American Idol (season 5)

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American Idol
Season 5
Broadcast fromJanuary 17, 2006 – May 24, 2006
JudgesPaula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Randy Jackson
Host(s)Ryan Seacrest
BroadcasterFox Broadcasting Company
Finals venueKodak Theatre
Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks performs for troops aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, docked at Coronado, California in December 2006
OriginBirmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Song"Do I Make You Proud"
Genre(s)Soul, blues, blues rock
Katharine McPhee
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"AI5" redirects here. For the 1968 Institutional Act Number 5, in Brazil, see AI-5.
American Idol
Season 5
Broadcast fromJanuary 17, 2006 – May 24, 2006
JudgesPaula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Randy Jackson
Host(s)Ryan Seacrest
BroadcasterFox Broadcasting Company
Finals venueKodak Theatre
Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks performs for troops aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, docked at Coronado, California in December 2006
OriginBirmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Song"Do I Make You Proud"
Genre(s)Soul, blues, blues rock
Katharine McPhee

The fifth season of reality television singing competition American Idol began on January 17, 2006, and concluded on May 24, 2006. Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell returned to judge, and Ryan Seacrest returned to host. It is the most successful season to date ratings-wise, and resulted in 18 contestants (including all of the top 10 and a few semifinalists) getting record deals – nine of them with major labels. It was the first season with a male winner (Taylor Hicks) and a female runner-up (Katharine McPhee), which happened again in seasons 9, 10, 11 and 13. It was also the first season of the series to be aired in high definition.

Regional auditions[edit]

Auditions were held in seven cities in the summer and fall of 2005.[1][2] An audition was originally planned for Memphis, Tennessee but that was cancelled due to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort that was taking place in the city,[3] and replaced by Las Vegas, Nevada and Greensboro, North Carolina.[4]

Episode Air DateAudition CityDateFirst Audition VenueCallback DateCallback VenueGolden Tickets
January 17, 2006Chicago, IllinoisSeptember 16, 2005Soldier FieldSeptember 20, 2005W Hotel[5]34
January 18, 2006Denver, ColoradoSeptember 11, 2005Invesco Field at Mile HighColorado Convention Center37
January 24, 2006Greensboro, North CarolinaOctober 3, 2005Greensboro ColiseumOctober 6, 2005Marriott Downtown33
January 25, 2006San Francisco, CaliforniaAugust 18, 2005Cow PalaceParc 55 Hotel18
January 31, 2006Las Vegas, NevadaOctober 10–11, 2005Las Vegas Convention CenterOctober 12–13, 2005Renaissance Las Vegas[6]11
February 1, 2006Austin, TexasaAugust 25–26, 2005Frank Erwin CenterSeptember 28, 2005Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco12
February 7, 2006Boston, MassachusettsAugust 31, 2005Gillette StadiumOctober 27, 2005Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center[7]28
Total Tickets to Hollywood175

Unlike season four, no guest judges were involved during the auditions. The season used the same rules as season four.[10]

One notable auditioner this season was Paula Goodspeed, a fervent fan of Paula Abdul, who auditioned in Austin.[11] In 2008, Goodspeed made headlines when she committed suicide outside Abdul's home.[12] Abdul later claimed that she had objected beforehand to Goodspeed being at the audition because she knew Goodspeed and had been frightened by her past behavior, but the producers overrode her objection.[13] The producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe however denied being aware of her fears or that they would put her in danger.[14][15]

In Las Vegas, an auditioner Tora Woloshin gained a golden ticket to Hollywood but was disqualified just before she was due to go to Hollywood for unspecified reasons. She later appeared on the first season of X-Factor.[16]

Hollywood week[edit]

The Hollywood semi-final rounds were held at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California consisting of 175 contestants. The first round of semi-finals consisted of solo a cappella performance with each contestant choosing one song out of twelve that were given to each contestant two weeks in advance. Those who did not impress the judges were sent home the following day. After the singles round, the contestants were separated into four groups, with three groups going through (with 44 contestants chosen). In the Pasadena Civic Center, each were individually taken via elevator walking the infamous "mile" to the judges station where the verdict if they would be chosen or not was announced. Twenty were cut and the final twenty-four (12 men and 12 woman) were selected.


The live show portion of the semifinals began on February 21, 2006, with the names announced on February 15, 2006. There were three live shows each week for the three weeks of the semifinals. There were no format changes from season four which featured 12 male singers and 12 female singers with two of each being eliminated each week.

The semifinalists were announced February 15, 2006. The following are semifinalists who did not reach the finals.

Female semifinalists[edit]

Ayla Brown
Ayla Marie Brown (born July 28, 1988) is from Wrentham, Massachusetts. She originally auditioned in Boston, singing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." After being voted off American Idol on March 9, 2006, she has continued to tour throughout the New England area, and released the singles "Know You Better" and "I Quit" in September, followed by the album Forward in October.
Shontai Kinnik Sky Marshall (born May 13, 1977) is from Duluth, Georgia. She auditioned in Greensboro. She was grouped with Nicole Turk, Celeste Scalone and Tyra Schwartz during the group rounds.
Heather Richelle Cox (born November 16, 1983) is from Jonesville, North Carolina. She auditioned in Denver. Grouped with Halicia Thompson and Kellie Pickler during Hollywood group performances.
Brenna Mema Gethers (born October 7, 1980) is from Mount Vernon, New York. She auditioned in Boston, and was known for her "catty" attitude. She became the lead singer for Bomb Squad, a funk-rock band that won an American Music Award for Best New Music in 2003.[17]
Stephanie "Stevie" Marie Scott (born May 22, 1986) is from Fair Oaks, California. She auditioned in Denver. She sang "Emotions" with Hannah Freeman and Paris Bennett during their group performance in Hollywood. She was eliminated on February 23, 2006 along with Becky O'Donohue, Bobby Bennett, and Patrick Hall. She made a cameo appearance on the Top 6 performance show of American Idol on April 25, 2006.
Rebecca "Becky" Clarise O'Donohue (born July 13, 1980) is from Dobbs Ferry, New York. Her original audition was in Boston with her twin sister (who did not sing due to recent throat surgery). Simon Cowell praised her looks, but said no to her voice. She was let through to Hollywood by Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

