Wednesday, February 22, 2012

American Idol Season 5 Take 2

American Idol Season 5

As we approach the competition starting up on the most recent season of American Idol, it allows me to do something the other similar shows can't do. That is to look back over the last decade of the show, and visit with the performers I really thought were due another look and listen. Hard to believe it has been a decade, but this summer, it will be 10 years since Fox aired the show that caught the imagination of the viewers.

As I said in yesterday's post, it could easily be argued that Season 5 of American Idol is the most successful of all ten completed season. While there certainly been individuals with much greater success, the sheer number of artists continuing to work in the industry is impressive. Yesterday, I featured the music of Bucky Covington, Mandisa and Kellie Pickler, as well as offering a few insights into some other contestants. Today we get to look at the remaining Season 5 veterans, beginning with the most successful of the lot.

Daughtry album cover

Chris Daughtry might have been the shocking elimination in fourth place this season, it certainly didn't spell the end of his career. On tour, he often stole the show rockin' Led Zeppelin, and was quickly signed to a music contract. By the end of 2006, he had released a single and an album, and both were flying off the shelves. His first single was It's Not Over, written by Greg Wattenberg and Mark Wilkerson, with additional work by Daughtry and his good friend, Ace Young. The song went on the earn the #4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and went on to be nominated for Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

The album proved to be more successful than anyone could have dreamed. Daughtry sold just shy of five million copies in the US alone. In fact, Daughtry earned two more Grammy nominations, for Best Rock Album and for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group on the song Home. The band also went on to win three American Music Awards and six Billboard Music Awards in 2007. They were not the last for the band either. In 2009, the band released Leave This Town, and at the end of 2011, they offered Break The Spell. The first single off that album is Crawling Back To You.

While it is true that neither the second or third album had the same sales numbers as the first, Daughtry continued to get good airplay, and keep the record company happy. For more about Chris Daughtry and his band, check out their official website here. You can also find their latest album, Break The Spell, on iTunes and Amazon.

Elliott Yamin album cover

While the season went on, Elliott Yamin proved to be a tough one for the judges to get. Well, for Simon, anyway. But his quiet charm and steady performances really caught the attention of the audiences, who liked his jazz-tinged stylings, his R&B flavor. He completed the season in third, in what might be seen as the closest vote of the the final four, separated by fractions of a percent. After the show, many assumed he would be scooped up by a label, but that was not the case. He went the independent route, and released an eponymous first album, which did remarkably well for an indie release. With success of singles like Wait For You, it seemed like Elliott was getting more radio play than winner Taylor Hicks. By 2010, Billboard.Com put together a list of indie releases for the decade, and Elliott Yamin placed #39. In 2009, Elliott released Fight For Love, but the marketplace had changed. It was far tougher to break the hold major labels held on radio, and with no airplay, sales were definitely hurt. Just a few weeks ago, Elliott released a new single on a new label. This is the video for 3 Words.

3 Words debuted at #29 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. For more about Elliott, check out his official website here. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. You can also find his latest single, 3 Words, on iTunes and Amazon.

Katharine McPhee album cover

Interestingly enough, the final two were really the lightning rods of the season, starting with the runner up, Katharine McPhee. She had a roller coaster of a season, at times shining bright, while at other times barely glowing. Her fans were stalwart in their defense, while others were less kind. When she missed a part of the tour, rumors of diva syndrome flew. After the tour, the attitudes calmed down a bit, and by the beginning of 2007, her first album was finally ready for release. Katharine McPhee came out, and six of the twelve songs was written by future AI judges Kara DioGuardi. The first single, Over It, made it to #29 on the Bilboard Hot 100, while the second single, Love Story, did not make the charts. At that point, sales for the album stalled as well. Soon, McPhee and RCA Records parted ways, and in 2009, she released her first album on Verve Forecast Records. The sales went nowhere fast. It included the single Terrified, written by DiaGuardi and Jason Reeves, and Reeves joined McPhee on the song for the album. In 2010, the song was re-released with actor Zachary Levi joining her. Here is the music video for the re-release of Terrified.

Katharine has been more successful as an actress than as a recording artist. She had great reviews for he work in The House Bunny. Currently, she is starring in the much-hyped NBC show, Smash. There she gets to join her two interests, singand and acting. For more about Katharine, check out her official website here. You can also find her latest single, Terrified, on iTunes and Amazon.

Taylor Hicks album cover

The winner of Season 5 was, of course, Taylor Hicks. However, it must be noted that this was the first time the winner had little backing of the judges, and none from Simon Cowell. The voters felt differently, and made sure Taylor was the only one never to have been in the bottom 3. His fans, a vocal group called the Soul Patrol, became a force to be reckoned with, all over the internet. Taylor took his time on the tour, entering from the back of the house through the crowd, wanting to share his win with the fans. Do I Make You Proud, the winner's single, scored big with the fans, making it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Pop chart in Canada. His self-titled album made it to #2 on the charts, the first winner to not hit #1. The two singles released from the album did not engage the public, and both failed to make the Pop charts. With no single, the album sales stalled at 700,000. Soon, Taylor and Arista Records parted ways. In 2009, Taylor went the independent route, and released The Distance. The first single off the album was What's Right Is Right.

Hicks' brand of southern blues didn't seem to catch on with the public. Soon, Taylor was found on the Broadway stage, playing the Teen Angel in Grease for a limited run. Once it closed, Taylor returned to the role for the national tour. After the show, he would often perform a few numbers from his album. Hicks continues to tour with his music. For more about Taylor, check out his official website here. You can also find his latest album, The Distance, on iTunes and Amazon.

Next I will catch up with American Idol Season 6!


Related Posts with Thumbnails