Best American Idol Contestants

The Top Ten

1 Adam Lambert Adam Lambert Adam Mitchel Lambert is an American singer, songwriter and stage actor. Since 2009, he has sold over 2.5 million albums and 5 million singles worldwide.

Adam has a brilliant career. Not only has he sold out his own tours globally he gets to be the frontman for Queen, one of the most iconic bands ever, performing for massive audiences around the world! Brian May on Adam Lambert: "Well Adam, I hate to use normal phrases, but he ticks all the boxes really. He has an extraordinary instrument. Even Freddie, if he listened to Adam he would go, "my God where did that voice come from? " Freddie had one of the world's most extraordinary voices but Adam has an instrument you wouldn't find in a billion people which is beautiful. Fortunately Adam has the rest of the stuff that goes with it. He has dedication, he has talent, he has understanding, he has musical empathy and he also has the ability to entertain, very much like Freddie. He has a chemistry that comes from him, he works with an audience and has this camp quality which is also a lightness of being which is slightly self-mocking so he has great confidence. He has the ...more

If Elvis Presley and Freddie Mercury had a love child, Adam Lambert would be the result. Adam Lambert has all of the skills and qualities that make a great artist: a beautiful voice with a seemingly limitless range, great stage presence, and a natural ability to engage the audience with his performance. The band Queen even invited Adam to join the band as their new front man. It doesn't matter that he didn't win idol. If Queen invites you to join their band, you are an AMAZING singer. Adam was the true winner of the 8th season of American Idol, and America made a HUGE mistake by not voting him as the winner.

For me Adam Lambert has been the best participant that has had American Idol because Adam Lambert left an imprint in that program with his originality and theatricality, his presentations that with the heart and with so much effort that always surprised the public, Adam Lambert really showed That he has everything to succeed in the music industry and that no other participant could overcome what he did on American Idol, also it is clear that for something the members of Queen invited Adam to be in the band with them. It is even worth mentioning that he has been the only participant throughout the history of American Idol that received a ovation of Simon Cowell.

WORST!

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2 Kelly Clarkson Kelly Clarkson Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter and children's book author. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of the television series American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records. Clarkson's debut single, "A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard ...read more.

What I like about Kelly is that she can't only sing one genre. That's why she had topped the Billboard Country Chart, Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs etc. She is a Jill of All Trades. No wonder she topped the Billboard charts 80 times. She may not sold more albums than Carrie Underwood but Kelly sold more songs, digitally and physically, than any Idol contestant. - kram90

The first and the best (by a mile according to Simon) idol contestant or winner. The most clear best vocalist to ever step foot on the idol stage. Actually she is one of the great voices in music today. She can hold her own against anyone when it comes to singing. She was the first idol and American Idol never found anybody better. They searched but never found the next Kelly Clarkson.

No other Idol is better than the Queen of Idol, Kelly Clarkson herself. Best voice by far, best range, most versatile, best live performer.

Yes!

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3 Clay Aiken

Clay has had it all together since day one. He is multi-talented not only with singing, acting, and a hilarious sense of humor, but also with many years as a UNICEF Ambassador, author of an auto-biography, LEARNING TO SING, that climbed to No. 2 in New York ratings, as well as founding the National Inclusion Project that currently serves 40 states with respect to children with special needs. He is well versed in political matters and recently made a run for Congress. You will see him on many T.V. news networks, and he has been invited to join the "Third Rail", a discussion program featuring news and politics.

Clay has used his celebrity in many positive ways in order to MAKE A DIFFERENCE for those who are less fortunate! But lets not forget Clay DOMINATED Season Two. He lead in every rating! We learned that no one can make lyrics come to life as Clay can. We marveled at his vocal range, and we loved the humbleness of his presentation. As fans, we have followed him through more ...more

American Idol had the best viewership EVER, when Clay was on...The AI2 Finale totals were never beat. Also the next best views were during AI5, when Clay made an appearance, that is by far the most memorable. Michael Sandecki won an award for best impersonation of Clay Aiken..and Clay made an appearance...It was EPIC!.. Best performance ever on Idol was Clay's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters". He's had a fantastic singing career, as well as having his own Foundation for kids, a Unicef Ambassador, and ran for Congress. Seems to me, this is what an American Idol is all about!

This contestant has the most beautiful voice and phrasing...he sings every genre and acts too. Most of all, he wants to make a real difference in the world. What more could you want from an Idol?

Best voice on earth - no contest, best singer. No other singer moves me the way Clay does. His voice is pure magic.