Male semifinalists[edit]

Gedeon Luke McKinney (born October 1, 1988) is from Memphis, Tennessee. He intended to audition in Memphis, but the auditions there were canceled due to the city's role in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. He raised funds to travel to the Chicago auditions by putting on a benefit concert. His elimination was a surprise to many, including Simon Cowell, who had criticized him previously. McKinney's father, Tony McKinney, also a performing artist, died in December 2005 before the show aired.
William John "Will" Makar (born March 2, 1989, in The Woodlands, Texas) attended high school at The Woodlands College Park High School. In high school, Will starred in several musical productions, including The Woodlands College Park High School Musical in January 2006, the performance of which began the day after the airing of the his American Idol audition and was covered by local media. He has also performed for Presidents Clinton and Bush and with singer Celine Dion as part of the Houston Children's Chorus. He has performed the National Anthem at many sporting events and was also a member of the band Last Born. During the Hollywood rounds, he performed Fly Me to the Moon with David Radford and Kevin Covais. Will was signed to Double Deal Brand Records, which also signed fellow Top 16 semifinalist Ayla Brown, and released his debut single titled "I Won't Make It Out" on iTunes on April 27, 2007. Will began attending Berklee College of Music in 2009. His band is Will Makar and The Red Line.
José "Sway" Penala (born January 23, 1978) is from South San Francisco, California, where he also had his audition for the show. He was the only Asian-American who made it to the semifinals that season. He has performed with such groups as DnH and 6th Day. When he competed, on stage, Penala often wore a Fedora hat and coat and military dog tags. He developed friendships with Elliott Yamin, Taylor Hicks, and Chris Daughtry during the season. Elliott was also his Hollywood Week group mate and later his roommate. Penala now sings back-up vocals in Yamin's band, and has toured with them on several occasions.
David William Radford (born March 22, 1988, in Crystal Lake, Illinois) was a high school senior at Crystal Lake Central High School.[18] In addition to singing, David plays the trumpet. He originally auditioned in Chicago.
Patrick Aaron Hall (born September 24, 1977) is from Gravette, Arkansas, and was seen for the first time in Hollywood, California. During the Hollywood rounds, Simon Cowell called him 'very likeable', and compared him to Clay Aiken. He received many positive comments during these rounds. To separate himself from the Clay Aiken comparison, however, he chose to perform "Come to My Window" in the first week of the Top 24. He was eliminated that week.
Bobby Bennett, Jr. (born June 4, 1986) is from Denver, Colorado, where his audition was held. He is most known for his rousing rendition of the song "Copacabana" and was named the "showman" of the semifinalists. He also made an appearance in the March 21 episode on which Barry Manilow performed. He has gone on to perform in night clubs and most notably at "lannies Clock Tower Cabaret" in Denver and has sold out four consecutive times. He also does charity work for the organization "Denver Kids Inc" and mentors young children and adults. He was the headlining performer at the Denver Rotary Club Branch Rickey Awards in 2007. He now resides in Hollywood.

Top 24[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
2Kellie Pickler"How Far"(Martina McBride)Safe
3Becky O'Donohue"Because the Night"(Patti Smith)Eliminated
4Ayla Brown"Reflection"(Christina Aguilera)Safe
5Paris Bennett"Midnight Train to Georgia"(Cissy Houston)Safe
6Stevie Scott"To Where You Are"(Josh Groban)Eliminated
7Brenna Gethers"You Are the Sunshine of My Life"(Stevie Wonder)Safe
8Heather Cox"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"(Diana Ross)Safe
9Melissa McGhee"When the Lights Go Down"(Faith Hill)Safe
10Lisa Tucker"I Am Changing"(Jennifer Holiday)Safe
11Kinnik Sky"Get Here" (Oleta Adams)Safe
12Katharine McPhee"Since I Fell for You" (Ella Johnson)Safe
OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Patrick Hall"Come to My Window"(Melissa Etheridge)Eliminated
2David Radford"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"(Queen)Safe
3Bucky Covington"Simple Man"(Lynyrd Skynyrd)Safe
4Will Makar"I Want You Back"(The Jackson 5)Safe
5Sway Penala"Reasons"(Earth Wind & Fire)Safe
6Chris Daughtry"Wanted Dead or Alive"(Bon Jovi)Safe
7Kevin Covais"One Last Cry"(Brian McKnight)Safe
8Gedeon McKinney"Shout"(The Isley Brothers)Safe
9Elliott Yamin"If You Really Love Me"(Stevie Wonder)Safe
10Bobby Bennet"Copacabana"(Barry Manilow)Eliminated
11Ace Young"Father Figure" (George Michael)Safe
12Taylor Hicks"Levon" (Elton John)Safe

