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American Idol Rankdown 2.0


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5. Chris Daughtry


Average Score:



@NGM - 4th

Public - 4th

@Alex95 - 5th

@Elliott - 6th

@1234567890 - 6th

@*Chris - 8th

@Solaris - 22nd

@Zoey - 22nd



I ranked Chris 6th. He ranks high on my list for a whole host of reasons. Most of us recognize Season 5 as one of the best Idol seasons and I think it's hard to argue that that would be the case if not for Chris. His shock 4th place elimination left us all reeling, but also helped launched his career as one of the best selling Idol alum of all time. Admittedly, some of his weakest performances came in the final two weeks of his Idol run, but the strength of the first half of his run combined with his post-Idol career is what makes him one of the most beloved contestants.


My personal favourite performances of his are "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)", "Wanted Dead or Alive", "Renegade" and "Higher Ground", all of which were Rock songs, but Chris proved he could just flat out sing with some of his other performances, like "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" and "What A Wonderful World" and that he even had country chops with "Walk the Line" and "Making Memories of Us". I just think the weakness of his Top 4 performances probably scared away the casual voter and his diehard fans probably thought he'd be safe. Personally, I still think he's the rightful winner of that season, even if I love Elliott and, to a lesser extent now, Katharine.


I also love a lot of Chris's original music. His self-titled debut, Leave This Town, and Cage to Rattle are all stacked albums. Some of my favourite songs of his are "September", "Death of Me", "No Surprise" and "Feels Like Tonight". Although I don't really watch the Masked Singer, I went back and watched his performance because I love watching him on stage and his version of Sia's "Alive" shook me to the core. I still play it on repeat regularly.


Before March 2019, Chris probably would have ranked a little lower on this list, but then fate intervened. That month, Elliott and I took an impromptu trip to Nashville and bought last minute tickets to see Kelly Clarkson's "Meaning of Life" tour, which was incredible. After the show, I was standing outside the Bridgestone Arena, waiting for Elliott to return from the bathroom, when all of a sudden man in a hoodie, with the hood up, and a blonde woman walked by me. I made brief eye contact with him and immediately recognized him as Chris. At first, I thought I was just imagining that it was him, but then I realized we were coming out of a Kelly Clarkson show and he lives in Nashville. Of course he would be there. When Elliott came back, I immediately told him that he'd walked by. Elliott asked what direction he went in and I pointed up the street. The two of us ran to the corner and when we turned right, there was Chris and his wife, standing on the curb, waiting for their Uber.


Normally, I'm pretty shy, but I wasn't about to let this chance past me by, so I walked up to him and asked if he was Chris, to which he said yes and he and his wife (who was a little tipsy, but in an adorable mom way) stopped to chat with us. We told them all about how we met because of Idol and yet had never seen Kelly and how we were huge fans of his and he was very cool and down to earth and both he and his wife seemed super interested in our story as a couple. It was funny because we'd find out soon after that his wife was bisexual and she had written a poem about her sexuality that then become Daughtry's song "As You Are" which is about loving someone for who they are, which is so lovely. I'm so happy for them and glad she was able to come out and he supported her and loved her just the same.


Before our conversation ended, we asked if we could get a quick picture and he happily said yes and his wife took it for us and, that is what you see here! After that interaction, it only made us love him more, so I didn't have any problem ranking him this high, only below my core five.


On 8/30/2020 at 9:52 PM, NGM said:

One of the first really big faves I had on the show, and like LaToya, I almost stopped watching after their elimination. Loved them on AI, loved a lot of his earlier music, and while I’m not as big on his music anymore, still ranks high among my faves from the show.


On 8/28/2020 at 12:23 AM, Alex95 said:

