Crisis On Hand: An American Idol Finalists Ranking List in American Idol Posted July 24, 2020 I'm going to post the new set now. For 20-16: - I can do this alone! - Boxer briefs - Really Borchetta?! - Lent a helping hand or two from behind after being front and center - Should've won according to a judge 20. Chris Daughtry: Season 5 (4th Place) Kicking off the Top 20 is the rocker from S5. Chris was a strong contestant with a great voice and stage presence who many thought had a very good chance of winning the season. It was thought he was the most marketable contestant mainly because his genre was very much in style at the time. If there was one criticism I had of him, he was prone to overdoing the screaming at times, which I didn’t care for too much. Regarding his time on Idol, he started off by singing Wanted Dead Or Alive, which was a very strong performance and one of the best, if not the best, of the evening. He would follow that the following week with a kick performance of Hemorrhage (In My Hands), which would be my overall favorite of his. Based on his first two performances, it was easy to see why he was considered a favorite that season. He followed that up with Broken, which would be his weakest in the semis; however, it was still very good. The following week he would sing Higher Ground, which was another strong performance, though I felt he had the most predictable song choice of the week because the RHCP covered it and therefore, it fit him the best. He would give another solid performance the following week with I Walk The Line, though there was some controversy surrounding it. The judges thought Chris came up with a different arrangement of the song himself when in reality, he was using Live’s arrangement. It would be addressed the following night (or the following week, I can’t remember) where Chris admitted he used Live’s arrangement. He would give one of his worst performances the week after with What If. For starters, he picked a Creed song, which ugh . Second, he screamed the song and I cracked up at the looks he was giving the camera; it was certainly a mess. He would rebound the next week with Making Memories Of Us, which showed a different softer side of him; this would be followed by Innuendo, for which he was accused of being indulgent because he picked a more obscure Queen song. He would then come back with What A Wonderful World the following week, which was a good performance; however, he would find himself in the B2 the next night. The week after he would sing Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman, which was good until he screamed the ending; I guess he couldn’t help himself. Chris would have mixed results the following week. His first performance, Renegade, was very strong; however, his second one, I Dare You, was painful to watch. He screamed the song, and I thought he was going to blow out his voice. To me, it was obvious there was still some wear and tear on his voice the following week because he still sounded hoarse. As for his performances, Suspicious Minds was solid; however, A Little Less Conversation was his worst of the season; in fact, he made me miss JPL, which is not a good thing, BTW . He lacked energy in the first half and screamed the second half. Despite this, people thought he still had a chance to win; however, that wasn’t in the cards as he was eliminated the following night in what is considered to be one of the most shocking eliminations in Idol history. Personally, I wasn’t surprised at the time; I would even go as far as saying I saw it coming. Also, at the time I thought while it may have been disappointing to him, it would be the best thing to happen to him, which certainly happened to be the case. He went on to form a band, which was good because I always thought he was more of a front man than solo artist and went on to become one of the bestselling acts in Idol history. Despite not taking the crown, Chris is considered to be the biggest winner from the season, and I’d like to think he’s just fine with that. 19. Bo Bice: Season 4 (2nd Place) With Bo’s appearance, S4 is officially completed. A storyline of S4 was the two 28 who turned 29 during the season rockers competing (this was the first season when the maximum age limit was raised from 24 to 28). Constantine was the “hard rocker” whereas Bo was more of a southern rocker. Based on the rankings, it’s obvious to see which one I preferred. Bo was perhaps the most consistent contestant during S4 and based on his body of work, would’ve made a solid winner, though it was later revealed Carrie ran away with the thing. Bo started off his run with a very solid performance of Drift Away, although it’s a song I don’t care for mainly due to it being overplayed. However, it was his following performance, Whipping Post, that made me really take notice of him. That was just a great performance all the way around. He followed that up with I’ll Be, which