My name is Mark Franklin. I’ve been managing editor of The York Dispatch for five years. I’ve been watching American Idol twice that long.

Unlike Simon Cowell, I predicted that David Cook would wind up as the Idol winner in season seven.

I warned everyone that Kris Allen just might pull off an upset in season eight. He had the Danny Gokey voting bloc on his side.

And I blogged about Crystal Bowersox being a serious threat in season nine before she ever appeared on the show. All I had to do was listen to a song called “Farmer’s Daughter” on her MySpace page. Wow, what a song. It later became her first single.

I’d like to say I like Idol’s new judging panel.  I don’t.  One year later, as we approach the voting rounds of Season 11, they’ve yet to prove they’re capable of judging anything.

Hopefully, a talented and diverse cast of finalists will bail them out again this year.  That Season 10 cast was splendid, wasn’t it?  Loved Haley Reinhart’s growl.

Anyway, you can come here for live blogs during every Idol show … and for The Voice as well.

I’ll also try to keep you updated on news about Idol contestants from seasons past.

You also can follow along on Twitter or Facebook.

Please, if you disagree with anything you read … or, heck, even if you agree, feel free to comment. The more comments the better.

And if you’d like to contact me directly, it’s pretty easy.

Email: mfranklin@yorkdispatch.com

Office phone: (717) 854-1575, ext. 425.

Hope you enjoy Idol Chatter.

Keep checking back.