Finally, season nine is over. For me, it was the least fulfilling of the past nine season by far. If we look back at all the other runner ups, Crystal Bowersox is definitely a forced to be reckoned with. She was the shining light of this season, but still couldn’t manage to win the whole thing. Where does she fit in with the runner ups before her? She definitely has a great voice and is a talented guitarist, but can she take on the likes of Clay Aiken?
(9) Blake Lewis: (Season 6) I love Blake, but his beat boxing and pretty good vocals have a lot of competition on this list. He had some of the most memorable performances on the show, but he also had quite a few clunkers along the way. Not to mention, the worst performance of a final singer ever done on the show. The song just swallowed him whole, and that’s why he comes in last. I still think he is awesome!
(8) Katharine McPhee: (Season 5) Gorgeous and talented, you would think Kat would manage to be higher up on this list. When she was on her vocals could be angelic, when she wasn’t she was screechy and straining. If she hadn’t had four or five clunkers amidst her great performances, she might have squeezed passed Justin and Diana. Alas, it is hard to forget “Against All Odds” and “The Voice Within.”
(7) Justin Guarini: (Season 1) Consistent for sure, but cheesy and a little cocky too. He started off the favorite to win, and he almost did, but while his vocals were consistent the were also a little thin. They were especially thin against the iron clad vocals of Ms. Kelly Clarkson. Justin was a solid, energetic performer with a B+ voice, and that is why he isn’t higher up.
(6) Diana DeGarmo: (Season 3) For her age, Diana’s voice was nothing short of stupendous. The only thing that keeps her in the latter half of this list is, at the time she had problems controlling her nasality and her mid range. That said, we’ve never had someone to a better held note into a key change than Ms. DeGarmo. She had energy, the gumption to take on difficult songs, and amazing potential!
(5) David Archuleta: (Season 7) Barely edging above Diana, is one of the Davids. He could be as cheesy as Justin, but it worked because he looked like he was twelve. He also busted out the piano from time to time. If he didn’t sing with his eyes closed so often, he may have gotten himself a little higher up on the list. He was always consistent, always on pitch, and aside from some lyrical challenges he always did well.
(4) Bo Bice: (Season 4) The first real rocker, Bo Bice took the stage by storm and changed they ideas on what an American Idol had to be. He always picked great songs and took chances, all the while carrying around his mic stand. Bo might have one the whole thing if they could have instruments that year!
(3) Crystal Bowersox: (Season 9) Crystal finds her way to third place on this list. Amazing at one instrument, and competent at the piano; Crystal started out the favorite to win. As she got a little more cocky, she picked songs that were not as stand out vocally as they could have been. Still, she had some of the best performances we’ve seen on the show and it is still kind of shocking that she did not win the whole thing.
(2) Adam Lambert: (Season 8) One of the most dynamic performers we’ve ever had on the show, Adam always knew how to turn on the drama and let out a screech. He had an amazing voice, but for me the thing that keeps him at number two is how much he sang in his head voice and screeched in falsetto. That said, he is definitely leaps and bounds ahead talent wise than most people we have to watch on this show. As we’ve seen the passed two years, America seems really into subtle right now, which is unfortunate for Adam.
(1) Clay Aiken: (Season 2) Clay didn’t need any bells and whistles or lighting effects to get to this spot in this list. With one of the most impeccable voices we’ve heard on the show, all he really had to do was sing. He still has the vocals that have really only been rivaled by David Cook in range and consistency. No one on this list can match the finesse and power of Clay Aiken’s belting range, not even Adam and his constant falsetto. (Of course, we don’t know if Clay can scream, but how much screaming do we really want to hear?)