Top 20[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Katharine McPhee"All in Love Is Fair"(Stevie Wonder)Safe
2Kinnik Sky"Here for the Party"(Gretchen Wilson)Bottom 3
3Lisa Tucker"Who's Lovin' You"(The Miracles)Safe
4Melissa McGhee"Why Haven't I Heard from You"(Reba McEntire)Safe
5Heather Cox"Hero"(Mariah Carey)Eliminated
6Brenna Gethers"Last Dance"(Donna Summer)Eliminated
7Paris Bennett"Wind Beneath My Wings"(Roger Whittaker)Safe
8Ayla Brown"I Want You to Need Me"(Celine Dion)Safe
9Kellie Pickler"Something to Talk About"(Bonnie Raitt)Safe
10Mandisa"Cry"(Angie Aparo)Safe
OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Taylor Hicks"Easy"(The Commodores)Safe
2Elliot Yamin"Moody's Mood for Love"(James Moody)Safe
3Ace Young"If You're Not the One"(Daniel Bedingfield)Safe
4Gedeon McKinney"A Change Is Gonna Come"(Sam Cooke)Safe
5Kevin Covais"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"(The Miracles)Bottom 3
6Sway Penala"Overjoyed"(Stevie Wonder)Eliminated
7Will Makar"Lady"(Kenny Rogers)Safe
8Bucky Covington"The Thunder Rolls"(Garth Brooks)Safe
9David Radford"The Way You Look Tonight"(Fred Astaire)Eliminated
10Chris Daughtry"Hemorrhage (In My Hands)"(Fuel)Safe

Top 16[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Paris Bennett"Conga"(Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine)Safe
2Lisa Tucker"Here's Where I Stand"(Tiffany Taylor)Safe
3Melissa McGhee"What About Love"(Heart)Safe
4Kinnik Sky"If I Ain't Got You"(Alicia Keys)Eliminated
5Katharine McPhee"Think"(Aretha Franklin)Safe
6Ayla Brown"Unwritten"(Natasha Bedingfield)Eliminated
7Mandisa"I'm Every Woman"(Chaka Khan)Safe
8Kellie Pickler"I'm the Only One"(Melissa Etheridge)Safe
OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Gedeon McKinney"When a Man Loves a Woman"(Percy Sledge)Eliminated
2Chris Daughtry"Broken"(Seether)Safe
3Kevin Covais"Vincent"(Don McLean)Safe
4Bucky Covington"Wave on Wave"(Pat Green)Safe
5Will Makar"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"(Marvin Gaye)Eliminated
6Taylor Hicks"Takin' It to the Streets"(The Doobie Brothers)Safe
7Elliott Yamin"Heaven"(Bryan Adams)Safe
8Ace Young"Butterflies"(Michael Jackson)Safe

Top 12 finalists[edit]

Taylor Hicks

Taylor Reuben Hicks is from Birmingham, Alabama. He is gray-haired and performed "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke at his original audition in Las Vegas. At the first audition, the judges were surprised by his appearance. He performed Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" in the Hollywood round. He is one of the eight winners in American Idol history to never be in the bottom three. He won the competition on May 24.

Katharine McPhee

Katharine Hope McPhee's mother is a vocal coach. She auditioned in San Francisco with Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child", and Randy Jackson said her audition was the best he'd heard yet that season. In the Hollywood round she performed Dionne Warwick's "I'll Never Love This Way Again", and "I Can't Help Myself" for the group round, "My Funny Valentine" for the last solo. At the end of the first semifinal round, Simon Cowell said that he had heard four very good singers that evening and that McPhee was the best among them. She is from Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California. McPhee was the runner-up on American Idol as announced on the May 24 finale.

Elliott Yamin

Efraym Elliott Yamin was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He started singing at the age of five and did not have any formal training. He auditioned for American Idol in Boston. In the Hollywood week, he performed Rascal Flatts' Bless the Broken Road for the first solo, The Shoop Shoop Song for the group round. After his first semifinal performance, Simon Cowell said that he was potentially the best male vocalist in American Idol history, reprising his praise on Top 6 week after Yamin's "A Song for You", calling it a vocal masterclass; also, in the second round of the semifinals, Randy Jackson gave Yamin a standing ovation after his rendition of "Moody's Mood for Love". Yamin finished in third place in one of the closest outcomes in Idol history where less than 1% separated the votes of all top three contestants.

Chris Daughtry

Christopher Adam "Chris" Daughtry is a former car service worker from McLeansville, North Carolina. During the audition round, he was profiled as a "Rocker Dad." He originally auditioned in Denver with Joe Cocker's The Letter (originally by The Box Tops). During the Hollywood week, he performed Samantha Sang's Emotion in the group round. He was eliminated at Top 4 in a surprise result, but had considerable success as a recording artist after the show.

Paris Ana'is Bennett , from Fayetteville, Georgia, is the granddaughter of Grammy Award winner Ann Nesby. Her mother and grandmother are a part of the Grammy-winning group, Sounds of Blackness. She sang "Cowboy Take Me Away" by The Dixie Chicks at her original audition in Greensboro. In the Hollywood rounds, she performed LeAnn Rimes's Can't Fight the Moonlight for her solo, and Samantha Sang's Emotion for the group round.

Kellie Pickler
Kellie Dawn Pickler is from Albemarle, North Carolina. She was profiled as a roller-skating waitress. Her mother left when she was two and her father has had numerous legal problems; he is now free. Pickler lived with her grandfather and originally auditioned in Greensboro. She was never in the bottom three until she was eliminated.
Ace Young
Brett Asa "Ace" Young (who goes by his middle name) is from Denver where he auditioned. At that time, Randy Jackson called him one of the best he'd seen so far this season. In the Hollywood week, he performed Shai's If I Ever Fall in Love for the solo, and with Daughtry in the group round Samantha Sang's Emotion. After he sang "Father Figure" in the semifinals, Simon Cowell said that Young had the 'X-Factor' (a reference to another RTL talent show, in the UK). Young had been singing since age nine and had voice lessons.
Bucky Covington

William Joel "Bucky" Covington is from Rockingham, North Carolina. He auditioned in Greensboro. He has an identical twin brother named Rocky.

