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American Idol (Season 5)

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The fifth season of American Idol began on January 17, 2006 and will end on May 24, 2006. Returning this season to judge are Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. Returning to host is Ryan Seacrest.


Auditions were held in seven cities in the summer and early fall of 2005 in the following order:

Unlike Season Four, no guest judges were involved during the auditions.

Eliminated ContestantsEdit

Early auditionsEdit

  • Holly Corrente worked at a rehabilitation facility. Auditioned in Boston and eliminated there.
  • Rhonetta Johnson had a diva attitude, a potty mouth, and no underwear. Made negative comments, mostly about and directed to Paula Abdul after being rejected by the judges. Eliminated in Greensboro auditions.
  • Chonna Clepper auditioned in Greensboro dressed in almost nothing.
  • Zachary Travis auditioned in Denver dressed in a woman's crop top, tight blue jeans with a studded belt and high heeled boots and sang the Whitney Houston song "Queen of the Night" which Simon described as atrocious and Travis as being confused.

Hollywood Round OneEdit

The first round of Hollywood consisted of two days of solo performances of one of 12 pre-selected songs, to a piano and background vocal accompaniment, with each singer singing on one day and touring Los Angeles on the other day.

Of the 175 hopefuls who made it to Hollywood, 99 were selected to move on to the next round. Among those cut from at this time were:

  • Jeffrey "Ryan" Baysden auditioned in Greensboro. He was told by Simon, "finally, a Ryan with talent!"
  • Steven David, Jr. auditioned in his Air National Guard uniform in Greensboro, danced with Paula, and turned out to be married.
  • David Hoover aka "Crazy Dave", sent through by Randy and Paula in Chicago. He is the first "bad" singer ever to be sent on to Hollywood.
  • Ronnie "R.J." Norman was profiled as the "Cocky Guy" in Austin. He cried when he was eliminated in Hollywood.
  • Jayne Santayana auditioned in San Francisco, sang "Sweet Love" by Anita Baker.
  • Joshua and Jarrett Simmons are the younger set of male twins that auditioned together in Chicago.
  • Zachary Smits was a 17-year-old, auditioned in Chicago.
  • Jordan Southerland auditioned dressed as a firefighter in Greensboro.
  • Heather Ward was the African American woman who surprised the judges by singing Gretchen Wilson's country anthem "Redneck Woman" in Las Vegas.
  • Kendra Winston was the mother of three children, grew up in 42 different foster care situations, auditioned in Greensboro.

Hollywood Rounds Two and ThreeEdit

The remaining 99 hopefuls competed in Round Two, which was three- or four-person groups singing one of six or so pre-selected songs. Cuts were made (of individuals, not whole groups) after this round.

Approximately 60 contestants went on to Round Three, which was a solo a capella performance of one of 95 possible songs. After this, cuts were made by segregating performers into different rooms, with everyone in a given room either moving on or being cut.

Across both rounds, 55 were cut, including:

  • Meredith Bandas
  • Leah Barrettsmith, one of the two sisters who auditioned together in Chicago and were profiled as "small town" girls.
  • Matthew Buckstein
  • Rochelle-Elaine Dye came to her Denver audition with several friends and family who had her name spelled out in t-shirts. She said she was about to be evicted.
  • Sarah Enouen
  • Michael Evans
  • Hannah Freeman
  • Gina Glocksen was profiled as a dental assistant and the lead singer in an all-girl band, auditioned in Chicago.
  • Anthony Hansen
  • Rickey Hayes was a music major, auditioned in Austin
  • Jason Horn, Funeral director, auditioned in Austin with "You Raise Me Up".
  • Ashley Jackson, "fit model", sang with her mouth closed, auditioned in Austin.
  • Josh Jordan, sang during the group performance together with semi-finalists, David Radford and Will Makar, and finalist, Kevin Covais
  • Garet Layne Johnson, profiled as the "Wyoming Cowboy," auditioned in Denver, was advised to get voice lessons before going to Hollywood. He was featured as part of a Brokeback Mountain parody called "Brokenote Mountain".
  • Mecca Madison was the 18-year-old high-school senior and belly-dancer. Auditioned in Las Vegas.
  • Celeste Scalone was a former contestant on Making the Band.
  • Tyra Juliette Schwartz came from New York and was dumped by her boyfriend shortly before auditioning in Greensboro. She was a former contestant on Making the Band.
  • Jennifer Sieminski later gave a very detailed interview describing behind-the-scenes practices of American Idol [2]
  • Jordan Southerland auditioned in Greensboro NC and was the first person ever to wear a Fireman outfit on the show. He got pretty good reviews in that round of audition, and wore the firesuit in honor of all the firemen who assisted in Hurricane Katrina and in honor of his father who is very sick and has been a fireman for 20 years. In Hollywood he performed the song "Bless the Broken Road".
  • Halicia Thompson sang the theme from A Different World and kissed Simon. She auditioned in Greensboro.
  • Nicole Turk
  • Tatiana Ward auditoned in Boston. Simon compared her to his pet poodle, and complained that her singing was too "old fashioned." Randy and Paula let her through.
  • Lauren Weckerly
  • Shawna White was 16 years old, wore pigtails that inspired yodeling from the judges, auditioned in San Francisco.
  • John Williams sang a Michael Jackson song and did a dance in San Francisco, Simon wasn't impressed with his "routine", but Randy and Paula put him through.
  • Laura Wright auditioned in Greensboro. It showed her singing a little bit.
  • Megan Zieger was first seen in Hollywood, where she had a bad case of laryngitis, but managed to sustain her voice.