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4 Chris Daughtry Chris Daughtry Christopher Adam "Chris" Daughtry is an American musician and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the rock band Daughtry and as the fourth-place contestant on the fifth season of American Idol.

Why is Chris down here?! He has had hit after hit on EVERY album, baptized is hands down probably his best so far, his vocal range is amazing, his music is beyond perfect... Please, just move Chris to top 5 at least

Totally ruled!! He should have beat Hick(s) and Mcphee!! Some people wouldn't know talent if it bit them in the a**

All of his songs sounds good to me... A thumbs up for Daughtry!...

Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry are one of my favorite singers, but Chris is a little bit better. He's great!

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5 David Cook David Cook

David Cook rocks! He's the season 7 grand winner, and I really love his rock n roll voice.. I love all of his songs!

should be in the top 10 with taylor, clay and elliott - idolangelx13

THE BEST

Should be 1. Complete genius and changed the show completely forever. Artist>singer.

6 Haley Reinhart Haley Reinhart Haley Elizabeth Reinhart is an American singer, songwriter, and voice actress from Wheeling, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

She has the best voice I have ever heard, not only on American idol but in my life! It is sooo unique and there is something about it that cannot be duplicated! Even if she never gets big she will be my favorite voice forever and my favorite artist! LOVE HER and I will always try to stay updated with what she is doing because she is that amazing! I am waiting for the day that she becomes famous and I know that she will be because talent like hers cannot go unnoticed!

Haley is a one of a kind original. There is no one else like her. She has the voice of an angel, yet naturally sensual and she can belt out a song too that gives you chills. Her rasp and growl are second to none and she is always pitch perfect. She's a dream to look at and is just as beautiful on the inside. She is indeed God's gift to everyone who enjoys good music and is destined for super stardom. I am so enjoying her journey, it's been a blast so far.

Haley Reinhart has paid her dues since American Idol, gigging and singing her way into everyone's hearts. Her voice is one of a kind, unique to this contest, and her attitude is so calm and respectful. She never says anything but positive about American Idol, she truly appreciates what the show did for her. She took her experience there, and has grown it into 2 albums, a T.V. show, an international sold out tour with Postmodern Jukebox, all while being known in the industry as the SWEETEST HARDEST WORKING girl! She is forever my favorite AI, from someone who's seen every episode of the show, she is the diamond and will be BIG in 2016!

Incredible vocalist and person. Her music helped me navigate my own personal journey out of depression. She is all about personal empowerment and being chill. Best Idol ever!

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7 Jessica Sanchez Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez is a happy and jubilant person from the season 11 American Idol 2012 she should've won but people thought Phillip Phillips was cute had a contagious voice ( Catchy songs and easy to learn to and love ) but Jessica Sanchez was like phenomenal with all her performances and was saved by the judges because her pure talent! And she even auditioned in America's got talent she was good then and I think she was 8 or 7 years old but come on that was great because her voice is super contagious easy to love and made it quite far in america's got talent but I'm glad she still got a record deal because its rare to not have a record deal! In AI because most people are young or isn't good enough or can't fit in their record label but all and all its your decision not mine! All I ask is that when I revisit this site Jessica Sanchez has to be at least the top 4 because she has a dash of JHud and the growl of Whitney Houston (rest in peace whitney) and the high notes like not like the ...more

Her season was the probably the toughest I've seen, yet out of all the great contestants, Jessica should have been crowned the American Idol. She has the power of Jhud and Whitney Houston, yet she has the fire of Beyonce. This girl is one to watch out for. She can perform, dance, and sing like there is no tomorrow. Take notes, this girl knows what she's doing.

Jessica has a unique voice and she is the kind of person that everyone loves. I cannot believe that a person so close to my age can be such a remarkable performer. Oh god, when she sang I will always love you she nailed it!

A little to Filipino Karaoke for me.

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8 Carrie Underwood Carrie Underwood

She is a package.. Beautiful face, has an angelic voice and the best country singer in music industry... Aside from taylor swift

She should be number 1! She is the person who has had the most success after being on idol! Powerhouse voice! Go Carrie!

Her voice is unique and better than David Cook, Lambert and Sanchez. She should be at number 1 with Clarkson

I think she is the #1 idol

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9 Jordin Sparks Jordin Sparks Jordin Brianna Sparks is an American singer, songwriter and actress. In 2007, she rose to fame after winning the sixth season of American Idol; at age 17, she became the youngest winner in the series' history.

She has an amazing, unique vocal range and she's a true performer. When she is on stage and she does her thing, nobody can say that she is not good enough, because everyone knows that she has the talent and drive to be on top.