Mandisa (born Mandisa Lynn Hundley) is from Antioch, Tennessee. She had a successful original audition in Chicago, Illinois, where she performed Alicia Keys's Fallin'. Afterwards Simon Cowell made jokes about her size, but he later apologized after being confronted by Miss Hundley. In the Hollywood week, She performed Freda Payne's Band of Gold in the group round. Like Pickler, she was never in the bottom 3 until her elimination.
Lisa Tucker

Lisa Gabrielle Tucker was 16 years old at the time of the show, and was the youngest finalist of this season. She is from Anaheim, California, and she auditioned in Denver with Whitney Houston's One Moment in Time. Simon Cowell called her the "best 16-year-old" ever to audition on the show at the time of her original Denver audition. She was also a runner-up on Star Search but lost to Tiffany Evans. A week after her elimination she appeared in an episode of The O.C..

Kevin Covais

Kevin Patrick Covais was 16 years old at the time of the show, and is from Levittown, New York. For his audition in Boston, he sang "You Raise Me Up". In the Hollywood round he performed Shai's If I Ever Fall in Love in the solo. Viewers gave him the nickname "Chicken Little".

Melissa McGhee

Melissa Christine McGhee is from Tampa, Florida. She auditioned in Denver, Colorado. She sang "Can't Fight the Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes for her audition. She had not sung on camera until her first week in the top 24.


Top 12 – Stevie Wonder[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Ace Young"Do I Do"Bottom 3
2Kellie Pickler"Blame It on the Sun"Safe
3Elliott Yamin"Knocks Me Off My Feet"Safe
4Mandisa"Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing"Safe
5Bucky Covington"Superstition"Safe
6Melissa McGhee"Lately"Eliminated
7Lisa Tucker"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"Bottom 2
8Kevin Covais"Part-Time Lover"Safe
9Katharine McPhee"Until You Come Back to Me"Safe
10Taylor Hicks"Living for the City"Safe
11Paris Bennett"All I Do"Safe
12Chris Daughtry"Higher Ground"Safe

Top 11 – 1950s[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Mandisa"I Don't Hurt Anymore"(Hank Snow)Safe
2Bucky Covington"Oh, Boy!"(Buddy Holly)Bottom 2
3Paris Bennett"Fever"(Little Willie John)Safe
4Chris Daughtry"I Walk the Line"(Johnny Cash)Safe
5Katharine McPhee"Come Rain or Come Shine"(Sy Oliver)Safe
6Taylor Hicks"Not Fade Away"(The Crickets featuring Buddy Holly)Safe
7Lisa Tucker"Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"Frankie Lymon and the TeenagersBottom 3
8Kevin Covais"When I Fall in Love"(Doris Day)Eliminated
9Elliott Yamin"Teach Me Tonight"(The DeCastro Sisters)Safe
10Kellie Pickler"Walkin' After Midnight"(Patsy Cline)Safe
11Ace Young"In the Still of the Night" (The Five Satins)Safe

Top 10 – 2000s[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Lisa Tucker"Because of You"(Kelly Clarkson)Eliminated
2Kellie Pickler"Suds in the Bucket"(Sara Evans)Safe
3Ace Young"Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)"(Train)Bottom 3
4Taylor Hicks"Trouble"(Ray LaMontagne)Safe
5Mandisa"Shackles (Praise You)"(Mary Mary)Safe
6Chris Daughtry"What If"(Creed)Safe
7Katharine McPhee"The Voice Within"(Christina Aguilera)Bottom 2
8Bucky Covington"Real Good Man"(Tim McGraw)Safe
9Paris Bennett"Work It Out"(Beyoncé)Safe
10Elliott Yamin"I Don't Want to Be"(Gavin DeGraw)Safe

Top 9 – Country[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Taylor Hicks"Take Me Home, Country Roads"(John Denver)Safe
2Mandisa"Any Man of Mine"(Shania Twain)Eliminated
3Elliott Yamin"If Tomorrow Never Comes"(Garth Brooks)Bottom 2
4Paris Bennett"How Do I Live"(LeAnn Rimes)Bottom 3
5Ace Young"Tonight I Wanna Cry"(Keith Urban)Safe
6Kellie Pickler"Fancy"(Bobbie Gentry)Safe
7Chris Daughtry"Making Memories of Us"(Keith Urban)Safe
8Katharine McPhee"Bringing Out the Elvis in Me"(Faith Hill)Safe
9Bucky Covington"Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)"(Vertical Horizon)Safe

Top 8 – Queen[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Bucky Covington"Fat Bottomed Girls"Eliminated
2Ace Young"We Will Rock You"Bottom 3
3Kellie Pickler"Bohemian Rhapsody"Safe
4Chris Daughtry"Innuendo"Safe
5Katharine McPhee"Who Wants to Live Forever"Safe
6Elliott Yamin"Somebody To Love"Bottom 3
7Taylor Hicks"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"Safe
8Paris Bennett"The Show Must Go On"Safe

Top 7 – Great American Songbook[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Chris Daughtry"What a Wonderful World"(Louis Armstrong)Bottom 2
2Paris Bennett"These Foolish Things"(Billie Holiday)Bottom 3
3Taylor Hicks"You Send Me"(Sam Cooke)Safe
4Elliott Yamin"It Had To Be You"(Sam Lanin and his Orchestra)Safe
5Kellie Pickler"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered"(Vivienne Segal)Safe
6Ace Young"That's All"(Nat King Cole)Eliminated
7Katharine McPhee"Someone to Watch Over Me"(Gertrude Lawrence)Safe