Final CutdownEdit

On January 23, 2006, after a considerable time lapse from Hollywood Week, and after the audition shows began to air on January 17, the judges reviewed tapes and considered early audience reaction to the contestants. Without any additional performances from the contestants, the judges then reduced the the remaining 44 contestants to 24 semi-finalists in a Pasadena, California hotel. Among those eliminated at this point were:

  • David Avram #4929
  • Brooke Barrettsmith #9719, one of the two sisters who auditioned together in Chicago and were profiled as "small town" girls.
  • Megan Bobo #37340, one of the last two girls to be told if they were in the final 24 or not, lost the place to Kinnik Sky.
  • Jessica Jo Santos #78151
  • Antonio Bridges #75320
  • Derrell and Terrell Brittenum #7958, #7959, older set of twins that auditioned together in Chicago. In Hollywood, Derrell quit after mistakenly thinking his brother had been cut. After an apology, the judges allowed both brothers to stay in the competition. They made it to the final 44, but they were disqualified in January 2006 after being arrested.
  • Murcelia "Marcy" Smith #35871 was in the same group as Brenna Gethers and was visibly irritated by Brenna's obnoxious nature and unreliability in turning up for practice. Brenna, however, made a great show of being friendly with her on stage when Simon remarked on this after the group performance.
  • Bobby Bullard #35990
  • Bobby Dillard #31701
  • Syd James Harcourt #10300 and Will Makar were the final two men to be called into the room where the final selection for the top 24 was to take place.
  • Eugenia Littlejohn #35660 cried and said her dreams of ever making it as a singer were destroyed when she wasn't selected for the final 24, provoking surprised reactions from all three judges.
  • Mark Adam Locklear #63995
  • William McCoy #60242
  • Nicole Ortiz #13677
  • Crystal Stark #1140
  • Brianna Taylor #11142, sang the song If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys in Boston.
  • April Walsh #37870, sang the song It's Oh So Quiet by Bjork in Denver.
  • Stephanie White #11425
  • Nick Whitten #61919


The semi-finals began on February 21, with the names announced on February 15. There were three shows each week for the three weeks of the semi-finals.

There were no format changes from season 4; it will feature 12 male singers and 12 female singers (24 total), with two of each being eliminated each week.

The 24 semi-finalists, announced February 15, 2006, along with their songs performed on the show, were:


Ayla Brown (14336) is from Wrentham, Massachusetts. Her father is a Massachusetts state senator, and her mother is a local television personality at WCVB-TV. She has a college basketball scholarship at Boston College. She originally auditioned in Boston, Massachusetts, singing Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
  1. Reflection (Christina Aguilera)
  2. I Want You To Need Me (Celine Dion)
  3. Unwritten (Natasha Bedingfield) - Eliminated 03/09/06
Kinnik Sky (63995) is from Duluth, Georgia. She auditioned in Greensboro.
  1. Get Here (Oleta Adams)
  2. Here For the Party (Gretchen Wilson) - Bottom 3 03/02/06
  3. If I Ain't Got You (Alicia Keys) - Eliminated 03/09/06
Heather Cox (36338) is from Jonesville, North Carolina. She auditioned in Denver.
  1. When You Tell Me That You Love Me (Diana Ross)
  2. Hero (Mariah Carey) - Eliminated 03/02/06
Brenna Gethers (14289) is from Mount Vernon, New York. She auditioned in Boston.
  1. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  2. Last Dance (Donna Summer) - Eliminated 03/02/06
Stevie Scott (36600) is from Fair Oaks, California. She auditioned in Denver.
  1. To Where You Are (Josh Groban) - Eliminated 02/23/06
Becky O'Donohue (11588) is from Dobbs Ferry, New York. Her original audition was in Boston with her twin sister (who didn't sing due to recent throat surgery). Simon praised her looks, but said no to her voice. She was let through to Hollywood by Randy and Paula.
  1. Because The Night (Patti Smith) - Eliminated 02/23/06


Gedeon McKinney (4460) is from Memphis, Tennessee. He auditioned in Chicago.
  1. Shout (The Isley Brothers)
  2. A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
  3. When A Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge) - Eliminated 03/09/06
Will Makar (58581) is from The Woodlands, Texas. 17 years old, originally auditioned in Austin with "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations.
  1. I Want You Back (The Jackson 5)
  2. Lady (Kenny Rogers)
  3. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (James Taylor) - Eliminated 03/09/06
José "Sway" Penala (32613) is from South San Francisco, and he auditioned San Francisco.
  1. Reasons (Earth Wind & Fire)
  2. Overjoyed (Stevie Wonder) - Eliminated 03/02/06
David Radford (2436) is a high schooler from Crystal Lake, Illinois. He originally auditioned in Chicago.
  1. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
  2. The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra) - Eliminated 03/02/06
Patrick Hall (79857) is from Gravette, Arkansas and was seen for the first time in Hollywood.
  1. Come to My Window (Melissa Etheridge) - Eliminated 02/23/06
Bobby Bennett (36477) is from Denver and also auditioned there.
  1. Copacabana (Barry Manilow) - Eliminated 02/23/06