Chris was the first Idol contestant I ever truly stanned. I watched S4 first and I liked Bo and Vonzell, but I wasn't really fully committed to stanning them. When Chris walked into his audition with "The Letter", I knew I was fully in. I bought the Daughtry CD's, I got a shirt, I talked about him to my friends at school, I went his concert. He was the first contestant I happily went all crazy over. So obviously I have a total soft spot for Daughtry in this game. But luckily for me, he ages really well to! His Idol run was amazing and deserves all the praise in the world. "Wanted Dead or Alive" was an amazing way to start his run, but he really came into his own with "Hemorrhage" which is not only my favorite performance of the season, but one of the best performances ever. Chris remained really likable and humble the whole way through even though, I thought, he was in a completely different league from everyone else week after week. I do understand Chris' faults a little more now though (and also appreciate that Elliott was a much better singer and not outclassed by Chris lmao), but I still stand by the fact that he was objectively in the top 2-3 best singers and performers of the season. Outside of "Hemorrhage" my other favorite performances of his are "Renegade", "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman", "Higher Ground", and the EXTREMELY underrated "Innuendo". I think Chris was at his worst when he tried to go a bit too hard rock because that's not who he is, but I truly don't think he has any trainwreck, or even bad performances. So all that made his robbery at the final four sting even worse. I don't think there was some secret conspiracy to get him out or he asked to be eliminated like some of the theories at the time said. I just think America has no taste :giggle:. But really. Katharine flopped hard that week and she had no business advancing. And I mean, I guess Taylor should've gone home too, but that's a given. Young!Alex was devastated to see Chris go home like that. I legit can still picture his jaw drop to this day when it was announced he was going home. I don't think I was ever that upset watching Idol as I was the night Chris Daughtry got sent home. I'm glad I was able to help get Chris to this top 24 and sing his praises now though.


On 8/31/2020 at 10:19 PM, *Chris said:




Ever since his time on the 5th season of American Idol, Chris Daughtry has remained one of my all-time favourite male contestant.  This is partly due to him being able to deliver incredible performances week after week during his time on Idol - I still find myself going back to some of his performances such as "Wanted Dead or Alive", "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)", "I Walk The Line", "What A Wonderful World" and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?".  And he may not have won that season, he remains one of the most successful contestants in Idol history.

Here hoping that he makes the Top 10 or Top 5 of this rankdown! And if that's not the case, he can go on to win the inevitable rankdown of "The Masked Singer" which he should have won especially after delivering strong performances such as "Someone You Loved" and "Alive" - I remember knowing that he was the Rottweiler as soon as he started to sing his first performance.


On 8/28/2020 at 1:44 PM, Solaris said:

This is more a strategic placement on my end. I am hoping Katharine beats him out for the last season 5'er standing, so I am going to tank his ranking. I like Chris and he was in my Top 4 of season 5 (such a great season). I enjoyed seeing a real rocker on the stage for the first time. At the end of the day though, he was always competition for Katherine, so I was never 100% invested. Chris has had some bops with his band post show, and my favourite song is What about Now.


On 8/27/2020 at 8:18 AM, Zoey said:


Urgh, I can’t stand Chris Daughtry. I don’t know what is worse out of his Idol run or his attitude. He just has such a self entitled arrogance to him that I can’t stand and never will. His voice doesn’t even warrant to have such a cockiness. His face when he was eliminated was a picture and will be forever engraved in my fondest memories. 


Edited by sublymonal
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As mentioned, Chris was my third favorite that season, so I'm a fan of his. A Top 3 of him, Katharine, and Elliott would've been everything (though I didn't really have that much of a problem with Taylor all things considered). Speaking of his elimination, I guess I was the only one who wasn't all that surprised at it during the time, though I'll admit I was nervous for Katharine. Obviously, it was the best thing that happened to him as he was able to do his own thing. One only has to look at what happened to Bo for what may have happened to Chris had he made the Top 2.


As for the tie for third, I'm going to guess Allison and Candice. I can't see Kelly and David not being the Top 2; then again I've been wrong with every guess so far. :haha:

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4 hours ago, sublymonal said:

Also, plot twist... 




There is a tie for 3rd place... but who will it be? 🤔

And which two contestants will be our Top 2? 😬


I’m going to guess the tie will be David Cook and Allison Iraheta. However, I hope it’s between Candice Glover and David Cook. I love all of the Top 4 though, so at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where everyone places. 😅

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4 minutes ago, Elliott said:

The lack of taste in this post...


LOL I am pretty sure he received a ranking in my top half. Andrew would need to confirm that for me. I like him! Just prefer the women. Even though I did not watch her season, Candice Glover was incredible on AI. Easily one of the greats.

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David Cook was very great. But he isn't exactly special in my opinion. Maybe the inundation of the show by WGWGs makes him less special. I appreciate his talents, but never thought he was anything special himself. 

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6 minutes ago, Deeee said:

David Cook was very great. But he isn't exactly special in my opinion. Maybe the inundation of the show by WGWGs makes him less special. I appreciate his talents, but never thought he was anything special himself. 


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