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Top 10 contestants from the ABC era

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Posted (edited)

Who would you guys consider them to be? Here's mine:


1. Abi Carter (Season 22): Obviously there's still more rounds to go but I highly doubt she will give me anything less than good performances and her run up until this point is already enough for her to snatch the #1 spot for me. I think she's the contestant from the ABC era that had the most amount of "idol moments" (What Was I Made For? Goodbye Yellow Brickroad, Bring Me To Life, Hello) and she's been extremely consistent while taking big risks with vocal arrangements and mixing up tempos. She's everything I love in a singing competition contestant (tone for days, strong emotional connection to lyrics, smart vocal dynamics, risk-taker, etc). 

2. Leah Marlene (Season 20): I used to think it would be hard for someone to knock out Leah from the top spot of my ranking because I found her to be very consistently impressive all the way through but here we are. #2 is not shabby at all tho. Love her run, her musicianship was incredible to watch and she has one of the best pitch accuracies I've ever seen from a singing competition contestant. She had completely knowledge of all the colors of her voice and painted a canvas with it. "Heal" and "Separate Ways" were her standouts performances. 

3. Maddie Poppe (Season 16): I can't believe someone that sang "Brand New Key" and "Walk Like an Egyptian" won this show and that's a GOOD thing. Really loved her songchoices and even tho she stuck to mostly ballads + midtempos, she was consistently great at what she commited to do. My main nitpick with her run is that I don't think she has a 10/10 performance so I don't know if she has a "quintessencial moment" that stands out above the rest of her run (I think most people would say Nothing Compares To You but my personal fav is Homeward Bound) but she was awesome. My fav of the season winning the first ABC Idol season set me up for disappointment on the following ones, LOL. 

4. Laci Kaye Booth (Season 17): I think this might be controversial because I know a lot of people were 8 or 80 on her and even tho her voice seemed to be a bit sore during her last 2 weeks on the show, I still think her run was really endearing. I'm not a big fan of country and she won me over pretty quickly with her incredible tone and creativity. "Love of My Life" should've won her a spot in the finale. 

5. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (Season 17): Some will say his run was boring in terms of flavors/variety but he was so freaking great at everything he did. He was strong vocally but also really emotionally raw and that made it for a killer combo. Robbed asf. Stunning voice and beautiful emotion connection.  

6. Fritz Hager (Season 20): This boy was on FIRE up until the week he got covid. I think what I liked the most on Fritz was his phrasing. It was really unique in an engaging way and allowed him to make each song his own. His arrangements were also pretty darn good. I think he peaked way too early (When The Party Is Over) but he still remained solid even through some unfortunate adversities. 

7. Grace Kinstler (Season 19): Had potential to have one of my fav idols run in history on voice alone but songchoices soured the experience for me. Queen? Happy? Into The Unknown? A Moment Like This? I Have Nothing? All By Myself??.... No words. The fact she's on this ranking with that many awful songchoices just goes to show how talented she is and how far vocal quality and control can take you. And even tho her belting was great, I also think her best moment on the show turned out to be Fix You when she decided to focus on her mid-range all the way through the performance so I wish she had given me more of that. Nonetheless fantastic singer and it's always impressive to watch someone be so in tune with their instrument. A diva worth of the old Idol days. 

8. Jack Blocker (Season 22): Enjoyed him since his audition. He has a pretty tone, some cool songchoices, experimented with arrangements a few times, even tho it didn't always work and had a moment (Always On My Mind) that pushed his run above "just consistently good" for me. I could do it without the facial expressions but I got used to it by now. 

9. Willie Spence (Season 19): He could go overboard with runs every now and then but his voice was just beautiful! I also liked that he kept challenging himself vocally by pulling off some really crazy key changes in his arrangements. Stand Up is a stellar performance and it's how I will always remember him. RIP. 

10. Casey Bishop (Season 19): Really dig her run overall. Especially since she mixed up and didn't stick only to rock songs. I still wish she would have waited a few years before going to the show because I think she was still a bit green when it comes to performing on the big stage and sometimes, I felt like she was emotionally disconnected from whatever she was singing but the kid is a natural talent. The sheer power of her voice at 16 was absurd. 


Honorable mentions: Iam Tongi and Megan Danielle (Season 21). Those were two contestants that I found to be consistent and was okay to see making it all the way to the end but that never truly amazed me (Iam did with the emotional power of his audition but obviously that was really particular to that moment). 

Edited by wildestinvegas
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Posted (edited)

1. Casey Bishop (S19)

2. Grace Kinstler (S19)

3. We Ani (S21)

4. Abi Carter (S22)

5. Leah Marlene (S20)

6. McKenna Faith Breinholt (S22)

7. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (S17)

8. Just Sam (S18)

9. Laci Kay Booth (S17)

10. Maddie Poppe (S16)


Edited by StarWalker1
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1. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon - such as a consistent and strong performer. i get the “boring” allegations, but he was just such a captivating vocalist that i personally never cared. finally, on a more personal note, he was really positive gay representation to have on Idol! as a a fellow gay ginger👨‍🦰who comes from a similar background, my younger self felt really validated through his run on the show. 

2. Leah Marlene - i initially disliked her during the pre-season and pre-lives. after "Heal" she quickly became a fave of mine, and then she went on to become an all-timer for me! even though she was never able to directly say her sexuality on the show, i love how she expressed her queerness through her outfits/some of her song choices. and she STILL made it to the Top 3! in a season with that rather dreadful country top 2, her energy made it worthwhile.