was fine, though as with Drift Away, it was a song I was tired of hearing. He would make the finals where he would give another favorite performance of mine with Spinning Wheel. I liked his next two performances Time In A Bottle and Remedy fine enough; however, I didn’t care for Corner In The Sky during Top 9 and based on his body language, Bo didn’t either, for it looked like he completely mailed that one in. The following week he sang Free Bird which I feel is perhaps his most underrated performance because for some reason that one gets bashed quite a bit. It was also the week where he landed in the B2, but he managed to make it to the following week. There were some conspiracies floating around that the show deliberately placed him there in order to drum up more support from him, but I didn’t place any credence in them. Anyway, he would follow that week with another strong performance with Vehicle, though it was thought Bo skirted the theme. Hey, the theme was 70s Dance Music, not Disco, so I saw no issues with it. It appeared that B2 appearance was a good kick in the rear end because Bo would go on to give three more great performances with I Don’t Want To Be, Stand By Me, and Heaven. Bo would go on to have a solid Top 4 with It’s A Great Day To Be Alive and For The Love Of Money, with the latter being my favorite of the two. Nonetheless, it would be Top 3 where Bo would have one of the most iconic moments in Idol history. His first performance, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, was a very strong effort; however, it would look like child’s play compared to his next performance In A Dream. Of course, the most memorable part about this performance was Bo singing the whole song a Capella, which is incredibly risky because every vocal flaw would be front and center without any accompanying music to cover them. Nevertheless, Bo went out and gave a near flawless vocal; I believe he said in an interview he and the band couldn’t come up with an arrangement that would suit him, but he really wanted to sing the song and decided to go the a Capella route. Regardless, the risk paid off big time. His following performance (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was OK, though it was clearly the weakest of the three. He would go on to the finals where he had a mixed night. The main thing I remember was him looking like his soul was slowly dying while singing Inside Your Heaven; that was a song clearly written with Carrie in mind. Nonetheless, he would place second, which appeared to be fine with him because at the time he said he hoped he didn’t win. Bo went on to have somewhat of a mixed career post-Idol. His first album was a disappointment because it was a pop driven record that didn’t suit Bo at all; I also know he went on to be the front man of Blood, Sweat, & Tears for a while; outside of that, I’m not sure what he’s been up to. Overall, Bo was a strong performer who I enjoyed enough to make him my S4 favorite. 18. La'Porsha Renae: Season 15 (2nd Place) Here we have the second consecutive second place finisher who was my favorite from a season. La’Porsha was a very powerful singer who many thought, including myself, would win the crown. She certainly had a strong case for doing so; by the time the finals roll around, it was clear to see it was going to come down between her and Trent. Her run began with Proud Mary in the semis. Vocally, it was fine; however, to me it looked as if La’Porsha was trying too hard to impersonate Tina and as a result, it didn’t come off as natural. With all of that said, it was still one of the better performances of the evening. Next, she would perform a Summertime duet with Fantasia, which had to have been daunting seeing that it is considered to be one of the greatest performances in Idol history when Fantasia did it back in S3. Nonetheless, the duet was really good, though it was easy to see Fantasia held back and allowed La’Porsha to shine, for I believe (no pun intended) Fantasia knew it was La’Porsha’s moment and she already had her time in the sun. La’Porsha would then be picked to be a part of the Top 14 where she would receive a Fast Pass and not have to sing that week. The next time La’Porsha took the stage, however, she showed why she was a worthy recipient of the Fast Pass because she brought the HOUSE down with Diamonds; to me it came off as if I was watching a La’Porsha Renae concert instead of her competing on Idol. I believe it was that moment when I started rooting for her to take the crown. She would come back the following week with a solid performance of Halo, which would be followed by a strong performance of Come Together. I also enjoyed Ready For Love and especially her other performance that evening No More Drama, in which it was easy to see she absolutely felt that one; it was as if I was watching someone going through a soul cleansing process. I would put it right up there with