Music

Catching Up with Former American Idols: Season Five

Taylor Hicks on Season 5 of American Idol (2006)

Season Five’s American Idol saw a record number of Billboard chart appearances, with 18 contestants from the show eventually receiving some sort of record contract. What are those contestants up to, now?

American Idol’s fifth season was filled with shocking eliminations. Big-voiced R&B/gospel singer Mandisa didn’t make it to the top eight. Kellie Pickler, a country singer who reminded people of previous winner Carrie Underwood, didn’t make it into the top five. Plus, American Idol’s most successful male contestant and one of the biggest stars in modern rock music, Chris Daughtry, didn’t win.

Regardless of who was voted off when, it was the still the highest rated TV series of 2006. One of the show’s most successful seasons, it resulted in a record number of Billboard chart appearances, with 18 contestants from the show eventually receiving some sort of record contract!

But whatever happened to those who made it to the top that year? Let’s find out as we continue on with 2006's American Idols.

5. Paris Bennett

Many viewers cried foul about her ties to the recording industry: her mother and grandmother recorded with Sounds of Blackness, but more shocking was the fact that this 17-year-old usually chose the oldest songs to sing. "Take Five", "Fever", and "These Foolish Things" were among her best known performances.


Bennett released her Princess P album in 2007, which reached the top of Billboard’s “Top Heatseekers” chart. After releasing a Christmas album in 2008, she made plans to record a jazz album, but it has yet to be released. She co-starred with Ciara and Patti LaBelle in Mama, I Want to Sing, an independent movie released on DVD last year, but still seems actively involved in music, as this recent video shows.


4. Chris Daughtry

Chris brought a rock sound that was previously unheard of on the American Idol stage, and rumors persisted that he was to be named the new lead singer of Fuel. Shortly after his American Idol run, he formed the band Daughtry with two friends from back home, and two guitarists who auditioned for the job.


If you hear a rock song on Top 40 radio today, chances are it is a Daughtry song. “It’s Not Over”, “Home”, “Feels Like Tonight”, “What About Now”, “No Surprise”, and “Life After You” are the biggest hits from their first two platinum-selling albums. The group recently released their Break The Spell album which has just gone gold.

However, there's one blight in Chris’ career; several former bandmates (from a group formed prior to Daughtry) have filed a lawsuit, stating that the singer refused to credit them as songwriters on several Daughtry albums. In response to the charges, Chris stated on his website, “I am very hurt. The songs listed in this lawsuit were written solely by me and no one else...”.


3. Elliot Yamin

Though his audition was never aired on the show, the former DJ certainly made an impression on viewers, with only a small percentage of votes keeping him out of the big finalé. He went on to release the hit single, “Wait For You”.


Elliot has been keeping busy with a lot of charity work, including a trip to Angola for Malaria No More that was documented on Idol Gives Back and becoming a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He released his fifth album, Let’s Get To What’s Real last March.


2. Katharine McPhee

Critics said that she didn’t show much personality, but her fans got “McPheever” over her highly-praised performances. Her resulting single reached No.4 on the singles chart and her debut album sold well.


A 2010 follow-up album didn’t fare as well, but McPhee continues to record, performing among the likes of David Foster, Andrea Bocelli, Chris Botti, and Elliot Yamin in various different projects. In recent years she has mostly focused on acting, appearing in movies like The House Bunny, Shark Night 3D, and the upcoming Peace, Love & Misunderstanding. She currently stars as an aspiring Broadway actress in NBC’s Smash, which was recently renewed for a second season.


1. Taylor Hicks

The gray-haired contestant won audiences over with his cheerful personality and R&B blues style. His “Do I Make You Proud” was a No.1 hit, but his resulting album became the lowest-selling debut for a Idol winner.


He received a large sum to release an autobiography of his life in 2007, which was rumored to be ghostwritten by a former writer for Rolling Stone magazine. After being dropped by his label, he appeared in a Broadway revival of Grease and created his own record label for his last album. He was recently added to the cast of celebrity bachelors looking for a date on FOX’s upcoming reality show, Take Me Out.

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image