"We're very, very, very different people -- besides the fact we look exactly alike," joked Clay.
But the respective pop and R&B singers have stayed friends ever since being finalists on season 2 of 'Idol' seven years ago. Though Clay was runner-up, it's good to see there are no hard feelings between the two.
In a true show-stopping moment, winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and Kris Allen took to the stage to sing 'Together We Are One' by Delta Goodrem, during which they were joined by a revolving door of 'Idol' finalists that included everyone from Kimberly Caldwell to Constantine Maroulis and, yes, Justin Guarini.
Noticeably absent, though, was season 7 winner David Cook -- the only 'Idol' winner who did not take part in the group performance. According to Twitter, Cook was attending a charity event for cancer in Kansas City. An official word from Cook's camp has yet to be released.
Check out the clip after the jump.
My favorite part about the very beginning of an 'American Idol' results show is guessing who's going to go home. According to our poll from last night's episode, most of you think that it's Didi Benami's turn to leave the stage. While I can definitely understand that rationale -- she has been murdered by the judges for the past few weeks, after all -- I disagree. Even though he did a good job last night, I kind of feel that Lee DeWyze should go home, if for no other reason than the fact that I completely forget he's on the show every week.
Before we get to the actual results, though, there's a lot of other stuff that we have to get through: namely a rally weird 'Clash of the Titans' product placement that opens the show, as well as a performance from 'Idol's' forgotten winner, Ruben Studdard. We learn a few interesting things during this performance: Ruben has lost a pretty substantial amount of weight, and he's going on tour this summer with his 'Idol' runner-up, Clay Aiken. So what do you guys think? Is this tour going to be a fun show, or just two guys trying to recapture the limelight?
When the ninth season of 'American Idol' kicked off this January, it was clear that the magic that's made 'AI' one of the highest-rated shows in TV history remained untarnished. But, of course, nearly a decade into the show's run, a few familiarities were inevitable. Some of 'AI''s nearly 28 million viewers may have had a sense of déjà vu after being introduced to season 9's new hopefuls, noting that they seemed eerily similar to past season's contestants ... and we don't mean "Bikini Boy" vs. Bikini Girl.
We've handicapped the remaining contestants' and recent castoffs' chances for pop success based on the qualities that remind us of some of our favorite past winners and wannabes.
Having waited tables or shoveled cow poo before becoming pop stars, famous people often don't care to rehash history. But when 'American Idol' is the vehicle that launched that superstar career, it's difficult to obscure the past with the sparkle of a Grammy and the gleam of platinum records, especially when the show's audition clips are some of the most fun viral videos out there.
Former 'AI' contestants like chart toppers Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and David Cook and Broadway babes Fantasia Barrino and Taylor Hicks once had to audition, too. Their tryouts are time capsules of raw talent that make you wonder how these artists ever wallowed in the same pool of hopefuls as William Hung, "Bikini Girl" and some of this season's worst auditions. Plus, watching Simon Cowell discredit Jordin Sparks during her audition because of her "weird smile" and "cutesy" delivery -- and knowing that he would eat his words when she won season 6 -- is priceless.
Take a look at the audition videos of all the 'American Idol's and see if you can spot the birth of a winner in each one.
I couldn't be happier with the way AI ended this year. I only turn the show on once a season and only to see what the set looks like. This year, I happened to turn it on during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing "Ring of Fire," and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening! I wasn't really a fan and found myself surprised whenever folks told me that they liked him.
Gawker has more. Idol fans, discuss.
This being the results show of Motown Night, the Idols sang a montage of Motown hits against a backdrop of classic Motown stars. Very nice. I also liked the Ford commercial, with the contestants putting together giant puzzle pieces while singing "Take Me Away." They look like they're having a blast.
Then the Velvet Teddy Bear Ruben Studdard sang a tune, and Ryan mentions that he was recently married. Congrats to Ruben!
And then the countdown begins with Adam Lambert up first. I can't imagine that he'd be going home, and sure enough, he's safe. With his ability to show such vastly different sides of his artistic talent, Adam has launched himself straight to the top of my favorites list.
They may all own the title of 'American Idol,' but winning is one thing -- turning in one of the show's most memorable performances is something else entirely.
We scoured through the past seven seasons to come up with the 16 best. Then YOU, the fans, voted for the No. 1 greatest 'Idol' performance of all time. See who topped the list.
Welcome to the final installment of "AI Aftermath," where we explore Idol's past. Each installment, as one more American Idol hopeful is eliminated from the competition, we take a look back at contestants past who were eliminated at the same point. We'll examine how they did on the show and what they've been up to since their eliminations. In honor of David Cook's crowning as your American Idol, we will look back at other winners.
This week: The Winners, featuring Kelly Clarkson (Season One), Ruben Studdard (Season Two), Fantasia Barrino (Season Three), Carrie Underwood (Season Four), Taylor Hicks (Season Five) and Jordin Sparks (Season Six).
Anyway, last night's epic battle got me thinking about past American Idol finales and whether any of them were this much of a contest. It seems like we've gone into most of the American Idol finales with obvious winners. Here's a breakdown of the past American Idol finales, and whether they stack up to last night's performances:
How much cooler would it be to send your stalker letter to Kelly Clarkson with a Kelly Clarkson stamp? As Ryan Seacrest announced on last night's American Idol "Idol Gives Back" special, PhotoStamps has inked a deal with the show to produce commemorative stamps featuring the likenesses of each of the Idol winners so far, including this year's winner. In fact, Kelly Clarkson's PhotoStamp is already available, with subsequent stamps released each Tuesday.
So if you're planning to kidnap one of Kelly's hats and send her a ransom note with cut-out letters from various newspaper articles about her, demanding that she go out on a date with you if she ever wants to see it again, go that extra mile and show her you really care in that extra-special creepy way by using a Kelly Clarkson PhotoStamp! Remember, net proceeds from the sales of these stamps go to charity. And while you may be crazy, that doesn't mean you don't care!
The latest to be dropped is season five runner-up Katharine McPhee. She released an album in 2006 that has only sold about 365,000 copies, according to MTV news.
Some winners have found great success (hello, Kelly!), some have been dumped by their labels (so sorry, Ruben and Taylor), while some also-rans have gone on to bigger and better things.
We check in on 30 'AI' alums and fill you in on which ones are in trouble with the law, which are still giving it their best shot ... and which have fallen off the radar.
In the wake of disappointing sales on his recent efforts, it looks like J Records has dropped Ruben Studdard from their label, according to ContactMusic.com. The second season winner of American Idol was never able to replicate the sales of his freshmen effort (2003's Soulful), which moved more than 1.7 million copies. His most recent album, 2006's The Return, in which he came back to a more traditional R&B style only shifted 325,000.
Studdard won't let this slow him down, though. Rather, he's going to follow many an Idol alumni before him to the stage. He'll play Fats Waller in a touring production of Ain't Misbehavin'. And he's guaranteed at least one gig a year on the Idol finales. I have to figure some smaller label will pick him up at some point. Maybe he can have a Jennifer Hudson career moment (Dreamgirls' "And I Am Telling You...") and become relevant again. Or is he just old news?
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