Reality Television Personalities The Best American Idol Contestants Ever  

Katie Wells
Originally by
63k votes 4.7k voters 49k views 152 items Follow

List Rules Only American Idol contestants should be on this list

Who are the best American Idol contestants ever? As the FOX reality singing competition show continues on after a dozen seasons, the list of great Idol contestants continues to grow. AI is a force to be reckoned with, and it's certainly among the best reality TV shows in recent memory. Which artist do you believe is the best AI alum of all time? Vote for your favorites, vote down any you just can't stand (yes, Sanjaya is on the list, so have at it) and, if your personal favorite isn't listed, add that contestant, please.

Here's the thing about American Idol: Most of the winners are genuinely outstanding singers and have gone on to enjoy great success in the music world. It's hard to argue that Kelly Clarkson, the very first AI winner from season one, isn't a phenomenal talent and a force in the music industry. She's definitely one of the best female vocalists around.The same goes for country songbird Carrie Underwood, who won Idol in the show's fourth season. She went on to become one of the most celebrated female vocalists of the past 10 years. And Phillip Phillips, the singer-songwriter who took the American Idol crown in 2012, is enjoying a great deal of success with his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon.

One thing about this list of favorite 'American Idol' contestants: Many of the best artists didn't actually win on the show. Some were runners up, while others finished in the top five before getting booted off. 'Idol' runners up who went on to become major stars include Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert, David Archuleta and Clay Aiken are all good examples. Oh, and guess what? Top five finishers who went on to great success would certainly include rocker Chris Daughtry, country singer Kelly Pickler and certainly Jennifer Hudson. J-Hud finished *seventh* on 'Idol' in season three, and went on to win an Academy Award for her performance in the movie Dreamgirls

Enjoy this list of Idol finalists, don't forget to vote. You can also re-rank this list in any order you want. While you're at it, why not cast your vote for the person you believe would be the next great 'American Idol' judge, too?
list ordered by

1
+ - 1,560 993
Kelly Clarkson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Kelly Clarkson Adult contemporary music, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul

This Is What It's Actually Like To Be A Contestant On A Singing Competition Show The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

2
+ - 1,702 1,077
Carrie Underwood is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Carrie Underwood Country pop, Pop music, Contemporary Christian music

3
+ - 1,267 1,023
Chris Daughtry is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Chris Daughtry Rock music, Pop rock, Post-grunge

4
+ - 1,755 1,285
Adam Lambert is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Adam Lambert Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

5
+ - 1,068 939
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Jennifer Hudson Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Soul music

6
+ - 739 901
Jordin Sparks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Jordin Sparks Christian music, Pop music, Teen pop

7
+ - 865 970
Kellie Pickler is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Kellie Pickler Country pop, Pop music, Country

8
+ - 728 1,035
David Cook is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
David Cook Pop rock, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

9
+ - 802 1,032
Katharine McPhee is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Katharine McPhee Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

10
+ - 758 1,020
Phillip Phillips is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Phillip Phillips Rock music, Folk music, Indie rock

11
+ - 769 954
Clay Aiken is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Clay Aiken Pop music, Contemporary Christian music, Pop rock

12
+ - 780 1,029
Jessica Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Jessica Sanchez Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

13
+ - 453 531
Scotty McCreery is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Scotty McCreery Country

14
+ - 451 851
Bo Bice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Bo Bice Christian music, Country rock, Pop rock

15
+ - 543 990
David Archuleta is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
David Archuleta Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Teen pop

12 American Idol Finalists Who Just Went Back To Totally Normal Jobs The Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
+ - 547 971
Kris Allen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Kris Allen Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Folk rock

17
+ - 425 677
Haley Reinhart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Haley Reinhart Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion - Pop, Jazz

18
+ - 304 527
Elliott Yamin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Elliott Yamin Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

19
+ - 377 818
Melinda Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Melinda Doolittle Rhythm and blues, Jazz, Soul music

20
+ - 456 897
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Fantasia Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

21
+ - 409 892
Crystal Bowersox is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Crystal Bowersox Blues-rock, Rock music, Acoustic music

22
+ - 371 816
Carly Smithson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Carly Smithson Pop music, Rock music, Gothic metal

23
+ - 222 317
Ruben Studdard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Ruben Studdard Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Gospel music

24
+ - 159 324
Allison Iraheta is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Allison Iraheta Pop rock

25
+ - 223 399
Taylor Hicks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Taylor Hicks Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Pop rock

26
+ - 201 206
Tori Kelly is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Tori Kelly Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

27
+ - 301 689
Tamyra Gray is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Tamyra Gray Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

28
+ - 194 406
Danny Gokey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Danny Gokey Blue-eyed soul, Country pop, Contemporary Christian music

29
+ - 159 227
Ranker Video v
Lauren Alaina Country pop, Country

New American Idol Judge Picks 12 Struggles Every Sarcastic Person Understands

30
+ - 286 623
Kimberley Locke is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Kimberley Locke Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Electronic dance music

31
+ - 327 818
Brooke White is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Brooke White Indie pop, Christian music, Pop music

32
+ - 127 220
Colton Dixon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Colton Dixon Christian music, Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock

33
+ - 253 670
William Hung is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
William Hung Pop music

34
+ - 197 583
Constantine Maroulis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever

35
+ - 55 49
Larry Platt is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever

36
+ - 250 760
James Durbin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
James Durbin Glam metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

37
+ - 226 623
LaToya London is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
LaToya London Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

38
+ - 149 281
Pia is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Pia

39
+ - 108 255
Angie Miller is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Angie Miller Piano rock, Contemporary Christian music, Pop rock

40
+ - 256 714
Lee DeWyze is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Lee DeWyze Rock music, Folk rock, Alternative rock

41
+ - 105 251
Casey Abrams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Casey Abrams Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

42
+ - 18 10
Christopher Noll is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Christopher Noll

43
+ - 107 164
Diana DeGarmo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Diana DeGarmo Pop music, Country

13 Cringeworthy Reality TV Show Fails The Best Netflix Original Comedy Movies

44
+ - 111 188
Mandisa is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Mandisa Christian music, Contemporary Christian music, Rhythm and blues

45
+ - 69 176
Trent Harmon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Trent Harmon

46
+ - 89 154
Ranker Video v
Josh Gracin Country

47
+ - 72 147
Kimberly Caldwell is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Kimberly Caldwell Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop rock

48
+ - 18 8
Tamika Bush is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Tamika Bush

49
+ - 17 8
Rhonetta Johnson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Rhonetta Johnson

50
+ - 125 379
Jena Irene is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best American Idol Contestants Ever
Jena Irene Alternative rock, Rock music, Pop music