Hearthrobs -- nearly every season of American Idol has had one. So which of this year's male contestants will make the ladies (and some of the fellas) swoon?
By hearthrob, I'm referring to a performer whose success on the show is predicated as much on their looks, swagger and sexiness as much as it is on vocal prowess. As laughable as it seems now, the archetype for the Idol hearthrob is none other than Justin Guarini. Back in Season 1, he made Paula cry with the "beauty" of his singing, and even caused Simon to say "Watch out Justin Timberlake, there's a new Justin in town." Yes, in retrospect it seems a bit ridiculous that the curly haired singer inspired incredibly passionate shrieks and screams, but it happened!
Surely the show has produced unlikely hearthrobs in the past -- think Clay Aiken or even Sanjaya Malakar, for example. But for the purposes of this discussion, I'm thinking more along the lines of the Chris Richardsons, Ace Youngs and Constantine Maroulis' -- men whose performance style is not necessarily to everyone's taste, but who develop a rabid following (based on both looks and talent) nonetheless.
So who will inherit the throne from last year's lust-inspring Chris Richardson? I'm predicting three of this year's guys seriously competing for that title will be David Archuleta, Michael Johns and Luke Menard. Let's take a look at the hearthrob merits of each:
-David Archuleta is just 16 years old, but if he can tap into the All American cutie-pie-ness that Zac Efron has mastered, inspiring fan sites and the fluttering of little girls' hearts in the process, he could end up launching himself into the stratosphere. Plus the kid can really sing! (Click here to see video of David on Star Search and singing to Season 1's Idol contestants)
-We haven't seen Luke Menard sing a single note, mind you, so it's possible he could flame out before being given a chance to gain a following, but based solely on his looks, I'd say he has a shot at the hearthrob title.
-Michael Johns, with his lovely biceps, gorgeous face and delightful Australian accent, is something Idol doesn't often see -- a real man. Most of the show's male contestants are either quirky (Taylor Hicks, Blake Lewis) or distinctly boyish (Anthony Fedorov, RJ Helton). Johns is more like Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry and Constantine Maroulis, in that he's older and more conventionally "manly." And let's face it -- the fact that his voice is great certainly won't hurt.
I'm guessing Johns and Archuleta are going to split the hearthrob vote, with younger girls more likely to jump on the Archuleta bandwagon, and 20-somethings and up going for John's darker appeal.
Who do you think will be this year's hearthrob? David, Michael or Luke, or someone else? David Cook? Jason Castro? Leave a comment and let me know!
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