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The 10 Best Contestants Ever On American Idol

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Top 10 Contestants Ever On American Idol:

1. Kelly Clarkson
2. La Toya London
3. Jennifer Hudson
4. Carrie Underwood
5. Fantasia Barrino

6. Kimberley Locke
7. Clay Aiken
8. Constantine Maroulis
9. Lisa Leuschner (Eliminated in Top 32 Round)
10. Diana DeGarmo

There have been four seasons of the ratings phenomenon, American Idol–some better than others. But over the course of this #1 show’s four seasons, there have definitely been standout performers–winners or losers.

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About Chris Evans

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Sun, in a general sense, your posts are fine – they could be fleshed out somewhat more – make for more depth and open to discussion

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Also, as you may have noticed, only two posts at a time from one author will show up on the front page of blogcritics – spacing them out may help expose them to more readers.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Yes, there have definitely been standout performers. I would like to know what, in your opinion, makes those on your list outstanding. IMO, any list that does not include Bo Bice (just for his a cappella performance alone) or Tamyra Gray — especially when the ranking does not include some sort of explanation — is useless.

  • http://thescathingtongue.blogspot.com Chris Evans

    OH GOD. I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT TAMYRA…AHHHH

    But also…I really hate Bo Bice. And I think he’s a poser. No real rocker would go on a show like American Idol…

    But…HMM…Okay, replace Clay Aiken with Tamyra.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    “Credible” rock radio, no doubt, is thankful for you. Thankfully, lots of people — Willie Nelson, Trey Anastasio, Carlos Santana, Richie Sambora, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Edwin McCain, for starers — disagree with your assessment of Mr. Bice.

    Knocking Clay Aiken from the list makes it even less credible.

  • http://breathoffreshink.blogspot.com Chris Evans

    Well, you are entitled to your opinion, as they are to theirs.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    As are you to yours.

  • Flo

    You couldn’t have been more wrong. Clay Aiken should have been no.1 on that list. Everyone knows that.

  • http://breathoffreshink.blogspot.com Chris Evans

    …Riiight…Lmao.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Nah, Clarkson is number one; I can’t imagine another viable choice using any set of criteria.

    Which begs the question: What were the criteria for the selections and ordering? For the life of me, I can’t see how Kim Locke, talented as she is, is a greater Idol than Clay Aiken. I don’t understand how Diana DeGarmo made the list at all. And Lisa Leuschner? Uh, who?

    No disrespect here, just confusion. On what were the rankings based?

  • http://breathoffreshink.blogspot.com Chris Evans

    It was basically my personal faves.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    That explains it. Thanks.

  • Carol

    Move the best to the top of that list, please. Spelled: CLAY AIKEN! Everyone knows he won season 2 – and Clay continues to stand above the crowd.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Everyone does not know that or agree with that statement. Let’s be accurate. (Gotta love the Claymates.)

  • deb

    It doesn’t matter where you put Clay, because in the real world he is the measure of a man. His willing to make a difference in the world. His record sales are the best, the concert demands are hot,hot,hot. Records show he brings in more at concerts than even AI tours. Next tour already has sold out date, Atlanta City 2 sold out dates. Kelly has only 1 date at the venue and still has not sold out. The Pin craze is the latest. Major hotels are looking forward to seeing the Clay fans again, along with the restuarant gatherings. Most important is the work he does for Unicef, the toys for tots, the McDonald house(remember the handprint how much money he brought in more than 10 times what other people were bringing in) and Bubel/Aiken. Lets not forget how much Disney loves him. Remember Clay’s christmas rating were higher than the AI christmas special, we could go on and on, but the sales and the the computor sites that get crashed because of Clay speaks for itself. We know the facts. Clay is the best.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Clay is a fine fellow, but he did come in second to an inferior performer and on what was unquestionably the weakest of the four seasons of competition.

    Kell Clarkson, on the other hand, beat out a better set of performers and is certainly the most commercially and artistically successful person to come out of the show.

    Dave

  • karencheyne

    With all due respect to Kelly and all of her achievements, Clay is, without a doubt, a much superior singer. He does not have to resort to screaming to reach a higher vocal range and, frugly as he dresses sometimes, Clay does not try to be a follower of the ‘grunge’ fashion statement.

    All of the females you placed on your list of faves, dress far better than Kelly. La Toya London was the classiest female dresser..and performer..ever on AI.

    Clay is in a class of his own….his character, personality and work-ethic put him way above all the others; he has never measured his personal worth by the numerical ranking he achieved on AI….but by the number of children he helps via his Bubel-Aiken Foundation and his role with UNICEF.

    He is respected not only by thousands of claymates (us)..but by world respected personages such as Mrs. Jimmy Carter and Heather Headley.

    It amazes me that, in this often chaotic and brutal world of ours, no one ever takes the time to appreciate the ‘good guys’….just to pull them down. In real life, like in the movies, the ‘hero’ always wins…..and Clay is winning.

  • deb

    karen you forgot to add that Alan Menkin was brought to tear by Clay Aiken when he sang Proud of Your Boy. He talked about how it was hard to find someone with the right voice to do that song, and knew when he heard Clay that he would be perfect.
    Now, you can’t forget the the Clay mentions he get from Barry at all his concerts and also Neil Sedaka an icon in himself.
    Kelly is a great singer, and I do like her very much, but Clay’s record first album to first album etc is much better. The demand on Clay and the ratings he has when on a tv show, magazine clearly says how much he is loved. The reason is Clay is able to have fans from 1 to 101 where Kelly and the rest target a certain group.
    Lets not forget about Josh, now I do not care for country but his songs are great.

