The New York Times (registration required) notes that out of the Top 11 American Idol contestants, 7 are from the South. Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred further points out that in the Top 24, the South was underrepresented–only 7 were from the South–including Florida, Texas and Virginia. In other words, Stephanie Edwards was the first Southerner to be eliminated since the public started voting.
Last year, according to Pursuent Research, 39% of Idol viewers came from the South, while 21% each came from the North and North Central regions and 19% from the West. This year, according to the Times article, “…the two-hour season premiere had a 34.7 share in Atlanta, compared with 22.3 in New York and 18.2 in Los Angeles [from Nielsen Media Research].”