumann agrees that contestants shouldn’t be discouraged if America’s vote doesn’t put them at the top: “It seems the best ones rarely finish first… minus the obvious few.”

Play 98.7’s playlist features Idol’s winners like Kelly Clarkson and its share of runner ups like Adam Lambert and Daughtry.

So who has that it factor this season? According to Neumann, Colton Dixon has a great shot: “He’s got a great voice, and the right look to market.” Last week, Dixon advanced after performing Skylar Grey’s “Love The Way You Lie.”

American Idol judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson say this year’s talent pool is the best yet. But they’re trying to keep the show’s ratings from sinking.

Who do you think has a good chance of a successful music career after the American Idol finale airs in May? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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