Top 12 FinalistsEdit

Chris Daughtry (36483) is from McLeansville, North Carolina. During the audition round, he was profiled as a "Rocker Dad." He originally auditioned in Denver.
  1. Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi)
  2. Hemorrhage (In My Hands) (Fuel)
  3. Broken (Seether)
  4. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)
  5. I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
  6. What If (Creed)
  7. Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)
  8. Innuendo (Queen)
  9. What a Wonderful World (George Weiss)- Bottom 3 04/19/06
Taylor Hicks (74094) is from Birmingham, Alabama. He is gray-haired, performed "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke at his original audition in Las Vegas.
  1. Levon (Elton John)
  2. Easy (The Commodores)
  3. Takin' It to the Streets (The Doobie Brothers)
  4. Living for the City (Stevie Wonder)
  5. Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly)
  6. Trouble (Ray LaMontagne)
  7. Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
  8. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
  9. You Send Me (Sam Cooke)
Elliott Yamin (19991) (pronounced Yah-MEEN) was born in 1978 in Los Angeles, California and grew up in suburban Richmond, Virginia. He started singing at the age of 5 and did not have any formal training. He auditioned for American Idol in Boston. After his first semi-final performance, Simon said that he is potentially the best male vocalist in American Idol history.
  1. If You Really Love Me (Stevie Wonder)
  2. Moody's Mood for Love (James Moody)
  3. Heaven (Bryan Adams)
  4. Knocks Me Off My Feet (Stevie Wonder)
  5. Teach Me Tonight (The DeCastro Sisters)
  6. I Don't Wanna Be (Gavin DeGraw)
  7. If Tomorrow Never Comes (Garth Brooks) - Bottom 3 04/05/06
  8. Somebody to Love (Queen) - Bottom 3 04/12/06
  9. It Had to Be You (Frank Sinatra)
Kellie Pickler (61615) is from Albemarle, North Carolina, but was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was profiled as a skating waitress. Her mother left when she was two and her father has had numerous legal problems; he is currently incarcerated in a Florida prison. Pickler lives with her grandfather and originally auditioned in Greensboro.
  1. How Far (Martina McBride)
  2. Something to Talk About (Bonnie Raitt)
  3. I'm the Only One (Melissa Etheridge)
  4. Blame It on the Sun (Stevie Wonder)
  5. Walkin' After Midnight (Patsy Cline)
  6. Suds in the Bucket (Sara Evans)
  7. Fancy (Reba McEntire)
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  9. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered (Ella Fitzgerald)
Katharine McPhee's (32342) mother is a vocal coach. At the time she auditioned in San Francisco, Randy said her audition was the best he'd heard yet this season. At the end of the first semi-final round, Simon Cowell said that he had heard four very good singers that evening and that Katharine was the best among them. She is from Sherman Oaks, California.
  1. Since I Fell for You (Barbra Streisand)
  2. All in Love Is Fair (Stevie Wonder)
  3. Think (Aretha Franklin)
  4. Until You Come Back to Me (Stevie Wonder)
  5. Come Rain or Come Shine (Ella Fitzgerald)
  6. The Voice Within (Christina Aguilera) - Bottom 3 03/29/06
  7. Bringing Out the Elvis (Faith Hill)
  8. Who Wants to Live Forever (Queen)
  9. Someone to Watch Over Me (Frank Sinatra)
  10. I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston)
Paris Bennett (60377), the granddaughter of Ann Nesby, sang "Cowboy Take Me Away" by The Dixie Chicks at her original audition in Greensboro. She is from Fayetteville, Georgia.
  1. Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight)
  2. Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
  3. Conga (Gloria Estefan)
  4. All I Do (Stevie Wonder)
  5. Fever (Peggy Lee)
  6. Work It Out (Beyonce Knowles)
  7. How Do I Live (LeAnn Rimes) - Bottom 3 04/05/06
  8. The Show Must Go On (Queen)
  9. These Foolish Things (Ella Fitzgerald) - Bottom 3 04/19/06
Ace Young (36456) is from Boulder and auditioned in Denver. At that time, Randy called him one of the best he'd seen so far this season. After he sang 'Father Figure', Simon Cowell said that Ace had the 'X-Factor'.
  1. Father Figure (George Michael)
  2. If You're Not the One (Daniel Bedingfield)
  3. Butterflies (Michael Jackson)
  4. Do I Do (Stevie Wonder) - Bottom 3 03/15/06
  5. In the Still of the Night (The Five Satins)
  6. Drops of Jupiter (Train) - Bottom 3 03/29/06
  7. Tonight I Wanna Cry (Keith Urban)
  8. We Will Rock You (Queen) - Bottom 3 04/12/06
  9. That's All (Nat King Cole) - Eliminated 04/19/06
Bucky Covington (60460) is from Rockingham, North Carolina. He auditioned in Greensboro.
  1. Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  2. The Thunder Rolls (Garth Brooks)
  3. Wave on Wave (Pat Green)
  4. Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
  5. Oh Boy (Buddy Holly) - Bottom 3 03/22/06
  6. Real Good Man (Tim McGraw)
  7. Grey Sky Morning (Best I Ever Had) (Vertical Horizon)
  8. Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen) - Eliminated 04/12/06
Mandisa (6369) is from Antioch, Tennessee. She had a successful original audition in Chicago, after which Simon made jokes about her size. He later apologized after being confronted by Mandisa.
  1. Never (Heart)
  2. Cry (Faith Hill)
  3. I'm Every Woman (Chaka Khan)
  4. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing (Stevie Wonder)
  5. I Don't Hurt Anymore (Dinah Washington)
  6. Shackles (Praise You) (Mary Mary)
  7. Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain) - Eliminated 04/05/06
Lisa Tucker (36047) is from Anaheim, California, and she auditioned in Denver. Simon called her the "best 16-year-old" ever to audition on the show at the time of her original Denver audition. She was also a contestant on Star Search but lost to Tiffany Evans.
  1. I Am Changing (Jennifer Holliday)
  2. Who's Lovin' You (The Jackson 5)
  3. Here's Where I Stand (Tiffany Taylor)
  4. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) (Stevie Wonder) - Bottom 3 03/15/06
  5. Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) - Bottom 3 03/22/06
  6. Because of You (Kelly Clarkson) - Eliminated 03/29/06
Kevin Covais (10182), 16 years old, is from Levittown, New York. For his audition in Boston, he sang "You Raise Me Up".
  1. One Last Cry (Brian McKnight)
  2. I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye) - Bottom 3 03/02/06
  3. Vincent (Don McLean)
  4. Part-Time Lover (Stevie Wonder)
  5. When I Fall in Love (Nat King Cole) - Eliminated 03/22/06
Melissa McGhee (35673) is from Tampa, Florida. She auditioned in Denver. She hadn't sung on camera until her first week in the top 24.
  1. When the Lights Go Down (Faith Hill)
  2. Why Haven't I Heard from You (Reba McEntire)
  3. What About Love (Heart)
  4. Lately (Stevie Wonder) - Eliminated 03/15/06