Top 6 – Love Songs[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Katharine McPhee"I Have Nothing"(Whitney Houston)Top 2
2Elliott Yamin"A Song for You"(Leon Russell)Safe
3Kellie Pickler"Unchained Melody"(Todd Duncan)Eliminated
4Paris Bennett"The Way We Were"(Barbra Streisand)Bottom 2
5Taylor Hicks"Just Once"(James Ingram)Safe
6Chris Daughtry"Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"(Bryan Adams)Top 2

Top 5 – Year of Birth/Current Billboard Top 10[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Elliott Yamin"On Broadway"(The Crystals)Bottom 2
2Paris Bennett"Kiss"(Prince and The Revolution)Eliminated
3Chris Daughtry"Renegade"(Styx)Safe
4Katharine McPhee"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"(Phil Collins)Safe
5Taylor Hicks"Play That Funky Music"(Wild Cherry)Safe
6Elliott Yamin"Home"(Michael Bublé)Bottom 2
7Paris Bennett"Be Without You"(Mary J. Blige)Eliminated
8Chris Daughtry"I Dare You"(Shinedown)Safe
9Katharine McPhee"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"(KT Tunstall)Safe
10Taylor Hicks"Something"(The Beatles)Safe

Top 4 – Elvis Presley[edit]

1Taylor Hicks"Jailhouse Rock"Safe
2Chris Daughtry"Suspicious Minds"Eliminated
3Elliott Yamin"If I Can Dream"Safe
4Katharine McPhee"Hound Dog" / "All Shook Up"Bottom 2
5Taylor Hicks"In the Ghetto"Safe
6Chris Daughtry"A Little Less Conversation"Eliminated
7Elliott Yamin"Trouble"Safe
8Katharine McPhee"Can't Help Falling in Love"Bottom 2

Top 3 – Clive Davis's choice/Judges' choice/Contestants' choice[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Elliott Yamin"Open Arms"(Journey)Eliminated
2Katharine McPhee"I Believe I Can Fly"(R. Kelly)Safe
3Taylor Hicks"Dancing in the Dark"(Bruce Springsteen)Safe
4Elliott Yamin"What You Won't Do for Love1"(Bobby Caldwell)Eliminated
5Katharine McPhee"Over the Rainbow2"(Judy Garland)Safe
6Taylor Hicks"You Are So Beautiful3"(Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher)Safe
7Elliott Yamin"I Believe to My Soul"(Ray Charles)Eliminated
8Katharine McPhee"I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues"(Duke Ellington)Safe
9Taylor Hicks"Try a Little Tenderness"(Val Rosing and The Ray Noble Orchestra)Safe

Top 2 – Previous Song/Another Previous Song/Winning Song[edit]

OrderContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Katharine McPhee"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"(KT Tunstall)Runner-Up
2Taylor Hicks"Living for the City"(Stevie Wonder)Winner
3Katharine McPhee"Over The Rainbow"(Judy Garland)Runner-Up
4Taylor Hicks"Levon" (Elton John)Winner
5Katharine McPhee"My Destiny"(Katharine McPhee)Runner-Up
6Taylor Hicks"Do I Make You Proud"(Taylor Hicks)Winner

Performers on results shows[edit]

Elimination song[edit]

A new feature this year, the show now uses a special song to make a tribute to an eliminated contestant's journey on the show, as opposed to before when various different melodic music compositions were played. This year, the song used for an eliminated contestant's flashback tribute was "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter.

The finale[edit]

On the finale, Carrie Underwood sang "Don't Forget to Remember Me" solo along with the song "Through the Rain" with the 12 finalists. Also, the finalists performed two medleys: one medley was for the female finalists and the other for the male finalists. Several special guests performed with one of the top five Idols: Al Jarreau (Paris Bennett), Live (Chris Daughtry), Meat Loaf (Katharine McPhee), Mary J. Blige (Elliott Yamin) and Toni Braxton (Taylor Hicks). Clay Aiken performed with lookalike auditioner Michael Sandecki, who resembled Aiken c. his 2005 audition. Also, Prince performed without an Idol. Towards the end of the program, the finalists performed "That's What Friends Are For" with Dionne Warwick as well as other songs in the Burt Bacharach canon, with Burt Bacharach playing the piano. Several auditioners from the first round returned to accept "Golden Idol" awards, and to sing. A parody of Brokeback Mountain (though there was no mention of homosexuality) called "Brokenote Mountain," featuring a group of three failed auditioners (Layne Johnson, Michael Evans, and Matthew Buckstein) was replayed from the Hollywood round. The trio "The Brokenote Cowboys" then performed the Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson song "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys". In a pre-taped segment, finalist Kellie Pickler ate lunch with Wolfgang Puck at his brasserie as a way of making fun of Kellie's admitted lack of culinary savvy. Finally, just before the results were announced, Hicks and McPhee performed "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".

The chairman of TeleScope Inc., the company which manages the American Idol results, came at the end of the show with the result card. 578 million votes were cast for the season with 63.5 million votes in the finale, and Taylor Hicks was named the winner, the second American Idol winner from the city of Birmingham, Alabama (the first being Ruben Studdard), and the fourth finalist with close ties to the city.[19]

Elimination chart[edit]

Note: Bottom 2 indicates that the contestant was 'saved' last. This may or may not indicate his or her actual vote rank.

