'American Idol:' 10 of the Competition's Freshest Faces

by Hilary Rothing, posted Apr 4th 2011 2:00PM
With the age requirement lowered to 15, 'American Idol' is all about discovering young talent ripe for the picking this season.

But 'Idol' has always had a knack for uncovering fresh-faced talent, as evidenced by these 10 young superstars who've proven that you're never too young to start wailing on a little 'Dreamgirls.' (We're looking at you, David Archuleta!)

Here are our picks for 'American Idol''s 10 freshest faces and a look back at their places in 'Idol' history.

Allison Iraheta
Age: 16
Season: 8
Fresh Factor: The 16-year-old with the "400-year-old voice" continuously blew the judges away and was the last woman standing before Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert duked it out for 'Idol' crown. We say "woman," since nobody believed Allison's husky tone could belong to a teenager.
Choice Cut: 'I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing' by Aerosmith

Carmen Rasmusen
Age: 17
Season: 2
Fresh Factor: With her girl-next-door charm and yodel-ific vocals, Carmen Rasmusen was the youngest season 2 finalist and Simon Cowell's wild card pick. Though her run on 'Idol' was shaky at times (and we're not just talking about the yodeling), she proved early on in 'Idol's' run that the youngins' can hold their own on the big stage.
Choice Cut: 'You Can't Hurry Love' by The Supremes

Jordin Sparks
Age: 17
Season: 6
Fresh Factor: The youngest winner in 'American Idol' history, 17-year-old Jordin Sparks made it to the end while never hitting the bottom three. In her post-'Idol' career, Sparks has released two studio albums, opened for Britney Spears and the Jonas Brothers, performed on Broadway and earned a Grammy nomination, all by the ripe old age of 21.
Choice Cut: 'I (Who Have Nothing)' by Shirley Bassey

Lisa Tucker
Age: 16
Season: 5
Fresh Factor: Taking on a Whitney Houston mega-ballad is a gutsy move, but young Lisa Tucker had the pipes to pull off 'One Moment in Time' back in season 5. In fact, Simon called her the best 16-year-old the competition had ever seen. Since her 'Idol' days, Tucker has gone on pursue a musical career and appear in numerous television shows.
Choice Cut: 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours' by Stevie Wonder

Diana DeGarmo
Age: 16
Season: 3
Fresh Factor: Though she lost to Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo proved she was ready to sing for her supper as the youngest contestant to ever make the top two. After 'Idol,' DeGarmo took her talent to Broadway, appearing in 'Hair' and 'Hairspray,' as well as several national tours and regional theater productions.
Choice Cut: 'Don't Cry Out Loud' by Melissa Manchester

Sanjaya Malakar
Age: 17
Season: 6
Fresh Factor: If we're talking about youngsters who changed the 'Idol' game, there's no avoiding Sanjaya. The 17-year-old introduced us to the "ponyhawk," made 13-year-old girls cry, inspired a group of fans to "vote for the worst" and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't have to be a great singer to make it far on 'American Idol.' Scary.
Choice Cut: 'Bathwater' by No Doubt

David Archuleta
Age: 17
Season: 7
Fresh Factor: Despite the immense pressures of performing live on a nationally televised competition (with an overbearing stage Dad to boot), babyfaced David Archuleta made it to the top -- only to lose the 'Idol' crown to David Cook after "owning" the finale, according to Simon Cowell, with a trio of amazing performances.
Choice Cut: 'Imagine' by John Lennon

Aaron Kelly
Season: 9
Fresh Factor: Aaron Kelly may have been a little green for 'American Idol' as the youngest contestant to ever hit the top 12, but he poured his heart into every performance, making a fast fan out of mentor Miley Cyrus and holding his own against contestants Michael Lynche and Casey James, both 10 years his senior.
Choice Cut: 'Angie' by the Rolling Stones

Lauren Alaina
Age: 16
Season: 10
Fresh Factor: Steven Tyler called Lauren Alaina "the one" and with only three girls left in the competition, it's looking more and more likely that this Georgia girl could be "the one" who finally breaks the boys' winning streak and take the 'American Idol' title for herself.
Choice Cut: 'I'm the Only One' by Melissa Etheridge

Jacee Badeaux
Age: 15
Season: 10
Fresh Factor: He may not have made it to the finals, but we have to give credit to young Jacee Badeaux, whose cherubic face and sweet vocals made him an early favorite in 'Idol's' tenth season. Hopefully, this youngster comes back with a vengeance next season.
Choice Cut: 'Sittin' (on the Dock of the Bay)' by Otis Redding

'American Idol' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on FOX.

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Iggy Pop is an idiot and why would anyone want him on the show?

April 09 2011 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Igg Pop is a fag

April 09 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love american idol. My son is 3 yrs old and he can sing very well. i hope amer. idol is around for next 12 yrs and i promise you that you will hear his name------- Michael the best

April 09 2011 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i hope james wins he seems to have alot of fun and he is just a nice guy

April 07 2011 at 10:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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