3. Casey Bishop - she is the best singer under 18 y/o on all seasons of Idol, The Voice, and AGT imo. not only was she a killer vocalist, but her song choices were INSANE. the fact that she could go from jazz/soul songs like “My Funny Valentine” and “Over the Rainbow”, to hard rock songs like “Black Hole Sun” and “Livewire”, to modern pop like “wish you were gay” and "Paradise"???? a versatile legend. i return to her performances the most of everyone on this list.

4. Abi Carter - she could potentially go higher depending on how she places, but putting her here for now. a versatile vocalist who has delivered many moments!

5. Maddie Poppe - i remember her audition being montaged during the premiere and i was like “welp i guess she’s a Top 14 boot”, but then she went on to win lmao. her run was such a pure breath of fresh air. she served fun song choices, but also emotional and heartfelt ballads. i also love a lot of her post-show music!

6. Grace Kinstler - one of the best vocalists to appear on Idol for sure. her song choices were basic at times and there were performances where she struggled with pitch, but when she was locked in, she was locked IN!

7/8. McKenna Faith Breinholt/Laci Kaye Booth - raspy voiced icons! love both of their runs to a similar degree so i'm ranking them together.

9. Iam Tongi - was not that huge of a fan during the season, but over the past year, his run has really aged well for me! he was a consistent performer who brought a lovely sense of positivity and unity to the show. his duet with James Blunt to “Monsters” is hands down one of the most emotional performances i’ve ever seen, period.

10. Megan Danielle - she helped me learn to appreciate CCM and i connected with a lot of her performances. i feel like she was lacking a true “moment” tho (“Angel From Montgomery” is closest imo).


Honorable Mentions:

-Kenedi and Kaeyra: my S20 and S21 pre-season faves who i never got to see fulfill their potential. 

-a lot of the Season 18 contestants who got robbed of the Idol experience due to Covid :( i could see Just Sam, Francisco, Jonny, Dillon, and Julia all managing to make their way up into my Top 10 if we got a full season of performances from them. 

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1. Abi Carter

2. Grace Kinstler

3. We Ani

4. Just Sam

5. Kenedi Anderson

6. Leah Marlene

7. Casey Bishop

8. Willie Spence

9. McKenna Faith Breinholt

10. Lauren Spencer Smith

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, TeamAudra said:

Not much post show success in this group! The only one I see is Lauren Spencer Smith, who appeared at #10 on one list. Other than that, I see a lot of flops. 

because that isn’t the point. as far as i’m concerned this is a post about the top 10 abc idol contestants in terms of their runs on the show. not a list about contestants who charted on billboard or went viral on tik tok LOL feel free to make that one if you want to tho!

Edited by wildestinvegas
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Only including finalists. Ik I’m getting confused reactions but here it is 

1. Wade Cota

2. Zacariah Smith

3. Just Sam
4. Caleb Kennedy

5. Fritz Hager

6 Johnny West

7 Hunter Metts

8/9 McKenna Breinholt

8/9 Leah Marline

10 Cade Fohner



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4 hours ago, wildestinvegas said:

because that isn’t the point. as far as i’m concerned this is a post about the top 10 abc idol contestants in terms of their runs on the show. not a list about contestants who charted on billboard or went viral on tik tok LOL feel free to make that one if you want to tho!

It was just an observation…nothing more, nothing less. 

And…who knows, maybe some of them will still have success. 

There’s a member here who likes to say that those who’ve had the most success weren’t IDF favorites, and this made me think of that. 

Carry on! 

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Posted (edited)

1. Laci Kaye Booth

2. Casey Bishop

3. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

4. Emyrson Flora

5. Leah Marlene

6. Jurnee

7. Megan Danielle

8. McKenna Breinholt

9. Maddie Poppe

10. Jayna Elise


HM to Julia Gargano & Emmy Russell

Edited by indii
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Posted (edited)

Caleb Lee Hutchison

Casey Bishop

Chayce Beckham

Fritz Hager

Garrett Jacobs


Laci Kaye Booth

Louis Knight

Michael Williams

Noah Thompson


Just in alphabetical order because I'm lazy.

Edited by Elliott
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1. Abi Carter

2. Maddie Poppe

3. Casey Bishop

4. Iam Tongi

5. Leah Marlene

6. Alejandro Aranda

7. JustSam

8. Noah Thompson

9. Catie Turner

10. Julia Gagnon


❤️ :wub:

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1.Gabby Barrett 

2. Julia Gagnon 

3. Just Sam 

4. ABI Carter 

5. Grace Kinstler 



1. Iam 

2. Chayce 

3. Willie Spence 

4. Will Mosley 

5. Laine Hardy



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Hmm. Tough to say, because the early seasons get thrown off by large eliminations at the first cut, the first two seasons without any voting input--putting my own personal rankings through a CSAB-style regression, if one of my favorites on night one went one-and-done, it could sometimes get them all the way to the finale. S18 in particular was so short that it feels unfair to include anyone who didn't at least make the finale. Which...kind of means that a few seasons get a ton of representation.


1. Casey Bishop (S19)

2. We Ani (S21)

3. Abi Carter (S22)

4. Leah Marlene (S20)

5. Kaibrienne (S22)

6. Nutsa (S21)

7. Nicolina (S20)

8. Dillon James (S18)

9. Huntergirl (S20)

10. Iam Tongi (S21)

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