American Idol: My Favorites versus The Winners

So, American Idol Season 11 is now history. Phillip Phillips was crowned the winner over competing finalist Jessica Sanchez. America has voted, but I’ve always been suspicious about the whole voting process. For instance, people can vote multiple times and there was a study done that pre-teen and teenage girls are more likely to vote multiple times, and are more likely to vote for the “cute” guy.

Case in point, Phillip Phillips is the 5th male winner in the last 5 seasons! Just something to think about.

Anyway, here is my voting history for American Idol, mentioning my favorites for each season that I completely watched, and comparing the actual winners to my favorites.

Season 1 (2002)

Didn’t watch. So, I didn’t have a favorite to win.

Winner: Kelly Clarkson

Season 2 (2003)

Watched AI for the first time, and was pretty excited about watching it.

Favorite: Clay Aiken

Winner: Ruben Studdard

Season 3 (2004)

Watched with great interest and enthusiasm.

Favorite: LaToya London

Winner: Fantasia Barrino

Season 4 (2005)

Watched with renewed interest and enthusiasm.

Favorite: Carrie Underwood

Winner: Carrie Underwood

Season 5 (2006)

Watched with renewed interest and enthusiasm. I was glad to see more rockers auditioning and making it into the semi-finals, widening the musical spectrum of the competition. Even though I was rooting for Chris Daughtry to win, I thought it was acceptable that Taylor Hicks won.

Favorite: Chris Daughtry

Winner: Taylor Hicks

Season 6 (2007)

Watched with renewed interest and enthusiasm. To me it was VERY apparent that Melinda Doolittle was the one to beat, and I particularly admired her versatility to sing almost anything from Gospel to R&B to Jazz to Rock. And, she had a very powerful voice. Though I thought Jordin Sparks was also incredible, I thought Melinda was the better vocalist. I was very disappointed with the outcome, and especially that the beatbox guy, Blake Lewis, made it to the final instead of Melinda. From this point on, I developed a love-hate relationship with American Idol.

Favorite: Melinda Doolittle

Winner: Jordin Sparks

Season 7 (2008)

My interest and enthusiasm for watching American Idol was renewed in this season. I was happy with the outcome. I liked both finalists David Archuleta and David Cook, but thought David Cook had the edge, and was the first rocker to win, which was different.

Favorite: David Cook

Winner: David Cook

Season 8 (2009)

My interest and enthusiasm for American Idol was renewed once again, as I was rooting for rocker Adam Lambert. But once again, I was very disappointed in the outcome. Kris Allen is a great singer (another jeans and t-shirt wearing winner?) but I thought Adam Lambert was the better singer, and as it proved later on, more successful than the winner. I was upset enough that I vowed to never watch American Idol again, and I was pretty much true to my word.

Favorite: Adam Lambert

Winner: Kris Allen

Season 9 (2010)

Didn’t watch.

Winner: Lee DeWyze

Season 10 (2011)

Didn’t watch.

Winner: Scotty McCreery

Season 11 (2012)

Didn’t watch, until the final two performed. I just so happened to be visiting my parents, and they had American Idol on. I guess I made the mistake of watching and I honestly didn’t think much about Jessica Sanchez because I didn’t watch until the final. I just heard lots of news and hype about her because she’s from San Diego County and she’s part Filipina. Anyway, I don’t think I was biased because of this, and personally judged Jessica Sanchez on her singing skills, and I still think she is a much better singer than the winner, Phillip Phillips. But once again, American Idol proved me wrong. And I have to say one more thing, Phillip Phillips song that he intends to record sounds like a Coldplay rip-off, sorry.

Favorite: Jessica Sanchez

Winner: Phillip Phillips

In Summary

David Cook and Carrie Underwood were the only two favorites that actually won American Idol. They both truly deserved the win, and both moved on to very successful careers (especially Carrie Underwood with her success in the Country genre and winning multiple grammys).

I voted for Clay Aiken over Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken ended up having a more successful career, and still is out there in the spotlight being in Celebrity Apprentice.

I wanted LaToya London to win because she blew me away with her rendition of “All By Myself” (she received a standing ovation for that performance), but she wasn’t consistent enough afterward to move up in the competition. Fantasia won, but it was Jennifer Hudson who surprised everyone by achieving more success than the winner!

I wanted Chris Daughtry to win and I thought he went on to a more successful career than the winner, Taylor Hicks, who, last I heard, was touring through the club circuit around the country.

And even though I felt Melinda Doolittle was one of the top vocalists ever to compete on AI, I haven’t really heard much about her lately.

Adam Lambert has moved on to a more successful career than the winner, Kris Allen. And I don’t know much about the winner and finalists in the previous two seasons, as I didn’t watch.

However, I think Jessica Sanchez will have a brilliant career. Already, I’ve read that Clive Davis and Akon want to produce her. She’s only 16 now but she has the potential to be a great diva in her own right. And let’s face it, I ended up watching the final because Jessica Sanchez is Mexican-Filipino and from San Diego County (Chula Vista), and of course she is an amazing singer. It would’ve been awesome if she won, but at the same time this is the first time a singer of Filipino-Mexican heritage had reached the final two! I think Filipinos and Mexicans the world over can be proud of that fact.



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

One thought on “American Idol: My Favorites versus The Winners

  • Wednesday May 30, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I was rooting for Jessica to win, though I don’t mind that Phillip is the winner.  It would have been nice for someone other than a WGWG (white guy with guitar) to be an Idol, but I have no complaints.  I agree that Jessica potentially can have a monster career, if she’s handled right.  Did you know she was almost eliminated at the Top 7, only to be saved by the judges?  I think they made the right move.

    As for the years you didn’t watch, you might have been intrigued by Casey Abrams from Season 10, who at times performed with the big acoustic bass.  He was the consummate musician but lacked consistency vocally.  He was saved by the judges early on.

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