Who are the early favorites? Ashley and Katie? Didi and Janell? We break down the Top 12 women before the Top 24
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Katie Stevens of 'American Idol'
Think: A better version of Diana DeGarmo
Our Unscientific Hunch Before the Top 24: A clear early favorite. She's got a touching backstory -- Grandma with Alzheimers -- a terrific voice and the producers have rather aggressively positioned her as a strong contender. And who are we not to listen to the producers? One thing to keep in mind, though, is that teens who act like teens aren't always favorites with the "Idol" voters, who seem to favor preternaturally mature and composed teens (Jordin Sparks, Allison Iraheta) over the more bubbly, more nervous, more authentic, more human variety. That caveat aside, if Katie makes a run into the Top 5, nobody will be even slightly surprised. Then again, does anybody remember Stevie Wright? Teen with a great voice from last season? Probably would have been a safe Top 10 pick at the start of the Top 36? Flamed out horribly in Week One? You never know what young singers will do when the spotlight goes on.