Justin Guarini (Season 1, Runner-up)Kelly Clarkson’s inaugural victory was all but a sure thing by season one’s midway point, but Justin Guarini’s runner-up run was full of verve and charm nonetheless. On the bright side, who ever thought Judas Priest would make it to Idol? His first album, "Soulful," debuted at No. Jessica Meuse (Season 13, placed 4th)Sometimes it seemed like this bar-band-er derived more pleasure from telling people she was from Slapout (SLAPOUT! Jennifer Hudson (Season 3, placed 7th) His snide comments about “loving” his fellow contestants in a strictly “Godly way,” which came before season-eight runner-up Adam Lambert came out on the cover of Rolling Stone, played both to his fanbase and to those who were looking for reasons to vote him off. But Smithson turned in gritty, heartfelt performances week-in and week-out, and her dismissal after a rousing version of Jesus Christ Superstar’s “Superstar” was a genuine outrage during a season that wasn’t without controversy. Host Ryan Seacrest reminded the audience that someone would be "making 'Idol' history" as the last pair of contestants ever. Sure, the paint salesman from Illinois was marketable in the sense that he appealed directly to the Idol demographic of aging ladies. Ruben Studdard (Season 2, Winner) / Clay Aiken (Season 2, Runner-up)Could one have ascended to the top-two without the other? Strong voice, though, and her song choices (“I’m Every Woman,” “Proud Mary”) certainly set a precedent for the divas who followed. 157. It's also a really subjective list. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles. Megan Joy (Season 8, placed 9th)Perhaps the most erratic contestant Idol has ever seen, and not just because of her bird-call-heavy take on “Rockin’ Robin.”, 86. Adam's cover of "Mad World" became his signature, but that was oddly among the least experimental of his glamified performances. Kelly Clarkson (Season 1, Winner)When American Idol launched, it had the subtitle The Search for a Superstar. The pair and second runner-up Dalton Rapattoni took to the stage Wednesday night at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for what was part of a three-day bonanza for "Idol.". 16. MK Nobilette (Season 13, Placed 10th)If only American Idol had a separate competition for aspiring old-style crooners, this punchy San Franciscan would have been a clear winner. His gravelly voice (and Michael Bolton–worthy pipes) wowed the judges, though, even if Jimmy Iovine likened his outsized performance of “My Life” to “four minutes of an Adam Sandler movie that goes straight to DVD,” his elimination, after throwing himself into Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” seemed kind of unjust. His slowed-down misreading of “Only the Good Die Young” might be one of Idol’s greatest lyrical misreads, but it barely made a dent in his armor. Still shooting for a Christmas theatrical release. Amerian Idol 2016 Spoilers – The Top 51. 63. 142. Jacob Lusk (Season 10, placed 5th)One of the most transcendent performances of any recent Idol season was Jacob Lusk’s slow-build-to-stankface version of “You’re All I Need to Get By,” which caused Steven Tyler to leap up out of his chair and hug the singer. 61. She was eliminated after a version of Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” that, perhaps appropriately, displayed just how frayed her nerves had become. 'American Idol' 2016 Top 24 Contestants The top 24 winners of American Idol season 15 have been chosen and the range of singers is unlike any other season. Trent Harmon singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. “You look so good on camera, so that’s a huge plus for you,” the always-generous Keith Urban said to open his critique. Lindsey Cardinale (Season 4, Placed 12th)“I think 30 million TV sets in America had their volume turned down simultaneously,” Cowell deadpanned after this Louisiana-born hopeful’s version of “Knock on Wood.”. Vonzell Solomon (Season 4, placed 3rd)Her bell-clear voice and self-possession (her recovery after muffing a lyric on “How Do I Live” should be studied by anyone with stage fright) made her a consistent season-four highlight, but there was no stopping Carrie Underwood’s march to the winner’s circle. Chris Daughtry (Season 5, placed 4th)In the realm of shock eliminations, Chris Daughtry’s fourth-place exit wasn’t too surprising; either his base got too comfortable or decided to throw their loyalties elsewhere. Fuller selected some throwback soul for both contestants to perform. At the start of 2015, Lee DeWyze had released two albums before auditioning for season 9 of "American Idol." Probably in my heart, Kat is closer to Top 5, but my head knows I can't place her any higher than this. 83. Well, you can’t fault him for trying on the “personal branding” front. And yes, that's probably all coded language. 50. But even though he redeemed himself in front of Lionel Richie when doing a one-person version of “Endless Love” — which Paula Abdul claimed made her forget that Diana Ross was part of the song (!) ", La'Porsha Sings "Diamonds" Better Than Rihanna. 155. 102. He has since married model Jonna Walsh, signed with a new label and. Phil Stacey (Season 6, placed 5th–6th)It took a while for this Navy vet to find his country comfort-zone, but his last three performances wrote his ticket to country-music semi-stardom. Adanna Duru (Season 14, Placed 10th–11th)Duru’s performance of the Dreamgirls devotional “Love You I Do” gained steam after a too-breathy start, but it wasn’t enough to save her from the early ax. Ryan Starr (Season 1, Placed 7th)American Idol was finding its demographic footing during its inaugural year, but the viewers learned one thing quickly enough: This California strutter’s rock-and-roll dreams were a bad fit for the show’s pop-conqueror aspirations. But her stormy performance of “I (Who Have Nothing)” proved to be a turning point, and her excitable 16-year-old demeanor and undeniable pop appeal (not to mention a coronation song that was made for her optimistic vibe) helped her cruise to the winner’s circle.
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