May 28, 2006 11:02 PM by Joe Blackmon
With American Idol 5 officially over, it’s time to take a look back and reflect on the season. There were surprise eliminations, phone line conspiracies, and show-stopping performances. All in all, American Idol 5 proved to be just as much of a controversial thrill ride as American Idol 4. From Katharine McPhee’s button popping performance to Paul Abdul’s bizarre behavior to a Clay Aiken look-a-like nearly going into shock on the stage, here are Reality TV Magazine’s picks for the most memorable moments from American Idol 5.
Even though Paula Abdul didn’t have any former contestants make accusations of a romantic relationship this year, she still proved to be as controversial as ever. During the audition rounds, she surprised viewers by showing a little bit of a mean side. Her must baffling moment this year though came during one of the elimination shows. As Kinnik Sky and Heather Cox nervously waited to find out their fate, Paula Abdul started laughing and told Seacrest that Simon told her that the reason the two of them were on the stage was “because one of them ate pizza and the other one ate salad.” Later in the same show when Kevin Covais and Sway Penala were on stage facing elimination, Abdul told Seacrest, “Simon gave me advice and he said that on the X-factor he always refers to a fortune cookie and says the moth who finds the melon..finds the cornflake, always finds the melon, and one of you didn’t get the right fortune cookie.”
Thanks to some wild outfits by Taylor Hicks, fashion became a heated topic of conversation on American Idol. Simon Cowell couldn’t stand Taylor Hicks’ outfits, but the Soul Patrol loved them. However, even though Taylor Hicks’ purple jacket certainly deserves honorable mention, it was Katharine McPhee that provided the most memorable fashion moment of American Idol 5. When Katharine McPhee took the stage in a tight yellow dress, millions of male viewers’ eyes were glued to the screen. When a button popped revealing McPhee’s underwear, it became the most talked about wardrobe malfunction since Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl half-time show.
The most memorable breakout performance goes to Elliott Yamin. After Paris Bennett was eliminated, most in the media thought that Elliott Yamin was certain to be next. During the early stages of the competition, American Idol producers treated Elliott like the invisible man. Even as Elliott quietly made his way into the top four, little was known about his background. That was until Elliott Yamin delivered not one but two show-stopping performances during the Elvis performance show. Elliott went from certain elimination to safety in the top two with Taylor Hicks. As Elliott made his way into the top three, millions of viewers got to watch as he returned to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia to be greeted by thousands of cheering fans. Elliott Yamin went from the finalist that nobody knew to the media darling that everybody loved in the course of a week. Seeing a guy like Elliott Yamin be so successful on American Idol reminded viewers why American Idol is the greatest show on television.
As is becoming standard with every season of American Idol, there were a couple surprise eliminations during American Idol 5. Most viewers didn’t expect Bucky Covington to go after he had his best performance of the competition with “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and there were quite a few gasps let out when Mandisa Hundley was sent home. However, the most surprising elimination moment of course has to go to Chris Daughtry. While there were numerous conspiracy theories about phone lines being redirected to other contestants, the most common explanation seemed to be that Daughtry’s fans thought he was safe and didn’t vote as repetitively as McPhee’s fans, who knew she was at risk. Whatever the reason, Chris Daughtry joined the Constantine Maroulis club of rockers who were eliminated before their time.
As expected, American Idol 5 had its share of memorable show-stopping performances. We couldn’t pick just one in this category because the finalists offered up so much diversity that there were several performances that stood out that were difficult to compare because they represented different styles of music. During the audition round, Paris Bennett became the early favorite when she performed “Take Five.” However, she was soon displaced by Chris Daughtry who wowed viewers with his take on “Hemorrhage” during the Semi-Finalist round. And of course each of the three finalists had their show-stopping moments as well. Elliott Yamin with “Trouble,” Katharine McPhee with “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” and American Idol winner Taylor Hicks with “Living For The City.”
The American Idol 5 finale also offered up several moments of its own. Even though David Hasselhoff’s tears and Prince’s surprise appearance would certainly qualify as memorable moments, it was a former American Idol runner-up who stole the show. As Clay Aiken look-a-like Michael Sandecki sang “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” the real Clay Aiken walked out behind him. Michael Sandecki’s surprise reaction was the leading topic of water-cooler conversations on the day after the finale.
What were your favorite moments from American Idol 5? Do you agree or disagree with our picks? Please post your own favorite moments in the comments section below.