Catching Up with Former American Idols: Season Six

Jordin Sparks on Season 6 of American Idol (2007)

To cap off the night of giving in Season 6 of American Idol, no contestant was eliminated... that week.

American Idol’s sixth season created a lot of speculation, even before the top 24 was announced (due to a female contestant’s photo scandal and the inclusion of a former hitmaker’s son), but there was quite a bit of talk about a certain contestant with crazy hair. Yes, half the audience loved Sanjaya Malakar and the other half despised him (and one little girl cried uncontrollably every time she saw him.), but he didn’t even make it into the top six.

American Idol continued to be the highest rated show in television and a record amount of phone-in votes were cast that season, but the year’s biggest event was Idol Gives Back. A charity event benefitting poverty victims in Africa and the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, it led to over $70 million dollars in donations by viewers and corporations. To cap off the night of giving, no contestant was eliminated that week.

Still, the show had to go on, with these five singers being 2007’s most favorite Idols.

5. Chris Richardson

Some compared him to Justin Timberlake, but Chris Richardson was one of the show’s most modern contestants, performing covers of hits by Jason Mraz, Keith Urban, Rob Thomas, and Gavin DeGraw, among others.

Chris released a solo album the following year, but gained more noterity as a songwriter, collaborating with fellow Idol alumni Blake Lewis, Jordin Sparks, and Phil Stacey. He recently signed a deal with a new record label and is now promoting his new single, “In The Name Of Love”.

4. LaKisha Jones

A choir singer/bank teller turned overnight TV star, LaKisha frequently fought Melinda Doolittle for the votes of R&B/gospel fans. A year after her run on the show, she appeared in a Broadway revival of The Color Purple.

Jones wouldn’t release an album until 2009’s So Glad I’m Me, but made an appearance mentoring the contestants of MTV’s Legally Blonde: The Search For Elle Woods prior to that. A January post on the official American Idol website revealed that she is still “working on her music”, but there are no mentions of anything new on her official Myspace or YouTube accounts.

3. Melinda Doolittle

A former professional back-up singer who got a chance to be in the spotlight, Melinda charmed audiences with her pitch-perfect vocals and humble stage presence. When she was voted off the show, the nation was shocked.

She released a cover-filled album entitled Coming Back To You in 2009 and released an autobiography about her life, Finding Your Way To Life’s Next Level a year later. She recently appeared as the voice of Cassie Cassava in Veggietales: Twas The Night Before Easter and released a Christmas single, “God Bless Us Everyone”. According to her official Twitter account, she’s still a big fan of the show, voting for both Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips in last week’s Idol finale.

2. Blake Lewis

He was known for skillfully reworking classic songs into his own beatboxed style, with his cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” selling more downloads than any other performance of that season. His debut album Audio Day Dream debuted at No.10 on the Billboard charts.

Lewis released a follow-up album Heartbreak On Vinyl in 2009. A year later, he voiced Kasuka in the US version of the Durarara!! anime series. Though he often makes appearances with other former Idol contestants at various reunion shows, he is still working on music. He recently released this duet with Dutch producer/DJ Daniel Wanrooy.

1. Jordin Sparks

Idol’s youngest winner was 17 years old in 2007, and she remains the show’s last female to earn the top spot. Though many were surprised by her win, Sparks’ resulting album went platinum and led to four hit singles.

This year’s Idol-watchers probably remember her “AT&T HTC One X with Beatbox Portable” commercial, featuring an overly eager executive lipsynching to “Battlefield”. She recently made headlines for her memorable tribute to Whitney Houston at this year’s Billboard Music Awards and will star in the upcoming movie remake of Sparkle, which features Houston in her last film role.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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

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