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American Idol Spoiler Jermaine Sellers Has Serious Potential

Updated on January 11, 2010

Sellers Has Amazing RnB Pipes, But Will It Make Him an American Idol Favorite?

American Idol 9 kicks off on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. The usual American Idol spoilers are making the rounds on the American Idol blogs and forums. An interesting RnB contestant has emerged by the name of Jermaine Sellers. He certainly has the vocal skills to be a potential American Idol favorite. But will his image and genre as a male RnB singer hamper or hurt his chances of winning the crown of American Idol champion?

Certainly, Jermaine has some serious pipes in his chosen genre of RnB. He has television experience, having performed on BET before in a singing competition. You can see Jermaine Sellers performing "Keep Your Head to the Sky" on YouTube. He has an incredible range and vocal control. His tone is not the most unique, but it is very good, as well.

The questions that remain about Jermaine are his versatility and power. Power is generally not so important for male American Idol contestants, however. The fans love to hear the glory notes from the girls. But even Adam Lambert, arguably the most powerful singer in Idol history, failed to secure the victory against a much weaker Kris Allen.

Versatility, on the other hand, can help a contestant emerge as a favorite. Showing versatility at all the genres and theme weeks chosen by Idol avoids the problem of having "off" weeks. This can occur many times unless the singer can mold a genre to fit his own style. We don't really know the extent of Jermaine Sellers' versatility at this point. Jermaine seems to be a natural fit for RnB. He will definitely draw comparisons to someone like Stevie Wonder.

However, drawing comparisons to someone like Stevie Wonder is a double-edged sword. It suggests technical vocal abilities, but it also suggests a lack of uniqueness and originality. American Idol fans and music fans in general will often say that they've "heard that a million times before." They tend to want something new and fresh instead of the same rehashed sounds and vocal types. One way Jermaine can avoid this is by showing more versatility. If he came out and pulled off a country or rock song, he would instantly gain new fans.

If Jermaine gets through the judges to the voting rounds and is "pimped" hard by the judges, Jermaine can easily make the Top 12. Of course, almost anyone can do that if given the right on-air treatment. I have a feeling Jermaine will be pimped hard by the judges because it has been a long time since Idol has produced a successful RnB male singer like Jermaine. He is probably the best singer of his type to come along since Elliott Yamin, who finished in third place in Season 5.

Ultimately, it is too early at this point to predict how Jermaine Sellers will do this season on American Idol. He is the type of singer that does not historically do well on Idol, but he also appears to be one of the best in that genre in a long time. He will probably get through to the voting rounds. If he has been featured on television up to that time in a positive light, Jermaine will probably make the Top 12. How far he goes after that is a mystery at this point because we need to see how he handles the pressure of all the landmines that Idol sets for its contestants.

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