FemaleMaleTop 24Top 12Winner
SafeTop 2Safe FirstSafe LastEliminated
1Taylor HicksWinner
2Katharine McPheeBottom 2Top 2Bottom 2Runner-Up
3Elliott YaminBottom 2Bottom 3Bottom 2Elim
4Chris DaughtryBottom 2Top 2Elim
5Paris BennettBottom 3Bottom 3Bottom 2Elim
6Kellie PicklerElim
7Ace YoungBottom 3Bottom 3Bottom 3Elim
8Bucky CovingtonBottom 2Elim
10Lisa TuckerBottom 2Bottom 3Elim
11Kevin CovaisBottom 3Elim
12Melissa McGheeElim
13–16Gedeon McKinneyElim
Ayla Brown
Will Makar
Kinnik SkyBottom 3
17–20José "Sway" PenalaElim
David Radford
Heather Cox
Brenna Gethers
21–24Patrick HallElim
Stevie Scott
Bobby Bennett
Becky O'Donohue


Main article: DialIdol

DialIdol is both the name of a computer program for Microsoft Windows and its associated website that began tracking contestants during season four and sprang to prominence at the start of season five. The program allows users to automatically vote for the American Idol contestants of their choice using their PC's phone modem. The program then reports back to the main website, which keeps track of the results based on the percentage of calls for each contestant that result in a busy signal. Based on the data received, the website then predicts which contestants may be eliminated or may be in danger of being eliminated. As of May 25, 2006, its predictions for season five were 87% accurate.[20]

This was the first season in which the free US public service website,, started to openly present voting results (starting with the top 12 and onward) that it claims are from Cingular and American Idol. It has experienced controversy over the fact that its results change throughout the day until (and often through) the results show.


Other Idol contestants[edit]

US Nielsen ratings[edit]

American Idol was the top-rated show for the 2005–06 TV season and occupied the top two positions. The number of viewers for its Tuesday episodes averaged 31.17 million and for the Wednesday episodes 30.16 million.[30] It is still the most-watched of all seasons with an overall average number of viewers of 30.6 million per episode. Click on "show" below to see the rating details.

Episode list
ShowEpisodeAir dateWeek
1"Chicago Auditions"[31]January 17, 2006319.3 / 2815.3 / 3435.53
2"Denver Auditions"[31]January 18, 2006417.8 / 2713.0 / 3331.65
3"Greensboro Auditions"[32]January 24, 2006119.6 / 2915.1 / 3534.96
4"San Francisco Auditions"[32]January 25, 2006218.2 / 2813.0 / 3332.44
5"Las Vegas Auditions"[33]January 31, 2006517.4 / 2712.4 / 3130.18
6"Austin Auditions"[33]February 1, 2006616.9 / 2512.5 / 3230.40
7"Boston Auditions"[34]February 7, 2006117.6 / 2612.9 / 3231.15
8"Hollywood Round 1"[34]February 8, 2006216.3 / 2411.4 / 2928.74
9"Hollywood Round 2"[35]February 14, 2006216.5 / 2511.4 / 2926.96
10"Hollywood: Top 24 Revealed"[35]February 15, 2006115.5 / 2411.9 / 3028.78
11"Top 12 Women Perform"[36]February 21, 2006216.9 / 2413.0 / 3030.16
12"Top 12 Men Perform"[36]February 22, 2006118.2 / 2713.5 / 3331.69
13"Top 24 Results"[36]February 23, 2006713.3 / 209.9 / 2423.38
14"Top 10 Women Perform"[37]February 28, 2006217.0 / 2512.4 / 3130.09
15"Top 10 Men Perform[37]March 1, 2006416.6 / 2612.2 / 3129.64
16"Top 20 Results[37]March 2, 2006515.2 / 2310.9 / 2726.32
17"Top 8 Women Men Perform"[38]March 7, 2006216.7 / 2511.8 / 3128.56
18"Top 8 Men Perform"[38]March 8, 2006117.2 / 2712.4 / 3230.38
19"Top 12 Revealed"[38]March 9, 2006415.4 / 2410.8 / 2826.63
20"Top 12 Perform"[39]March 14, 2006118.5 / 2713.7 / 3332.77
21"Top 12 Results"[39]March 15, 2006116.3 / 2511.5 / 2728.09
22"Top 11 Perform"[40]March 21, 2006119.2 / 2813.6 / 3333.36
23"Top 11 Results"[40]March 22, 2006215.9 / 2411.4 / 2727.68
24"Top 10 Perform"[41]March 28, 2006118.0 / 2713.0 / 3331.71
25"Top 10 Results"[41]March 29, 2006215.9 / 2411.3 / 2727.66
26"Top 9 Perform"[42]April 4, 2006116.6 / 2311.6 / 3228.83
27"Top 9 Results"[42]April 5, 2006215.7 / 2310.8 / 2626.23
28"Top 8 Perform"[43]April 11, 2006114.2 / 2212.0 / 3329.65
29"Top 8 Results"[43]April 12, 2006312.0 / 199.2 / 2422.64
30"Top 7 Perform"[44]April 18, 2006116.6 / 2611.4 / 3228.44
31"Top 7 Results"[44]April 19, 2006216.5 / 2511.3 / 3027.63
32Top 6 Perform"[45]April 25, 2006116.7 / 2611.5 / 3028.67
33"Top 6 Results"[45]April 26, 2006216.6 / 2511.6 / 2828.27
34"Top 5 Perform"[46]May 2, 2006216.6 / 2611.4 / 3128.58
35"Top 5 Results"[46]May 3, 2006116.9 / 2511.7 / 2829.26
36"Top 4 Perform"[47]May 9, 2006116.8 / 2611.6 / 3128.85
37"Top 4 Results"[47]May 10, 2006216.1 / 2411.2 / 2727.88
38"Top 3 Perform"[48]May 16, 2006116.6 / 2611.0 / 3028.33
39"Top 3 Results"[48]May 17, 2006216.6 / 2610.7 / 2527.67
40"Top 2 Perform"[49]May 23, 2006218.2/ 2912.3 / 3431.78
41Season 5 Finale"[49]May 24, 2006120.5 / 3214.2 / 3536.38

