Randy Jackson Gives ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin The Edge: He ‘Could Win The Whole Thing’

Past “American Idols” David Cook and Lee DeWyze better watch their backs – there might be a new “Idol” rock god in the making in the form of James Durbin, at least according to judge Randy Jackson.

“I think he’s got a shot to win it all!” Randy told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Wednesday’s Access Hollywood Live.

“What you look for now is who is just driving and rising to the top,” “Idol’s” Top Dawg continued. “I’m hoping that the public is looking at that going, ‘Hey, this guy is real dude.’

“He really could win the whole thing, so I think he’s giving everyone a run for their money,” Randy said of the 22-year-old rocker from Santa Cruz, Calif., who credits Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury and judge Steven Tyler as his musical influences.

The seasoned judge also addressed why many of the show’s favorites, Pia Toscano and Casey Abrams, were given the boot so early.

“I don’t think that the voting is flawed,” Randy explained. “We just have so many interestingly talented kids that maybe the public just gets a little confused here and there… I always stand behind the public vote.”

Adding, “You can’t do anything of these kind of shows and start faulting the way the public votes.”

“American Idol” returns tonight on FOX for “Now and Then” night where the contestants will perform one song from the 60’s and another song from the current Top 40.

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