Even If Adam Lambert Butchered Johnny Cash, Is He Headed to Idol Top 4?

It wasn’t your mother’s version of “Ring Of Fire,” that’s for sure. American Idol gay Adam Lambert performed a sitar-infused rendition of the song last night, which left Simon Cowell warning Lambert against ever stepping foot in Nashville. (Yea for thinly veiled gay bashing warnings!) But even if Lambert dial-in-and-text vote total add up to beat the competition, might he be headed for the Final Four either way? Scandal! (Possible spoilers ahead.)

Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Alexis Grace, and Lambert are all said to be selected as Idol‘s Top 4. Producers, the rumor mill assures us, have already selected these four to close the show and compete for the title — and that’s according to an anonymous show staffer. Interestingly, it’s these same four that show up on TV Guide‘s prediction list.

Except even if these two guys and two girls have been pre-selected — and doesn’t that make the entire “America votes” thing pointless? — Idol‘s producers (that would be guys like Simon Fuller and Ken Warwick) have a final two in mind, and Lambert’s not on the list. Reports Gatecrasher:

“Adam Lambert and Lil Rounds are better singers and musicians than Gokey and Grace, but they’re too much like past winners and ‘A’ successes,” the woman said. “Adam’s too close in style and sound to Chris Daughtry, while Lil Rounds is a dead ringer for Fantasia. Even their background stories are similar!

“The producers really want it to be Danny or Alexis. They think they’re very commercially viable, have a good image and a great story.”

Gokey’s sorrowful story of the death of his wife, Sophia, during heart surgery a month before his audition is “a huge reason viewers are tuning in,” said the staffer. “Fox likes the attention that he’s getting, and they’ve taken to giving Danny much more airtime as a result.”

While Fox’s reps had no comment on the allegations, another TV insider told us, “It’d be very hard to manipulate the entire final four. Sure, the judges get one vote to save someone, but that’s before the top five, so theoretically, it’s just delaying the inevitable.

“There’d have to be so many people lying for them to pull something like this off — so I doubt it’s true.”

This isn’t the first time Idol stands accused of rigging the show. Ryan Seacrest‘s former wingman Brian Dunkleman, who co-hosted the first season of the show, says last year Sanjaya’s ability to stay on the show wasn’t because America voted that way, but because producers kept him on.

UPDATE: Rumors false? Alexis was sent home on tonight’s show, spoiling the chatty Idol staffer who insisted she’d be in the Top 4.