Post Idol[edit]

This is the first season that a majority of finalists have major label recording contracts after Idol. Of them – Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, and Kellie Pickler are distributed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Bucky Covington by Universal Music Group; Ace Young and Mandisa by EMI. One other contestant that did not even make the top 24 (Brooke Barrettsmith) was also picked up by Sony BMG, and Universal also picked up Brianna Taylor who also did not make the top 24. Two finalists have a deal with an independent labels – Paris Bennett and Lisa Tucker.[50] The remaining two finalists are unsigned – Kevin Covais, and Melissa McGhee. (Covais, however, has begun an acting career and McGhee has taken part in charity events for Idol Gives Back [51][52]) Also, five semi-finalists have deals and albums with independent labels – Ayla Brown, Heather Cox, Patrick Hall, Will Makar, Stevie Scott and David Radford. In addition, at least one contestant who was cut before the semifinals, Bobby Bullard, has also been signed and recorded with a small label.

Taylor Hicks first post-Idol single, "Do I Make You Proud", would debut at number one and be certified gold.[53] Hicks' album, Taylor Hicks, has sold 703,000 copies. He later parted with Arista Records. His follow-up album, "The Distance," was released March 10, 2009 on his own record label Modern Whomp Records.

The fifth-season contestant with the most commercial success is fourth-place finisher Chris Daughtry, now lead singer of the band Daughtry. Their eponymous debut album has sold over 5 million copies to date—surpassing former winners Studdard and Fantasia's respective two-album totals—and produced two top-ten singles. The album, which spent two weeks at number one in the US, is also the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history.[54]

As of November 2008: Runner-up Katharine McPhee's debut album has sold 374,000 copies; she has two Top 40 Billboard hits. Also notable: sixth-place finisher Kellie Pickler, whose Small Town Girl reached number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and was certified gold. To date it has sold over 815,000 copies. Third-place finisher Elliott Yamin's eponymous debut album was certified gold and produced a platinum-selling single. Eighth-place finisher Bucky Covington's self-titled debut album has sold over 400,000 copies and generated a top 20 and two top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Ninth-place finisher Mandisa's True Beauty album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album in 2007.

Season five is the season from the first ten seasons of American Idol with the most number of finalists who have made it onto the Billboard charts.[55]

Major releases[edit]


The compilation album for this season was performed by the top twelve finalists.

InformationDigital Downloads
American Idol Season 5: Encores
  • Released: May 23, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: – 3 (US)
  • RIAA Certification: – Gold
  • U.S. sales: – 381,075
Alphabetical order by song title
(108 US)
(52 US Pop)
(73 US Pop, 76 US Digital)
(69 US, 42 US Digital)
(121 US, 90 US Pop)
(43 US, 11 US Digital, 37 US Pop)


Chris DaughtryDaughtry
  • Released: November 21, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 1 (US), 1 (Rock), 1 (Digital), 1 (Comprehensive), 1 (Internet)
  • RIAA Certification: 4x Platinum
  • U.S. sales: 4,813,000
Kellie PicklerSmall Town Girl
  • Released: October 31, 2006
  • Label: BNA Records
  • Chart Positions: 1 (US Top Country), 9 (Billboard 200), 12 (Canada Top Country Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 854,000
Taylor HicksTaylor Hicks
  • Released: December 12, 2006
  • Label: Arista Records
  • Chart Positions: 2 (US Billboard 200), 43 (Canada)
  • RIAA Certification: Platinum
  • U.S. sales: 704,000
Elliott YaminElliott Yamin
  • Released: March 20, 2007
  • Label: Hickory Records
    Sony RED Distribution
  • Chart Positions: 3 (Billboard 200), 1 (Top Independent Albums), 11 (Top R&B albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 527,000
Bucky CovingtonBucky Covington
Katharine McPheeKatharine McPhee
  • Released: January 30, 2007
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 2 (US Billboard 200), 23 (Canada)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 381,000
MandisaTrue Beauty
  • Released: July 31, 2007
  • Label: Sparrow Records
  • Chart Positions: 43 (Billboard 200), 1 (Hot Christian Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 219,000
MandisaIt's Christmas
  • Released: October 14, 2008
  • Label: Sparrow Records
  • Chart Positions: 64 (Billboard Hot 200) 1 (Billboard Top Christmas Albums) 5 (Billboard Top Christian Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: not certified
  • U.S. sales:26,000
  • Released: March 24, 2009
  • Label: Sparrow Records
  • Chart Positions: 83 (US Billboard 200), 4 (US Billboard Top Christian Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 132,000
Elliott YaminFight for Love
  • Released: May 5, 2009
  • Label: Hickory Records
  • Chart Positions: 26 (US Billboard 200), 4 (US Billboard Independent Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 49,000
Chris DaughtryLeave This Town
  • Released: July 14, 2009
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 1 (US Billboard 200), 1 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certification: Platinum
  • U.S. sales: 1,307,000
Chris DaughtryBreak the Spell
  • Released: November 21, 2011
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 8 (US Billboard 200), 2 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 520,000
Chris Daughtry'Baptized
  • Released: November 18, 2014
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 6 (US Billboard 200), 2 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certifications: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 532,000

