Stayed Too LongIn this section we are posting our selections for the Top 5 contestants from the entire run of American Idol that we believed stayed way past what they should.
5. Corey Clark(Season 2):Was only on the show through Top 10 week but that was way too long. Not only did Corey eventually get disqualified by American Idol for his past criminal transgressions but there were alleged rumors that he and judge Paula Abdul hooked up. This guy was only on the show for a relatively short time but that way too long.
4. Andrew Garcia(Season 9): I'll give the guy credit, his rearrangement of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" was original and memorable, the problem is that this song occurred during the Hollywood rounds and unfortunately Garcia peaked at that moment. He could never find another song that he was able to make just as good and most times he rested on his past success rather than push himself to take the next step. This is definitely a case of peaking way too early. Future runner up on Season 9 Crystal Bowersox was also victim of peaking way too soon.
3. Tim Urban(Season 9): What can you say about Tim Urban other than he is a good looking guy and...well that's about it. This guy definitely pulled a Sanjaya(see below). His boyish good looks and relative charm helped carry him all the way to Top 7. Honestly week after week he was banished to the Bottom 3, yet week after week he escaped. In fact, during Hollywood week he was actually eliminated, only to be able to return when one of the other men of the Top 24 was disqualified. Despite the judges' criticism Tim just kept on smiling, enabling Simon to say to him one time "You're going to smile, the audience is going to vote for you, nobody cares, and you'll be here next week. So well done." And the audience did for many long and painful weeks.
2. Nikki McKibbin(Season 1): Despite it being over 10 years since Season 1, Nikki McKibbin landing in the Top 3 after being pretty dreadful throughout the entire run is why we think she stayed WAY Too Long. Despite landing in the Bottom 3 or 2, five times, Nikki was able to outlast potential winner and front runner Tamyra Gray. Someone was voting for Nikki but it's been over 10 years and I still can't figure out who that was.
1. Sanjaya(Season 6): What can you say about the guy that helped American Idol lose tons of its credibility that it had established throughout its first 5 seasons on air. Week after week he got dreadful comments, and performed just brutally, yet week after week his fans kept this kid in. From his crazy mohawk, to his obsessed teen girl fans, Sanjaya defied logic. Although Season 6 didn't have the strongest cast in American Idol history, there were at least a few contestants that were eliminated before him that undeservingly left. It's been awhile but I'm still kinda angry that he stuck around for as long as he did. I know I should be over it but it still gets to me. Sanjaya definitely exemplifies that "Stayed Too Long" category.
Notable Mentions: Kristy Lee Cook(Season 7), Joshua Gracin(Season 2), Danny Gokey(Season 8)
Gone Too Soon
In this section we are posting our selections for the Top 5 contestants from the entire run of American Idol that were eliminated way too soon.
5. Didi Benami(Season 9): If people don't remember Didi she was cute, had a nice voice and sucked up to judge Kara DioGuardi by singing one of her songs "Terrified". I blame this elimination on Ryan Seacrest. After her rendition of "What Becomes of a Broken Hearted", which wasn't the best rendition ever, Ryan pushed and pushed Didi to reveal why she chose this song. Didi informed him that it was personal. He pretty much revealed that she chose it for a friend that had past away. It was incredibly awkward and made Ryan look like a tool. Didi only was able to last to 11th place which ensures that she was definitely gone too soon.
4. Jennifer Hudson(Season 3): In retrospect eliminating Jennifer Hudson was a huge mistake at 7th place. After winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and being the poster child for weight loss with Weight Watchers, Jennifer Hudson has had one of the most impressive and successful careers of any American Idol alum. Her rendition of "Circle of Life" is still one of my favorites. There were some definite talent on Season 3 with eventual winner Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo and Latoya London but Hudson should have lasted for awhile longer. Supposedly a power outage occurred in Hudson's hometown of Chicago at the time of voting and thus could be the reason for her early outage. Whatever it was Hudson has proved that she had more to give and her elimination was way too early.
3. Pia Toscano(Season 10): I still don't get this one. Week after week she killed every song. Maybe her outfits were a little off, but her voice was just pure goodness. She got standing ovations and great praise from all 3 judges but obviously didn't connect with the audience one week and thus was eliminated at 9th place. I blame the judges for not thinking ahead with this one. The week prior to Pia's elimination eventual 6th place finisher Casey Abrams was saved by the judges. The judges only get one save per season. They chose to use it on him. I'm not saying that Casey wasn't good, but they have to think who could win the show, and I have no doubt that Pia would have made a great run at winning the show if she stuck around a bit longer. Hopefully Pia's early elimination will tell the judges to be more cautious with their selection of the Judge's Save.
2. Tamarya Gray(Season 1): She proves that one bad week can kill your entire run. Tamarya was week in week out one of the standouts of the show. She along with Kelly Clarkson and eventual runner up Justin Guarini helped make this show a formidable and popular one. That is until Tamarya unwisely chose to sing "I'm So Excited" during the Top 4 performance. It was a bad choice and ultimately cost her the competition. Even if Kelly Clarkson still won the show it would have a great finale to see these two women face off. Plus having Nikki McKibbin outlast you has gotta hurt.
1. Chris Daughtry(Season 6). By far the biggest shocking elimination in American Idol history. He lasted until 4th place but he's departure was way too early. He was one of the most consistent and entertaining contestants each and every every week. His successful post-Idol success proves that his talent deserved more than a 4th place finish. I remember being literally speechless for several minutes after the announcement, thinking that Ryan Seacrest made a mistake. But nope it was not. Katherine McPhee stayed, and Taylor Hicks eventually won the show. The Judge's Save was created in part due to this elimination, in hopes that someone of this magnitude would not be eliminated prematurely again. Unfortunately, the Judge's Save has yet to save an eventual winner or runner up. Chris has proven that winning American Idol doesn't mean everything but I'm sure it doesn't hurt.
Notable Mentions: Constantine Maroulis (Season 4), Chris Sligh (Season 6), Michael Johns (Season 7)
Well there ya have it the Top "Stayed Too Long" and "Gone Too Soon" contestants. If you agree or disagree or have your own opinions please post them in the comment section.
As a preview, tomorrow we will be posting the Top 3 Best and Worst Seasons of American Idol.
Also on the right side of the blog is I'dol Be The Judge's Podcast called BS Factor. There you can find a great review of all things TV, celebrity, movies and so much more. So please check that out as well or go to the website of BSFactor.podbean.com.
So come back tomorrow and we'll have more great content for you. See ya then.