I really love her voice, especially when she sings battlefield, tattoo and permanent monday. She also had a good collaboration w/ Chris Brown in No Air and w/ Big Time Rush, Count On you..

Unbeatable vocal range...unfortunately, still untapped!

10 Bo Bice

He ROCKS! On the American Idol CD, He did great, G-R-E-A-T, on I Don't Wanna be. WHOOHOO! - Abejorro97

The Contenders

11 Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Kate Hudson is an American singer, actress and spokesperson. She rose to fame in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of American Idol, coming in seventh place.

Jennifer Hudson had the best voice from her season and it is awesome to see her bringing down the house as Effie in Dreamgirls. Long overdue success for her.

She is the definition of the American Idol, the epitome of the perfection. I just love her.

By far the one of the best voices of all idol contestants. Would actually put her number 2 after the great Miss Clarkson.

I love fantasia but I still can't believe Jhud didn't win!

12 Colton Dixon Colton Dixon

His song never gone is very good. He's become a great Christian rock artist

September and Piano man were both incredible performances.

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13 Angie Miller

She has an amazing voice and she should have won that season. She is charismatic, talented, she is a nice person and she could be a very good role model. From the very first audition, I loved her. Her voice is very strong and she reminds me of Jessica Sanchez. They both have a very strong voice and good personality at a young age.

Another more overlooked contestant who also came in third but in my opinion definitely deserved to win American Idol

What? She's easily the most overrated contestant of Season 12. Everyone loved her cause she looked cute when Candice had the better voice. - DCfnaf

She's not only beautiful, but has a powerful voice & message to share with the world as well!

She was definitely not better than Candice. Shouldn't be higher than her. - DCfnaf

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14 Ruben Studdard Ruben Studdard Christopher Ruben Studdard, is an American R&B, pop and gospel singer. He rose to fame as winner of the second season of American Idol and received a Grammy Award nomination in December 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Superstar".
15 Taylor Hicks Taylor Hicks

Taylor is an Amazingly talented live entertainer/musician and singer/songwriter with vocals that are full and rich keeping our roots music alive. Taylor's shows keep you thoroughly engaged whether it's with a full band or acoustic. He's loved by all who meet him. He made Forbes Top Ten Idol earners two years in a row without a big machine helping him. His life exemplifies Christian values by his devotion to children's charities and his "turn the other cheek" attitude in the face of adversity. Taylor is a honest and loyal person in addition to his musicality. This is why he is the Top AI vote earner of all time AND season 5 Winner!

Taylor is definitely my favorite Idol of all time. He was fabulous on the show and is amazing to see in person. I have been blessed to meet fellow fans over the years and we have developed incredible bonds of friendship. Taylor has achieved success on so many levels, as a writer, in a Vegas residency, on Broadway, on the Grease live tour, as a popular restaurant owner, and so much more. His efforts and generosity with charity projects have touched hearts in immeasurable ways. I hope Idol appreciates how Taylor helped to contribute to Idol's success in it's most popular season ever.

I'm so glad I got to see him perform- he is, in my humble opinion, the best all-around entertainer that I've heard in ages. Even though he won Season 5, it's a shame he didn't get the recognition he deserved. But he's doing what he's always wanted to do- play his music his way, and make people happy.

Taylor comes alive on stage! A true artist who since winning Idol has performed with just about every genre of musicians. He wowed them at Jam band concerts and is as comfortable singing soul, or country as he is singing pop. He is a musicians musician! No auto tuned voice overs for him!

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16 Diana DeGarmo

Maybe not the best voice from her season, but was always very polished for her age. Went on to have a career on Broadway. I actually believed she was better than Fantasia in the finale.

17 William Hung William Hung William James Hung, also known as Hung Hing Cheong, is a Hong Kong-born American former singer who gained fame in early 2004 as a result of his rather colorful audition performance of Ricky Martin's hit song "She Bangs" on the third season of the television series American Idol. He is also a motivational ...read more.
18 Constantine Maroulis

One of the best male pop-rock singers I've ever heard. Should have come in at least 2nd or 3rd. His performance of "My Funny Valentine" is one of the best ever on Idol.

19 Kellie Pickler

Possibly one of the best personalities the show has ever seen. - keziahsuperstar

SHE WAS THE BEST THEN AND NOW!