Song ThemesEdit

Performers on Results showsEdit

Elimination History Edit


As of April 19th, Taylor Hicks and Kellie Pickler are the only ones never placed in the Bottom 3.

DialIdol Edit

DialIdol is computer program for Microsoft Windows that was introduced in Season 5. The program allows users to automatically vote for the American Idol candidates of their choice using their PC's modem. The program then reports back to the main website, which keeps track of the results based on which contestant has the most busy signals.

Users can choose to vote equally for their chosen contestants, choose to keep certain candidates "safe" (by voting for their chosen contestant who is lowest ranked), or choose to keep certain contestants "unsafe" (by voting for the lowest rank candidate who is not on their list).

In March 2006, they received a "cease and desist" order from Fox because they view the software as a potential spoiler, and the site was taken down temporarily. After consulting with lawyers and determining that what they were doing was legal, the website was put back up. [3]

The program's developers estimate that using it to predict the results has about 83% accuracy. The website received national attention when it correctly predicted the bottom three contestants, in order, before the April 6, 2006 results show.

Controversy Edit

  • In January 2006, twins Derrell and Terrell Brittenum were charged with forgery and theft after allegedly using a false identity to purchase a car. [4] This occurred after the "Hollywood" portion of the show was filmed, and the twins were subsequently disqualified. [5]
  • In January 2006, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) expressed concern about the show's portrayal of some contestants: "The real offense here was in the producer's decision to add insult to injury by turning a contestant's gender expression into the butt of a joke." Damon Romine, Entertainment Media Director, on January 20. [6]
  • In January 2006 The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, NAAFA accused the show of being discriminatory towards its plus sized contestants[7]
  • In February 2006, it was discovered that José "Sway" Penala was reportedly signed to E-Deal Records with his band 6th Day, at the time of his audition.[8]
  • On the March 21st show, Chris Daughtry sang a version of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line" using the same arrangements as the band Live when they covered the song for the album Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records. During the show, the source of the arrangement was never mentioned. On the March 28th episode, in a discussion with Ryan Seacrest, Daughtry confirmed that it was in fact Live's version of the song.[9]
  • During the March 28th show while Mandisa was singing her name and phone number came up, but then for a few seconds it changed and showed Taylor Hicks' name and phone number. At the end of the show the numbers were right. [10]
  • Mandisa was voted out after country week, whereby her rendition of 'Any Man of Mine' was not well received as a good song choice. The reason behind her elimination was speculated to be due to her statement of 'This song goes out to everybody that wants to be free, your addiction, lifestyle and situation may be big, but God is bigger' before singing her rendition of 'Wanna Praise You (Shackles)' by Mary, Mary. Many Americans speculated that the lifestlye stated was regarding the gay lifestyle, which Mandisa denied, clarifying that the lifestyle she was refering to was her lifestyle of addiction to food. Though Mandisa is a fervent follower of Beth Moore, she claims that she does not discriminate against gays, but will not advocate homosexuality either. [11]


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Start box Template:Succession box Template:End box

American Idol

Albums: American Idol Season 1: American Idol Greatest Moments | American Idols Seasons 1 & 2: The Great Holiday Classics | American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs | American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics | American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers
Related: Controversy | American Idol Magazine | American Idol Rewind | American Idol Underground | From Justin to Kelly | American Juniors
Lists: List of all contestants | List of spin-offs | List of songs performed on American Idol
Categories: Category:American Idol | Category:American Idol images | Category:American Idol contestants
Main Cast: Ryan Seacrest | Randy Jackson | Paula Abdul | Simon Cowell | Brian Dunkleman | Michael Krogmann
Simon Fuller | Nigel and Simon Lythgoe | Bruce Gowers | Ken Warwick

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