Ranking the American Idol Winners from Best to Worst



Last night we saw our eighth American Idol crowned, and it was the underdog, Kris Allen who took the number one spot. I thought he might, considering everyone had been treating Adam Lambert as a sure thing from day one, but both are great artists and will do well regardless of who was first or second.

Let me stop here and say that yes, **** you, I do like American Idol. I think it’s pretty cool to watch someone go from absolutely no one to a worldwide celebrity in five months right before your eyes. There really isn’t any other show on television that does something like that, and it does produce some damn good talent on occasion. Things I do hate about it: The month(s) long city-touring audition process and the hour(s) long results shows of which I watch exactly the last two minutes.

I’ve ranked the eight winners so far in order of best to worst, and the video I show is their audition tape, because I think it’s cool to see them act like normal people before they had any idea what lay ahead for them.

Best – Carrie Underwood (Season 4)

You really can’t top Carrie Underwood in terms of both vocal talent and career success. She’s one artist who’s come out of the show and really kept growing, and as a result has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and has landed a bunch of #1 singles and Grammy Awards. As an added bonus, she’s one of the most physically perfect women on the planet, at least in my estimation.

Carrie is the standard to which all other Idols should aspire to, and seeing as she raked in $14 million last year, that should be plenty of motivation right there. She’s the most talented singer to come out of the competition in eight years, and it’ll be interesting to see how long she can hold on to that title.

#2 – Kelly Clarkson (Season 1)

Sometimes the original formula is the best, and Kelly Clarkson is proof of that. I think it’s largely dumb luck that Idol stumbled onto Kelly in its very first season, before every wannabe in America started trying out for the show. Most of the other finalists in season one were terrible, and #2 of the season, Justin Guarini, wouldn’t have even made it past Hollywood week today.

But Kelly was a diamond in the rough, and has had her albums go platinum ten times over since eight years ago. We haven’t heard that much from her in a while, but hopefully she’ll be back on her game soon.

#3 – David Cook (Season 7)

Last season’s winner was Idol‘s first rocker crowned king, and Cook truly is a master vocalist. I was heartily surprised he beat out David Archuleta who was genetically engineered to be on the cover of Tiger Beat, but it turns out America can make right decisions every once in a blue moon. He sold a million copies of his album since last year, but I’ll be damned if I can name any singles. He’s still got a ways to catch up with season 5’s Chris Daughtry, but he’s on his way.

#4 – Kris Allen (Season 8)


(Sorry no audition tape for Kris, Fox is being a bitch. This is my favorite performance of his from this season, “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once)

I’m placing last night’s winner at the #4 spot because I think that’s about where his talent lies. It’s unclear how successful he’ll be as an artist, but he’s got a built in teenage girl audience already that will make him at least a platinum selling artist by next year.

I was satisfied with him winning the title last night, even though I’ve been rooting for Adam Lambert this whole time. Adam will succeed no matter what, as he was clearly born to be a rock god, and Kris just seems like a really nice, humble guy who it’s cool to see win, even if he’s not a vocal powerhouse.

#5 – Jordin Sparks (Season 6)

Wow, no offense to Jordin Sparks and season six, but she was so forgettable, I had to slide her in after I wrote this article because a commenter called me out on being bad at math. Season six featured some pretty mediocre talent, but Jordin was pretty good and she had that one song with Chris Brown which was alright (tell me how I’m s’posed to breather with no air, *air*) , thought I haven’t heard much from her since. If she gets a good producing team together it’s still possible she could really break through and become a really big star, but it hasn’t happened on that big of a scale yet.

#6 – Ruben Studdard (Season 2)


Ruben was an extremely good singer at the time, but was immediately overshadowed by runner up Clay Aiken after the show ended. Studdard was eventually dropped by his record label and I think he’s currently stomping around the South American rainforest somewhere eating tourists. Honestly, I have no idea what happened to this guy.

#7 – Fantasia Barrino (Season 3)

Oh God, I really hated Fantasia. I forget who was second place this season (was it Diana Degarmo? Yawn), but I remember that Latoya London was eliminated in third or fourth place despite being one of the most gifted vocalists I’ve ever heard on the show. In contrast, Fantasia sings like the deformed love child of Macy Gray and a cat with laryngitis.

A distant last – Taylor Hicks (Season 5)

Look, Taylor Hicks was a hoot on the show, but singing anything else besides blues and Joe Cocker, he was simply atrocious. Simon knew it the whole time and took every opportunity in the world to tear him down, but America was amused and voted him to the #1 spot. This was even more of a travesty, because season 5 had some truly great singers on it like Chris Daughtry and Katherine McPhee who were screwed over because America was taking an idiot break.