Diamonds. I liked her two performances the following week Wanted Dead Or Alive and Elastic Heart. The following week she would have a great performance with Glory and a solid one with Hello; however, I want to focus on Stay With Me. This was the song Borchetta picked for La’Porsha to sing, which I felt was incredibly tone deaf on his behalf. Here we have La’Porsha, who was going through a divorce and escaping an abusive relationship being forced to sing a song about a woman who was begging a lousy, no good, poor excuse of a man not to leave her. La’Porsha did what she could with it; however, it was clear to see she wasn’t too fond of having to sing it. She expressed her concerns and made it clear she didn’t like having to sing the song. What does Borchetta say? While chuckling, he said he guess he had to beg her to sing the song. At the time, I was still rooting for La’Porsha to win; however, I was starting to think she may be better off not winning and having to work with someone like him. Getting back to her Idol journey, I remember really liking Battles; I would say it’s one of my favorite coronation songs, and I thought it felt La’Porsha to a T. She also had two solid performances that evening with A House Is Not A Home and her reprise of Diamonds. I would say that was one of the closest Top 2 showings on Idol; not one person seemed to be head and shoulders above the other. Nonetheless, as I mentioned in his write-up, I thought Trent won the crown with his reprise of Chandelier, which meant La’Porsha would finish as the runner up. Despite her second place finish, she still ended up being signed to Big Machine Records and released an album in 2017, which I’ve been meaning to listen to and haven’t got around to it yet. I know she said some things that were anti-LGBTQ, which was disappointing to see, though I believe she has since retracted them. Nonetheless, La’Porsha was someone I enjoyed a lot and easily consider her my favorite S15 contestant. 17. Allison Iraheta: Season 8 (4th Place) With Allison’s appearance, all of S8 has been accounted for. Throughout the years, Idol has had a number of teenagers who while talented, have struggled on the show mainly because the two things they seemed to lack were a set musical identity and experience. Allison, however, didn’t seem to have any of those problems; I would go as far as saying she was the best teenage contestant Idol has ever had, which appeared to be the sentiment in other circles as well. She was clearly this pop-rock performer who looked comfortable on stage and was someone I looked forward to watching every week along with Megan. As for her Idol run, I don’t believe Allison was shown at all before the semifinals. Speaking of the semis, she certainly made a statement with her performance of Alone as a part of Group 2. At the time, I was rooting for Megan to be the top female vote getter out of the group; however, I thought to myself it would be a shame if Allison didn’t get voted through to the finals based on her performance. Fortunately, she was voted through, and I made it a point to keep an eye on her to see how well should do from that point on. Well, she got off to a strong start with her performance of Give In To Me in the first round of the finals. I also liked Blame It On Your Heart the following week and especially Papa Was A Rolling Stone the week after; I would probably say that was my favorite performance of hers all season. The following week, however, she would give what I felt was one of her weaker performances with Don’t Speak. It certainly didn’t measure up to her previous efforts, plus the guitar was distracting seeing she didn’t play it all that much. She would end up in the B3 but managed to stay for another week, where she would redeem herself with I Can’t Make You Love Me, which was a really nice vocal. The following week she would sing I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, which was OK all things considered; however, I absolutely loved her rock version of Hot Stuff, though that song seemed to be inappropriate for her. Someone To Watch Over Me was another performance of hers I highly enjoyed because it showed Allison could do more than the hard rock stuff, and I completely disagreed with Simon’s comments regarding it and Allison in general. The following week she would give what was probably her most underrated performance with Cry Baby. I thought she did a great job with and was upset with the judges’ comments regarding it. It was as if they were going out of their way to find something to criticize, whereas they were going out of their way to find excuses for Danny after he butchered Dream On. I also highly enjoyed the Slow Ride duet with Adam later on that evening; it was clear those two had great chemistry as opposed to the Kris/Danny duet. