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Catching Up with Former American Idols: Season Seven

David Cook on Season 7 of American Idol (2008)

Some people said that a rocker would never win American Idol, and David Cook proved them wrong.

American Idol’s seventh season was remembered for its two weeks of Beatles covers (some of which were bad, some were just okay, and some were awesome), the range of instruments the contestants performed with (harmonicas, pianos, guitars!), and the fact that there were three different guys named David in the top 12.

But whatever happened to those who made it to the top that year? Let’s find out as we continue on with 2008's American Idols.

5. Brook White

A babysitter with a cheerful disposition, Brook White reminded viewers of Carole King and was a likely contender for the big finalé.


Her High Hopes & Heartbreak was an iTunes exclusive album, but her “Radio Radio” single would later be used in national radio commercials for radio itself. Last year, she co-starred in the FOX made for TV-movie Change Of Plans, in which she played a singer-songwriter who unexpectedly adopts several children. She is currently part of the duo Jack & White.


4. Jason Castro

His laid-back style suited his mellow performances of “Daydream” and "Travelin’ Thru", but he really shined on more heartfelt fare, like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.


Signed to Atlantic Records, his self-titled debut album sold well and featured the popular single “Let’s Just Fall In Love Again”. To promote the album, he performed at the televised wedding of Bachelor contestants Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney. Later on that year, he released his first Contemporary Christian music album, Who I Am, which he continues to promote.


3. Syesha Mercado

Despite almost losing her voice during Hollywood week, the former commercial actress and The One: Making a Music Star contestant became the most popular female of the season.


Syesha starred in the 2009 national tour revival of Dreamgirls and released a self-titled EP last year. She is currently starring in a New Jersey production of Once On This Island and frequently posts videos on her official YouTube page.


2. David Archuleta

Rumors swirled about his father supposedly becoming so demanding that he was banned from giving his son song advice, but David “Archie” Archuleta took the teen heartthrob vote and was highly praised for his performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.


His debut album hit No.2 on the Billboard charts, and led to appearances on iCarly and Hannah Montana. His next two releases both sold well, with an upcoming covers album Begin. coming out this August. He probably won’t be able to do much promotion for it, however, as he recently announced that he is taking a two-year hiatus from the business in order to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


1. David Cook

Some people said that a rocker would never win American Idol, and David Cook proved them wrong. The judges and the public never harshly criticized him, and he was never in the bottom three. His debut single “The Time of My Life” topped the Billboard charts, and his resulting album was one of the best-selling rock albums of that year.


In 2011, Cook’s remake of Human Nature’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was American Idol’s good-bye theme. A follow-up album, This Loud Morning, disappointed his record label, with which he recently parted ways. He independently released his latest single, “The Last Song I’ll Ever Write for You”, and performed it on an American Idol results show last month.

From drunken masters to rumbles in the Bronx, Jackie Chan's career is chock full of goofs and kicks. These ten films capture what makes Chan so magnetic.

Jackie Chan got his first film role way back in 1976, when a rival producer hired him for his obvious action prowess. Now, nearly 40 years later, he is more than a household name. He's a brand, a signature star with an equally recognizable onscreen persona. For many, he was their introduction into the world of Hong Kong cinema. For others, he's the goofy guy speaking broken English to Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour films.

From his grasp of physical comedy to his fearlessness in the face of certain death (until recently, Chan performed all of his own stunts) he's a one of a kind talent whose taken his abilities in directions both reasonable (charity work, political reform) and ridiculous (have your heard about his singing career?).

Now, Chan is back, bringing the latest installment in the long running Police Story franchise to Western shores (subtitled Lockdown, it's been around since 2013), and with it, a reminder of his multifaceted abilities. He's not just an actor. He's also a stunt coordinator and choreographer, a writer, a director, and most importantly, a ceaseless supporter of his country's cinema. With nearly four decades under his (black) belt, it's time to consider Chan's creative cannon. Below you will find our choices for the ten best pictures Jackie Chan's career, everything from the crazy to the classic. While he stuck to formula most of the time, no one made redundancy seem like original spectacle better than he.

Let's start with an oldie but goodie:

10. Operation Condor (Armour of God 2)

Two years after the final pre-Crystal Skull installment of the Indiana Jones films arrived in theaters, Chan was jumping on the adventurer/explorer bandwagon with this wonderful piece of movie mimicry. At the time, it was one of the most expensive Hong Kong movies ever made ($115 million, which translates to about $15 million American). Taking the character of Asian Hawk and turning him into more of a comedic figure would be the way in which Chan expanded his global reach, realizing that humor could help bring people to his otherwise over the top and carefully choreographed fight films -- and it's obviously worked.

9. Wheels on Meals

They are like the Three Stooges of Hong Kong action comedies, a combination so successful that it's amazing they never caught on around the world. Chan, along with director/writer/fight coordinator/actor Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, all met at the Peking Opera, where they studied martial arts and acrobatics. They then began making movies, including this hilarious romp involving a food truck, a mysterious woman, and lots of physical shtick. While some prefer their other collaborations (Project A, Lucky Stars), this is their most unabashedly silly and fun. Hung remains one of the most underrated directors in all of the genre.

8. Mr. Nice Guy
Sammo Hung is behind the lens again, this time dealing with Chan's genial chef and a missing mob tape. Basically, an investigative journalist films something she shouldn't, the footage gets mixed up with some of our heroes, and a collection of clever cat and mouse chases ensue. Perhaps one of the best sequences in all of Chan's career occurs in a mall, when a bunch of bad guys come calling to interrupt a cooking demonstration. Most fans have never seen the original film. When New Line picked it up for distribution, it made several editorial and creative cuts. A Japanese release contains the only unaltered version of the effort.

7. Who Am I?

Amnesia. An easy comedic concept, right? Well, leave it to our lead and collaborator Benny Chan (no relation) to take this idea and go crazy with it. The title refers to Chan's post-trauma illness, as well as the name given to him by natives who come across his confused persona. Soon, everyone is referring to our hero by the oddball moniker while major league action set pieces fly by. While Chan is clearly capable of dealing with the demands of physical comedy and slapstick, this is one of the rare occasions when the laughs come from character, not just chaos.

6. Rumble in the Bronx

For many, this was the movie that broke Chan into the US mainstream. Sure, before then, he was a favorite of film fans with access to a video store stocking his foreign titles, but this is the effort that got the attention of Joe and Jane Six Pack. Naturally, as they did with almost all his films, New Line reconfigured it for a domestic audience, and found itself with a huge hit on its hands. Chan purists prefer the original cut, including the cast voices sans dubbing. It was thanks to Rumble that Chan would go on to have a lengthy run in Tinseltown, including those annoying Rush Hour films.

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