Last night, American Idol sent home Amanda Overmyer, whose uneven performances from week to week cost her a chance to tour with the top 10.
FOX Broadcasting, 2008
I got the bottom three mostly right, save for the surprise substitution of Carly Smithson for Michael Johns. Perhaps people believed she was safe, voting frantically to save others, including perennial bottom three contestant Kristy Lee Cook.
For those keeping track at home, here are the top 10 finalists for every year of American Idol. With the exception of this year, which is listed alphabetically by first name, the rest are listed in inverse order of elimination.
I separated them by males and females, because I’d noticed that for the last couple of years there worked out to be an even number of guys and girls.
At first, I thought this might be suspicious, until I realized that, ever since they changed their methods in season 4, they’ve been eliminating men and women separately until they hit the top 12, when all the contestants compete equally. That way, I suppose, they never again have to go on tour with a top 10 with the sort of unequal gender split we saw in season 3, the Year of the Divas, when 7 girls and 3 guys competed for the top slot. Although the guys outbalanced the girls by one in season 4, a female contestant won, Carrie Underwood.
It’s interesting to look through this list and see how many of these names seem familiar from their careers since the show and how many have simply faded into memory.
Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado
Chikezie, David Archuleta, David Cook, Jason Castro, Michael Johns
Jordin Sparks (winner), Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Haley Scarnato, Gina Glocksen
Blake Lewis, Chris Richardson, Phil Stacey, Sanjaya Malakar, Chris Sligh
Katharine McPhee, Paris Bennett, Kellie Pickler, Mandisa, Lisa Tucker
Taylor Hicks (winner), Elliot Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Ace Young, Bucky Covington
Carrie Underwood (winner), Vonzell Solomon, Nadia Turner, Jessica Sierra
Bo Bice, Anthony Federov, Scott Savol, Constantine Maroulis, Anwar Robinson, Nikko Smith
Fantasia Barrino (winner), Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias, LaToya London, Jennifer Hudson, Camile Velasco, Amy Adams
George Huff, John Stevens, Jon Peter Lewis
Ruben Studdard (winner), Clay Aiken, Joshua Gracin, Rickey Smith, Corey Clark
Kimberley Locke, Trenyce, Carmen Rasmusen, Kimberly Caldwell, Julia DeMato
Kelly Clarkson (winner), Nikki McKibbin, Tamyra Gray, Christina Christian, Ryan Starr
Justin Guarini, RJ Helton, A.J. Gil, EJay Day, Jim Verraros
Making the final 10 on American Idol doesn’t mean automatic superstardom.