20 Larry Platt
21 Casey James

Casey James is one of the best musicians by far. he has the most amazing voice & Great guitar skills. h can take any song & make it his own. he can really rock the stage & will have the crowd of fans in an high energy mode right along with him when he performs each song. with his multi-talents of singing & playing many different guitars he's nothing short of being the full package. he's the most humblest & down to earth young man with a heart as big as Texas, not only does he take time to make time to be with his fans. he always takes time out of his very busy schedule to be with his little fans that may have learning disabilities or physical disabilities such as being blind or many other health issues. From the youngest of Fans to the older ones he always goes above & beyond what he needs too, to make sure his fans is happy. Casey is so grateful for everything that has come his way in his musical career & he's one of the most polite & respectful musicians I've had the pleasure of ...more

Casey James is by far my favorite. He has an amazing voice, killer guitar skills and he takes each song and makes it his own. On Idol he did songs that were my favorite at the time they were released and he changed them sometimes ever so slightly and made them better than the originals. His original songs are amazing just love them. In concert Casey really rocks he really puts it all out there and each performance is better than the last. You can't just stop at one, you have to have more, more, more! Crying On a Suitcase is still my favorite song! Can't wait to hear the new CD and to see which of the new songs make it on. He would have to make it a triple CD to get all of my favorites on it. He has so many good songs I just love his music and can't hear it enough. Casey is one of a kind and makes real music that is enjoyable to listen to. He is multi-talented with fantastic guitar skills. With all of this amazing talent Casey James is one of the nicest, kindest, most considerate ...more

Casey's not just a great musician, he's a great person. He is a crazy-talented guitarist, amazing songwriter, and terrific singer. He pours every ounce of his energy into his performance, and never disappoints. Yes, it's true he's easy on the eyes, but that's not what makes him so special. In addition to his amazing gift, Casey is the most humble and down-to-earth artist out there. He remembers where he comes from and that his fans are what keeps him going. He is generous and caring and giving -- active with charities such as Children's Hospital. He appreciates his fans -- ensuring he stays after shows to meet them. Casey has overcome tremendous adversity physically, having been told he would never play guitar again after his accident. Casey is an inspiration and role model to many. Although he didn't win American Idol, we ALL win by his participation in the show. Thank you to American Idol for bringing Casey James to the world. Thank you, Casey James, for making the world a little ...more

I loved Casey from the very first time he auditioned an AI. My opinion never changed! HE IS GREAT!

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22 Pia Toscano

Thumbs up if you think she should have won that season!

Yes but scotty mcreery deserved to win

23 Kris Allen Kris Allen

Last I heard Kris is performing on college campuses and pubs. He never really made it. He has a small core fan base who continue to support him. He puts out album after album of the same boring music. I couldn't even imagine going to one of his "concerts." I can see better at the local pubs on a Saturday night. But good for him that he's able to do what he loves.

He's a brilliant musician who can match up singers with better vocals than him. A true Dark Horse! - ramlien

Kris Allen is better than Adam Lambert... Just my opinion.. Haha.. I really love live like were dying, the truth and his latest song the vision of love..

24 Bucky Covington
25 La'Porsha Renae

She has such a beautiful, soulful voice, and though she didn't win, she came in second place OUT OF 190 CONTESTANTS. That's extremely impressive. Also, I found her story very touching.

It is a singing competition.

26 Rhonetta Johnson
27 Michael Johns

Michael R.I.P. was the first male Idol I ever saw and immediately thought he could be a music superstar. Was robbed at only 8th place. Amazing personality, good looks and what a voice! Miss him terribly!

28 Allison Iraheta

Allison was one of if not the best contestant of all time. Should be number 1

Allison rocked and has a big future ahead.

29 Lauren Alaina
30 Tamika Bush
31 Blake Lewis

Most creative person ever on American Idol, I can't stop watching his "You Give Love a Bad Name"

32 Phillip Phillips Phillip Phillips Phillip LaDon Phillips Jr. is an American singer, songwriter and musician who won the eleventh season of American Idol on May 23, 2012. His coronation song, "Home," released after his win, became the best selling of all coronation songs.

I recently saw Phillip in concert a and he was so good. He has a unique voice and style that is unashamedly raw and passionate. Perfection is not his aim in his music, you can tell he just really loves doing it. A gifted song writer and accomplished guitarist, all you have to do is watch him perform and see how lost in the music he gets to understand why he is one of the best new musicians out there, American Idol winner or not.

Phillip won American Idol because being American Idol doesn't mean that you can hit the highest note, it's your passion to win.

Love Phillip Phillips! Together with Jessica Sanchez... I love both of them! His song Home is good and the version of somebody that I used to know by gotye is such a hit.. And also the duet w/ Jessica "up where we Belong"

P2 was a born star. You just saw his passion for his music. He knew who he was and what he wanted to do. Loved him!

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33 Tamyra Gray

I orginally wanted her to win. I cried when she was voted off.

