"Idol Pursuits" contest finalist Reina Medina mans the remote with her mom Miki Medina. Reina correctly picked the final three in "American Idol," but will she be the one of 20 to get the final order right as well?

Lucky few remain
in ‘Idol’ race

20 Star-Bulletin readers correctly
predicted the last three contestants
in Fox's hit show

Until last week, much of the smart money on "American Idol" appeared to be on La Toya London, whose impressive performances were consistently lauded by the show's judges. The dismissal of the popular singer from Oakland, Calif., last Wednesday may have been the shocker of the competition, as Hawaii's Jasmine Trias, despite unenthusiastic reviews by the panel, advanced into the top three on the strength of nationwide phone votes.

"American Idol": Airs at 7 p.m. today on KHON/Fox

Music: Clive Davis' choice

In March, the Star-Bulletin introduced its "Idol Pursuits" contest in print editions, asking readers to predict, in order, the top three finalists in this year's "American Idol" tournament. At the time, 11 singers were still in the running for the title. But week by week, local music fans have been eliminated just as their favorite singers have been voted out of the game.

London's name appeared on your ballots more times than anyone not named Jasmine Trias. With London's banishment, however, a large portion of our prognosticators were knocked out of "Idol Pursuits," the game.

That's good news for a mere 20 remaining participants in our game -- who predicted Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo and Jasmine Trias would make the top three -- including Melvin Murakami of Salt Lake.

"That's amazing," he laughed, on being told he was still in the running for the grand prize. "I forgot all about that. I don't even remember who I picked. It was so long ago."

Still, if his predictions hold true -- Trias first, Fantasia Barrino second, and Diana DeGarmo third -- Murakami could win a collection of CDs.

"That's great," he said. "My wife and I watch it all the time. We try to vote as much as we can. We got hooked on the show since the very beginning, and it's gotten better and better each year. We even watch 'Nashville Star' -- that's how hooked we are on this music contest thing. You feel like you know these people, even if they're on TV."

Amy Fisk, a seventh-grader at St. John Vianney School in Kailua, thinks DeGarmo has the right stuff to take the crown.

"I like that she's very energetic," said the 12-year-old "Idol Pursuits" finalist, whose favorite singer is Kelly Clarkson, winner of "AI's" first season. "And she has a really, really powerful voice."

Fisk sees Barrino and Trias as runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.

"Idol Pursuits" contest finalist Amy Fisk, center, with her parents Kathy Dean and Howard Fisk, thinks Diana DeGarmo will be crowned "American Idol."

Just as impressive in her picks is 10 year-old Reina Medina, a fifth-grader at Heeia Elementary School, who was surprised to learn she was still in the game. Upon glimpsing the "Idol Pursuits" ballot in her grandmother's newspaper two months ago, she says, she rushed out her predictions to the Star-Bulletin.

"I was like, 'Oh, my god, it's American Idol,'" she recalls. "So I just sent it in."

Although she's tried to catch every episode since the season began, there are occasions when priorities must be arranged.

"Sometimes I can't watch it 'cause I have a lot of homework and everything," she says. "But I watch it most of the time with my mom and my brother."

Medina's mother has always cheered on Trias, while her 7-year-old brother Roi reportedly adored Jon Peter Lewis before switching his allegiance recently to DeGarmo.

"I have two favorites, too," Medina said. "I like Diana because she has a good voice at a young age, and the way she dresses -- her dresses are all colorful and everything -- and I like her smile. Jasmine, I like her hairstyle and her personality. I think she's very cute. I thought Fantasia was pretty good, too."

If Medina's top three lineup, which matches those of Murakami and five others, hold up through "AI's" May 25 final contest, a random drawing will determine the winner of our contest.

"I pray," she said, with a hopeful giggle.

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