  • Diana

    You’re entitled to your favorites and to your list – I respect that. I disagree – but I respect it. I’m very pleased that you admitted that the list was just that, your favorites… For my money – Clay Aiken would be head and shoulders above any on the list with Kelly a close second – and having a music background – I can tell you – the others don’t come close.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Other people with music backgrounds hold differing opinions. But no one that I can see here is downing Clay at all. He is talented, principled, and deservedly successful.

  • Lucy

    I so disagree with the statement “unquestionably the weakest of the four seasons of competition” regarding Season Two. It was undoubtedly the season with the strongest talent besides AI4. Season one and three were the weakest, espectially Season 1. There was absolutely no competition for Kelly Clarkson other than Tamyra. I’m glad Kelly won and think she is a great talent, but besides Tamyra, nobody had any vocals. On the other hand, the top four in Season two, Ruben, Clay, Kim, and Josh, all have had hit records. The Top 10 that is listed is obviously just one individual’s personal favorites and not based on any true vocal talent, performance ability, or popularity.

  • Lucy

    I so disagree with the statement “unquestionably the weakest of the four seasons of competition” regarding Season Two. It was undoubtedly the season with the strongest talent besides AI4. Season one and three were the weakest, espectially Season 1. There was absolutely no competition for Kelly Clarkson other than Tamyra. I’m glad Kelly won and think she is a great talent, but besides Tamyra, nobody had any vocals. On the other hand, the top four in Season two, Ruben, Clay, Kim, and Josh, all have had hit records and are doing well. The Top 10 that is listed above is obviously just one individual’s personal favorites and not based on any true vocal talent, performance ability, or popularity including one person who I’m sure no one but that individual even remembers and was not good enough to even make it into the Top 12.

  • Jan

    Kelly as #1 is correct. Clay should be #2. Kimberley #3 and then so on.
    Is Simon responsible for this #10 List?

  • Pat

    I get it that this article serves only one purpose, get hits on this site! That explains the use of Clay Aiken’s name on this list of what, favorite idol contestant? When in reality its all about who is making the bucks! Who brings the music fans out to the venues, and gets them back buying those cds. The music trend has move away from all the phoney, synthetic sound and back to the singer/song and musican. So lets just celebrate this change and leave the comparison to so call experts, they do such a messed up job anyway! LOL
    Thank YOu Clay Aiken for all you have given the music buying public, its good to be back enjoying our favorite past time.
    We came for the music and stayed for the MAN!!!

  • Rene

    I think anyone who thinks Clay should be at the top of the list is an absolute moron. I’ve always thought Clay can sing and still do. But there is an insincerety to his delivery of songs that I find off putting. This has been realized by critics throughout the music industry everywhere. To suggest that he is bigger than Kelly Clarkson who’s churning out hits from her most recent album and is enjoying a tremendously succesful year is absolutely ludicrous. In my opinion, Clay shouldn’t be on the list at all. Incidently, why is it that his humanatarian efforts are always being touted. Just because he’s a good person doesn’t make him the best entertainer or most talented person in the world. I mean – please, the guy has to go on tour doing nothing but cover songs because he can’t find or simply can’t do original music.

  • kelly

    CARRIE UNDERWOOD IS THE BEST AMERICAN IDOL!!!!!!!!!

  • amanda

    please this debate over kelly and clay is insane…kelly is far more successful in every way you look at it. not only does she have the best voice by far but she also done the unthinkable…she has pulled in a heavy non-idol fan base. her success is not carried by only the people who fell in love with her on AI, but also the general music loving people. her audience following still has the widest range of any contestant. look at clay aiken…he’s a marketing disaster…why do you think he put out a christmas album? this way he didn’t have to admit that his greatest demographics consisted of 40 something year old women. talk about an easy way out of his sure to be sophmore slump!

  • Rene

    Very well put Amanda!

  • Duane

    I nominate this list for the Top 10 Silliest Lists Ever. Here’s my list of lists as it stands now:

    1) The 10 Most Disgusting Gastrointestinal Viruses

    2) The 10 Best Contestants Ever On American Idol

    3) Top 10 Episodes of The Facts of Life

    4) The 25 Funniest Words Starting With the Letters ‘FU’

    5) The Top 10 Sock Brands

    6) The Top 5 Accordionists in Lawrence Welk’s Orchestra

    7) The Top 5 Oceans

    8) The Top 10 Songs by The Bay City Rollers

    9) The Top 50 IRS Forms

    10) The Top 10 Chemical Spills

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Duane, that’s some funny, funny stuff right there. Excellent!

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Fantasia in 5!

    S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

    That is all.

  • sully

    Constantine on this list? Please. That guy didnt sing one note in tune all that time. And yes, Clay should be number one, no one will ever have a voice that good on American Idol.

  • Los Gadas

    My favorites are Latoya London and Jennifer Hudson. Be it known that I am hispanic so this is not a race issue.

  • Joe

    Clay Aiken is by far the best idol contestant ever. He turned in one slamdunk performance after another.

    Just listen to his voice. The man is God.

  • Logan Ack

    Are you kidding??? No one is talking about Chris Daughtry? he should have won his season. that was dumb

  • moma mia

    i think its pretty jannk Haley Reinhart(season 10) isnt on this list….i mean shes the bomb diggity and my #1