34 Sanjaya Malakar

God bless that little Indian boy... He sings like an angel. A lady angel!

35 Crystal Bowersox

Crystal was named aptly. Crystal voice and not one bad performance. Should have won her season. One of Idol's greats!

Crystal you were robbed! (With all due respect to Lee Dewyze)

36 Katharine McPhee Katharine McPhee

I remember when I was younger she was one that show. I loved her! She has an amazing voice there is no way that she should've lost to taylor hicks. How did that happen anyway? She's amazing perfect and OH MY GOD DO YOU GUYS REMEMBER BLACK HORSE AND A CHERRY TREE? THAT WAS AMAZING!

I love her! Her CD is out now and is awesome. You can't honestly say that you didn't absolutely love her rendition of "Somehwere Over the Rainbow." - keziahsuperstar

We will see the real KAT in January when "SMASH" hits the T.V.. Her voice is so beautiful it's a joy to just listen to her sing

Nice voice!

37 Fantasia Barrino Fantasia Barrino Fantasia Monique Taylor, known professionally by her mononym Fantasia, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, and actress.

Anyone that can bring Elton John to tears deserves all the accolades in the world

38 Siobhan Magnus

By far the most versatile and talented!

Memorable

39 Candice Glover Candice Glover Candice Rickelle Glover is an American R&B singer and actress who won the twelfth season of American Idol.

She's lower than LEE DEWYZE? Candice is actually GOOD, move her up please! - DCfnaf

Why is she number 51? She won on one of the seasons!

People have squealed for Candice Glover!

Yes! Her image is up! Thank you admins! Isn't she amazing? Great voice and definitely deserves the top ten. - DCfnaf

40 David Archuleta David Archuleta David James Archuleta is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. At ten years old, he won the children's division of the Utah Talent Competition leading to other television singing appearances.

Has a soulful voice... I played his song a little too not over on my cellphone over and over again...!

Humble and talented - just loved him singing Imagine

Why is this at 19?! This should at least be in the top 5 if not the first!

He's so good loh you people ada2 aja sih bikin list.

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41 Jena Irene

No idea why she is ranked this low because she erased idol history and rewrote it with performances like barracuda, heart attack, and we are one.

You guys! She should at least to be the top 10! She's so unique and incredible.

Jena, she's amazing.

JENA IRENE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SINGERS AT THE MOMENT! IT SUCKS SHE didn't WIN (EVEN THOUGH SHE SHOULD HAVE), BUT SHE SHOULD GET SIGNED...

Have you heard her sing? Her voice is epic, she can sing depressing songs, joyful songs, pretty much anything!

My top 5 songs that she sang:
1. ) Can't Help Falling in Love
2. ) Creep
3. ) Unbreakable Me
4. ) Clarity
5. ) We Are One

Pleaassseee never stop singing Jena, I LOVE YOU

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42 Elise Testone

Elise was the best song stylist ever on Idol. Such great performances. The judges were crazy.

Eise is so unique. Nobody can sing like her. And she is also so humble and funny and seems like a person you can relate to 100%.

Very unique voice!

43 Elliott Yamin

some say Chris Daughtry(who really only needed american idol to be known obviously didnt need to win... cuz he didnt) should have beat Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee ...but you are forget number three from that season... he was my fav i love his singing.. he is soooo talented

Elliott has one of the most soulful voices of our time. He was a little lacking on stage presence but I think the many times he shared a stage with Taylor Hicks helped pull him out of his shell.Some of the duets Elliott and Taylor have done in concert just bring the house down!

Definitely deserves to be in the top 10!

2nd best guy ever!

44 Haley Scarnato

She's got the sweetest voice since Olivia Newton John. Can't wait for her to release a CD!

45 Angela Miller

Hopefully she wins this season

I really enjoyed Angie

46 Jason Castro
47 Caleb Johnson

Awesome Rocker with out of this world vocals

This guy made American Idol worth watching during his season - Shake_n_Bake13

I accidentally voted for him :/

Great performing skills!

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48 Mandisa Lynn Hundley
49 Adore Delano Adore Delano
50 Megan Corkery

She is so awesome and she has such a great tone and unique quality to her voice. Her best performance was definitely either rocking robin or out your records on. She is awesome!

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List Stats

5,000 votes
115 listings
12 years, 125 days old

Top Remixes (20)

1. William Hung
2. Larry Platt
3. Kanye West
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1. Jessica Sanchez
2. Joshua Ledet
3. Adam Lambert
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1. Kelly Clarkson
2. Haley Reinhart
3. Pia Toscano
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