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as she was eliminated the following night, which was considered to be an outrage at the time. Her swan song was definitely one of the most powerful and emotionally driven ones in Idol history. Post-Idol, I know Allison released a solo album and two more with her band Halo Circus. The main thing she’s probably known for is being a background singer during the last few seasons on the FOX rendition of Idol (I think she was the reason Dexter’s One Mississippi sounded good). Overall, based on everything, there was a reason Allison was the last girl standing in S8 and the last S8 contestant to appear in this ranking. 16. Melinda Doolittle: Season 6 (3rd Place) Melinda is considered to be one of the best vocalists Idol’s ever had, and I’m inclined to agree 100%. She showed great versatility and the ability to handle just about anything thrown at her; I’d like to think being a background singer for so many artists for years helped her out (though that didn’t help Brandon much, LOL). The main thing people had a problem with regarding her is that it was thought her shy humble mannerisms off the stage was an act because she would transform into this confident performer on it. Anyway, she started her Idol run with (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone, which was a strong effort. She would come back the following week with My Funny Valentine, which was nothing less than a vocal masterclass. However, she would give my personal favorite performance of hers with I’m A Woman. She brought the sass, confidence, and vocals to it, and it’s one I often watch repeatedly. In the finals, she started off with two strong performances with Home and As Long As He Needs Me, though to be honest, I found the former kind of boring and as for the latter, as I mentioned earlier, I preferred Nadia’s version; that doesn’t mean they weren’t sung well because they were. Heaven Knows was a fun number, which was a nice change of pace from the previous two weeks, and I’ve Got Rhythm was another great performance from her in the subsequent week. The following week, however, Melinda would have her first “misstep” with Sway. Vocally, it was on point as usual; however, she looked awkward trying to bring out the sexiness in her. Nonetheless, she gave what I thought was the best performance on an otherwise lackluster night with Trouble Is A Woman the following week, despite it being a song so obscure that even Martina McBride never heard of it. She would then give what I thought was the best performance of the night with There Will Come A Day during Idol Gives Back. Have A Nice Day was another strong number for her; to think she was so unsure she would do a great job because she didn’t know much about Bon Jovi. The following week, she would sing Love You Inside Out and How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, with the former being her weakest performance of the season; still, it was better than anything Blake and LaKisha did that night. She had a solid night during Top 3 as I enjoyed all three of her performances. It was thought Melinda would be a shoe in for the finale; however, that wasn’t the case as she would be eliminated the next night. I think Simon knew the results ahead of time because he was in a foul mood the entire night. So why did Melinda fall short? One theory is that as great as she was, she may have come off as too old-fashioned whereas Blake and Jordin were younger and more contemporary. Another is voters thinking she would be fine and therefore, they decided to vote more for their secondary favorites, which meant Melinda may have slipped through the cracks. Either way, it was disappointing not to see her in the finale, though there was the moment where she had this look while in the seats during Jordin’s This Is My Now performance (I can't seem to find a picture of it though ). Post-Idol, I know she released an album; however, she may be known mainly for co-hosting Idology/Reality Check with Michael Slezak (ugh, why couldn’t they have kept Kristen Baldwin instead). Either way, Melinda was a world class vocalist and someone I really liked to watch on Idol. 020. Chris Daughtry 019. Bo Bice 018. La'Porsha Renae 017. Allison Iraheta 016. Melinda Doolittle Here's an update list of my favorites per season since one more has been revealed (which is probably the biggest WTF one ) and three more season have been completely ranked: S01: S02: Kimberley Locke S03: LaToya London S04: Bo Bice S05: S06: Haley Scarnato S07: S08: Allison Iraheta S09: Crystal Bowersox S10: Pia Toscano S11: Elise Testone S12: Candice Glover S13: Jessica Meuse S14: Quentin Alexander S15: La'Porsha Renae S16: Jurnee S17: Laci Kaye Booth S18: Jovin Webb The clues for the last set before the Top 10; this will be the final set of clues I'll post in this ranking: - Talking tunes? - Great expectations & letdowns - From flexible body to flexible vocals - Queen of NHL royalty - The first 'original' finalist I won't post the next set until the weekend, hopefully by Saturday evening.