Michael Lynche was one of the better contestants this season. He never went off key and he had some really memorable, touching ballads. Sure, he could be cheesy during his faster performances, but the fact that he had charisma on stage set him far apart from the other singers this year. Looking back on all the other contestants who finished in fourth place, we can see where Michael fits into the mix of past contestants. Surprisingly, it’s pretty talented company to find yourself in, since it tends to be a shocking elimination episode.
(9) Josh Gracin: (Season 2) Though he had some modest success on the country music scene, he also had some terrible performances during his run on American Idol. Season 2 was the first time we had country singers, and I for one was not impressed with him or Carmen Rassmusen. Surprisingly, he made it to 4th place leaving Trenyce stuck at 5th, despite her fantastic performances. I’ll never forget his awful version of, “Celebration.”
(8) Jason Castro: (Season 7) He always found a way to strip down songs from every genre and make sure they only include about 5-7 notes. His limited vocal range and shaky tone kept him from getting past 4th place, but he definitely made it past many better singers. If it wasn’t for his dreds, he might not have made it as far as he did. By the time we got to top 4 week, Jason botched lyrics and seemed like he barely cared about whether he made it another week.
(7) Anthony Federov: (Season 4) Anthony had a great voice, but a pension for making really cheesy song choices. That fact keeps him from busting into the hefty amount of talent that follows. He was one of the nicest contestants we’ve ever had and he was never scared to take on a big, cheesy ballad. His performance of “Climb’ Every Mountain” is part of the reason he just can’t be any higher up on the list.
(6) LaKisha Jones: (Season 6) LaKisha loved to take on gigantic songs and she would always mostly pull them off, except for a tepid rendition of “Jesus Takes the Wheel.” She had a great range and a lovely tone, but could have done with some breath control training. That is what keeps her from being true competitions to the ladies at the top of this list. I’m really glad LaKisha is still singing her heart out on the stage.
(5) Michael Lynche: (Season 9) Michael finds his way into the middle of this talented pack. He had some really memorable ballads and he played the guitar. He was full of personality and stage presence! Most of the time he did not do anything wildly different to the arrangement of his songs, which keeps him at number 5. I loved his “Woman’s Work” performance and adored “Ready for Love.”
(4) Allison Iraheta: (Season 8) She was so incredibly talented for her age! She would pull of amazing vocals with incredible runs. She could change up a melody and make it her own even if it had been done on American Idol many times prior. With her husky tone and great rock vocals, it was truly a shock when she was eliminated in 4th place. Her performance of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is not to be missed.
(3) Chris Daughtry: (Season 5) Chris Daughtry was one of the first on idol to do completely alternate arrangements of songs and completely rock the American Idol stage. He had powerful vocals and amazing presence. His top 4 boot was the most shocking in all of American Idol history, even over the two lovely ladies who beat him on this list. He’s not upset though, his band is still huge!
(2) Tamyra Gray: (Season 1) This was the first shocking elimination ever, since it was the first season ever and I still can’t believe it. Tamyra was vocally flawless and an amazing performer. She was the only one that season who could vocally rival Kelly Clarkson, and she came out swinging every week. She was gorgeous, talented, and a vocal force to be reckoned with. Her performance of “A House is Not a Home” is still one of the best vocals on the show ever.
(1) Latoya London: (Season 3) There have never been notes hit higher than those of Ms. London. She had some of the most amazing and powerful vocals ever heard on the show or elsewhere. From her first performance of “All By Myself,” she showed what a powerhouse she was. From country night to big band night, LaToya had no trouble being versatile. If you have forgotten this lovely lady, then spend some time looking up her performances. “Too Close for Comfort” is a really great place to start.