Great article Leo - it should be required reading for the powers-that-be, as well as the "muddled middle."
I agree whole-heartedly with your choices for the top 12. So much of the pack just seems, well, mediocre this year. The lack of diversity doesn't bode well for the contestants after AI either. I don't imagine we'll see as many debut CD's from this crop of contestants as we did from last year's stellar season.