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  1. You know Paul, the only “idiot break” I can see here is that you need one. Jealously is a tough thing to hide Paul and you’ve failed in that regard. Taylor Hicks? He can sing, he’s a very talented musician, song writer and performer. He even has a fantastic stage personality and is well versed in various aspects of show business. He said he has many different avenues he wants to try and why not? He’s young and he’s doing very well in the business. He’s accomplished so much already and the world is open to him because he knows what he wants and how to get it.

    Like so many others, you are under the false impression that a successful music career is to pump out CD’s, have them spun on the radio at least 100 times a day (aka Daughtry) and sign with the American Idol factory’s horde of labels and their management company, 19E. Well, for Daughtry, that’s what he did, because AI needed another faux mimic screamer to replace the older screamers. Katherine McPhee is a fantastic singer, but she fired 19 E and was banned from anything to DO with AI. That was a shame.

    Being dropped from AI’s label would not apply to Taylor Hicks. He and his people wanted OUT of that blindsided deal. They got out and now Taylor owns his OWN label. As Taylor said, this is not a sprint, but a marathon. He wants a long career where HE makes all the decisions and he’s done very well thank you. I just think you are a mimic screamer fan and hey, that’s fine Paul, you must listen to FM Pop all day long *snicker*, you can’t help it, that’s why the top 15 pop is full of AI mimics. Have at it, enjoy your idiots day off, you deserve it. 🙂

  2. Haha, yes I’m very jealous my own non-existent singing career hasn’t panned out. Damn you Taylor Hicks and your one fan!

    And Monkey, yes it seems I was taking and idiot break when I was writing this and I can’t do math. To be fair, season six was incredibly forgettable.

  3. on Kelly Clarkson

    Quote “We haven’t heard that much from her in a while, but hopefully she’ll be back on her game soon.” un-quote

    Haven’t heard from her in awhile???? What rock have you been living under. Her latest cd went to #1 in March, and held that spot for 2 weeks, and is still in the top 20 now. Her first song from the cd made the biggest leap to #1 in the charts history, and her second single is on the rise.

    I liked what you tried to do here, but, you need to do a little more research. Also, what about Jordin Sparks? She has had a pretty good career so far as well, yet, you don’t even list her.

  4. Hey…I have to agree with Amanda…Taylor is so gifted. The world is his oyster. He was never given any support from TPTB and it was obvious that they wanted the bald screamer to win. They used payola imo, to get the bald one played over and over and over…and I got so sick of hearing him…changed the channel and decided that a CD was my best option while they pumped the radios with his obnoxious voice. Taylor had a huge success on his first tour…and now, he is doing what he wants and calling his own shots. I enjoy Taylor because he is real…has a sexy sultry side to him, played AI and TPTB and the real Taylor was revealed…the one that is now on Broadway. He picks and chooses…and has often said, slow and steady wins the race. Another line he has said at concerts…”People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. Smart guy. See? If he were all of the negative things that people continue to discuss…then, why would he still be of interest…as on your website? Whether good or bad…he is always being mentioned…my mom used to tell me all the time…”Worry when they quit talking about you”. She was right. Whether he is a threat…or there is jealousy…or maybe some are baffled at how he overthrew the big boys and showed them how to really play the game…his intelligence was overlooked…and his talent was too. I look forward to his continued success and in whatever it might be. He is one hot guy…no doubt about that. Seen him lately?

  5. Hi Paul,
    Hahahaha…So, Taylor Hicks has one fan eh? We all know why you used his name, even articles that have NOTHING to do with Taylor have his name in big bold letters, cause why? Cause they KNOW he brings mega hits and comments (from his one fan?_ You might not be too much of an idiot after all Paul…but I won’t hold my breath if you don’t mind? (snicker) –

    Ken3? said this –

    If only “Amanda’s” powers could be used for good instead of evil, this world would be a much better place.

    Ken, this article included Taylor Hicks name because the writer knows that Taylor DRAWS the hits. Sometimes, the fans of Taylor’s get TIRED of responding to idiotic carticles and comments that are based on non-truths and lies about their subjects or the articles are mimics of one another, which certainly seems to be the case for what I’ve read on google alerts, its so typically boring. So if telling the truth is evil, then so be it. You are way strange. LOL. As Taylor has said, “the Internet is a very dark place.”…uh yes.

  6. i just ran across this and I know you willnever see this but I don’t care, I’m going to write it anyway.
    You are an idiot.
    A recent paid reviewer said of Hicks “he can and does sing the house down”
    A Broadway kingpin recently said he has one of the best voices around today.
    The man can sing anything. Just because you are too stupid to know that doesn’t make it less true. ASS.

  7. Haha Um… GO DAVID COOK! All time fave Idol! Awesome singer and musician. Nice Guy. Oh and he lived in Missouri. =D I love Carrie Underwood music too. Same with Kelly Clarkson. Now Taylor Hicks… well… I don’t think he should have won, but that doesn’t mean he is a horrible singer…

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