Meet the frontrunner. With dreads and tattoos, this singer-songwriter is edgier than most of her competitors; she also has a powerful voice and a poised fearlessness. "You’re so comfortable up there, I begin to wonder if you're thinking 'Wow, I got this,'” observed Kara during Stones-themed night. But confidence can backfire: After Bowersox's lackluster version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," Simon detected an attitude. "You came out here tonight, 100 percent the clear favorite," he said. "And you got beat....Just when you think that you’ve got the competition in the pocket, you’ve got to dig deep....you’ve got to kill."
Why She Almost Won: Not only is she a great singer, she also has a gripping personal story: she's a single mom with diabetes (she was hospitalized prior to semifinals) who sings to support herself and her child. That, plus the fact that she's good, means she could very well win.