American Idol: The Most Talented Season Ever

I’ve been sick for over a week now. A nasty bug has been going around my office, and last Friday I started developing a fever. I slept for 3 straight days. A week plus later, I’m still with fever and now bronchitis and pharyngitis and I’m on antibiotics and narcotic cough syrup, my chest and arms are sore from coughing so much, I’m a wreck. Yesterday I stayed home, and one of the habits I have is turning on the TV and then sleeping with it playing in the background.

It just so happens that I have the American Idol season 5 final still on my DVR. So, since mid-day TV generally stinks, I put that on. For those who can’t place it, season 5 included Taylor Hicks and Katherine McPhee, Elliot Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Paris Bennett, Kellie Pickler, Lisa Tucker, Ace Young, Mandisa, among others. Let me tell you: these kids could sing. They put this year’s crop to shame with their tight harmonies. When the women did their medley, I was seriously impressed. In retrospect, even guys who weren’t even front runners still had some serious pipes.

I also decided that despite the fact that I railed on Katherine McPhee recently, she really should have won season 5. She was – or rather, is – an outstanding vocalist. She truly outsings everyone in season 7, including the very entertaining David Cook, powerhouse Carly, and even the “can’t-do-no-wrong-but-ever-so-awkward-lip-licking” David “Archie” Archuletta. The power and grace she displayed in the finale (and what I recall her displaying the rest of her season — but then, those memories are a few years old) are really of professional quality.

Take a look at the American Idol website and peruse the past seasons. I think it’s a safe bet that season 5 included the most talented singers. Obviously, we’ll never know what kind of musicians many were, since until this season, one wasn’t allowed to use instruments. I also think it’s safe to say that without the use of instruments, people like Brooke White and Jason Castro might have been voted off the island weeks ago, since they both have displayed a propsensity for massive awkwardness without an instrumental crutch.

In reviewing the seasons for the “most talented season ever,” I also think it would be neat to have an American Idol “all star” bracket. If I were to compile a list, my top 12 might include Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolittle, Trenyce, David Cook, Kelly Clarkson, Anwar Robinson, Carrie Underwood, Paris Bennett, Elliot Yamin, Bo Bice, and Clay Aiken; I think it would be hard to leave Clay Aiken out, despite my general reaction to him – measles, a dry heave – you can’t deny his killer voice.

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