Early American Idol Season 18 Odds – Which Judge Will Be Fired/Leave First? Gender of Winner

The American Idol stage
It's American Idol time again! How will season 18 fare? “Photo by [RadioFan] ([Wiki Commons]) [CC License].”
  • Season 18 of American Idol debuted on February 16, 2020
  • So far, six women and eleven men have won Idol. What gender will this year’s winner be?
  • With the new season having just premiered, we forecast how the finale will go down

It’s American Idol time again, folks. It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since Kelly Clarkson won the first season back in the early 2000s. A lot has happened since then– especially for Idol.

On top of already crowning 17 champions (more on that later), the show has gone through major changes since its inception. We’ve seen switch-ups on the judging panel, a jump to a new network, and the show officially ‘ending’ on Fox before being revived by ABC.

You never know what’s going to happen on American Idol. But that’s really half the fun, isn’t it?

Sportsbooks have posted three new prop bets on Season 18: (1) the first just to leave the show; (2) the gender of the Season 18 winner; and (3) the songwriter for the final performance of the season. Let’s look at each one, in turn.

Odds on the First Judge to Get Fired or Leave American Idol

Odd Odds
Lionel Ritchie +100
Katy Perry +150
Luke Bryan +225

All odds taken February 18.

When ABC relaunched American Idol for its 16th season, they used the opportunity to rebrand the franchise with new judges.

The producers opted for a star-studded smattering across a multitude of genres. Choosing to represent pop (Katy Perry), soul (Lionel Richie), and country (Luke Bryan), Idol aimed to cast a wide net.

Now, three years since the reboot began, all three judges are still here. It’s similar to the show’s early days when Paula, Simon, and Randy stuck around for the first several years.

But how long will it last this time?

Katy Perry seems the most likely to leave the show. Despite her connection with contestants and her eagerness to mentor the talent, Perry’s career is the most successful of the three judges. Taking so much time to play judge on Idol means Perry’s solo career suffers.

Lionel Richie’s prime touring and performing days are behind him, and Luke Bryan’s not nearly the star Perry is. With Katy’s newest album cycle presently taking off, she’s far more likely to say goodbye to Idol after this year.

Pick: Katy Perry (+150)

Odds on Gender of Season 18 Winner

Odd Odds
Male -110
Female -110
Transgender +2000

So far, the show has produced seventeen winners. Six of these have been female and eleven have been men. Those aren’t very good odds for the ladies.

The last ten seasons have seen eight male winners compared to two females. Most of the gals who’ve won Idol happened really early in the show’s run when blockbusters stars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood dominated the competition.

So where are these winners now? Recent winners like Trent Harmon, Nick Fradiani, and Caleb Johnson aren’t exactly household names. The problem lies in the winners all being too similar. The next winner needs a unique image that won’t get confused with the other recent winners.

With the serious lack of female winners in recent years, it’s definitely time for the gals to shine. Many of the recent guys who’ve won haven’t seen any post-Idol success. The show needs to shake it up with an interesting female voice to take off.

Pick: Female (-110)

Odds on Final Performance of Season Finale

Character Yes
Written by Female -120
Written by Male -150
Original Song +300

Looking ahead to the season finale, you can also place bets on who the songwriter will be behind the season’s final performance.

Last year’s winning song performed by Laine Hardy, “Flame”, was actually written by both male and female songwriters– Jon Levine and Ester Dean.

Many of the songs written by the winners of Idol have been penned by males, though. From Phillip Phillips’s “Home” all the way back to Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”, guys have been responsible for writing the winners’ singles.

But, as Bob Dylan once famously sang, the times they are a-changing. The females are finally rising. Rightfully so. Many of the best songwriters in the industry are women. Julia Michaels, Bonnie McKee, Sia– the names are endless. No matter who wins this year on Idol, count on the producers to enlist a killer female songwriter to pen the winner’s hit.

Pick: Written by Female (-120)

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