Minor & independent releases[edit]

Bobby "Bluu Suede" BullardThe Bluu Suede Project
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Stres Entertainment Inc.
Ayla BrownForward (LP)
  • Released: October 17, 2006
  • Label: Double Deal Brand Records [56]
  • U.S. sales: 3,200
Paris BennettPrincess P (LP)
  • Released: May 8, 2007
  • Label: 306 Entertainment
  • U.S. sales: 22,000
Ace Young"Scattered" (digital download)
  • Released: October 20, 2006
  • Label: Freeman Records
  • U.S. sales: –
Elliott Yamin"This Christmas" (digital download)
  • Released: December 6, 2006
  • Label: Pulse Recording and Three Ring Projects
  • Chart Positions: 167 (Hot Digital Songs)
  • U.S. sales: – 87,000
Katharine McPhee"I Lost You"/"Dangerous" (Wal-Mart)
  • Released: December 19, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • U.S. sales: –
Patrick HallOne for the Ages (LP)
  • Released: February 2007
  • Label: Ni-Fi Records
  • U.S. sales: –
Josh RoyseMemories
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Independent
David RadfordSwing on By (LP)
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: independent
Stevie ScottStevie Scott (EP)
  • Released: July 29, 2008
  • Label: Heat Rocc Entertainment
  • U.S. sales: –
Brianna TaylorBrianna Taylor (EP)
  • Released: June 3, 2008
  • Label: Chamberlain Records
  • U.S. sales: 60,000[57]
Stephanie WhiteKnee Deep InSanity (CD Baby)
  • Released: October 12, 2007
  • Label: independent
  • U.S. sales: – 1,000+ as of April 2008
  • Notes: lead singer of her band, Stephanie White and the New Jersey Philth Harmonic[58][59]
Ace YoungAce Young
  • Released: July 15, 2008
  • Label: Pazzo Music
  • U.S. sales: 10,000


In 2006, American Idol also became the most nominated unscripted show ever, and has several nominations in the 2006 Emmy Awards for season five:[60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fox announces 'American Idol' 5 audition dates and locations
  2. ^ These auditions included many who returned to later seasons, such as Melissa Sgambelluri.
  3. ^ 'American Idol 5' auditions in Memphis canceled due to relief efforts
  4. ^ 'American Idol 5' adds audition sites in Las Vegas and Las Vegas
  5. ^ Chicago 'Idol'
  6. ^ One hotel GM’s Vegas renaissance — thanks to ‘Idol’
  7. ^ Jenny Anderson took the stage in Hollywood
  8. ^ "Idol in Austin? Not quite". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on February 4, 2007. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ Think You Know Everything About 'American Idol'? Part 3
  10. ^ Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Paula Goodspeed Myspace!
  12. ^ Obsessive Fan of Paula Abdul Commits Suicide
  13. ^ Paula Abdul Lashes Out at Idol Producers
  14. ^ 'Idol': Producer responds to Paula's claims, previews new season
  15. ^ Nigel Lythgoe Responds To Paula Abdul’s ‘Idol’ Allegations
  16. ^ Tora Tora Tora! Is The X Factor’s Tora Woloshin a Fallen Idol?
  17. ^ Idol's Almost Famous – THE LITTLE DIVA – American Idol :
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Telescope Inc". Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  20. ^ Predictions for elimination of contestants
  21. ^ 'Idol' Twins Booted for Alleged ID Theft
  22. ^ Some Online Media Inaccurately Report GLAAD's Concerns About American Idol
  23. ^ Rumors Circulate That Katharine McPhee Quit American Idol
  24. ^ More American Idol Phone Number Madness, Wrong Number For Mandisa
  25. ^ Mandisa, off 'Idol,' says fans' prayers will have 'full force'
  26. ^ Lythgoe on the radio
  27. ^ American Idol: Will Bleep Controversy Send Paris Bennett Home?
  28. ^
  29. ^ Elliott's votes going to Chris on DI
  30. ^ I.T.R.S. Ranking Report
  31. ^ a b AI Week 1
  32. ^ a b AI Week 2
  33. ^ a b AI Week 3
  34. ^ a b AI Week 4
  35. ^ a b AI Week 5
  36. ^ a b c AI Week 6
  37. ^ a b c AI Week 7
  38. ^ a b c AI Week 8
  39. ^ a b AI Week 9
  40. ^ a b AI Week 10
  41. ^ a b AI Week 11
  42. ^ a b AI Week 12
  43. ^ a b AI Week 13
  44. ^ a b AI Week 14
  45. ^ a b AI Week 15
  46. ^ a b AI Week 16
  47. ^ a b AI Week 16
  48. ^ a b AI Week 18
  49. ^ a b AI Week 19 2006
  50. ^
  51. ^ Charley talks 'Idol' with Melissa McGhee Retrieved May 31, 2013
  52. ^ 'American Idol': Past Idols volunteer for 'Idol Gives Back' Retrieved May 31, 2013
  53. ^ "Deep in the bowels of J Records". Gray Charles: The Official Taylor Hicks Weblog. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  54. ^ Posted by IrishJrsyGirl (2010-08-17). "Daughtry News + Blog | The Official Daughtry Site". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  55. ^ 'American Idol' and Billboard: James Durbin, Haley Reinhart Become 55th and 56th Finalists on Charts
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^ PhilthHarmonic on purevolume
  59. ^ – Stephanie White & The New Jersey Philth Harmonic – Verona/Caldwell, New Jersey – Soul / Rock / R&B –
  60. ^ Fox 2006 Emmy nominations

External links[edit]