May 24, 2007 11:22 AM by Joe Blackmon
In winning American Idol 6, Jordin Sparks became not only the youngest
person to win American Idol, but she also became the first
non-Southerner to win the show. Jordin is only the second contestant
to win American Idol while still in their teens. The first and former
youngest contestant was Fantasia Barrino, who won American Idol 3 when
she was only nineteen.
Jordin Sparks’ victory also comes only one year after Taylor Hicks became the oldest contestant to ever win American Idol. At twenty-nine years old, Taylor Hicks took the oldest title from fellow Alabama native Ruben Studdard, who won American Idol 2 when he was twenty-five years old. Of course, it was only during American Idol 4 that the show raised the age limits to twenty-eight years old (Taylor Hicks turned twenty-nine after he auditioned).
Even more impressive than becoming the youngest American Idol ever is that Jordin Sparks finally proved that it’s possible for a non-Southerner to win. All five previous American Idol winners have hailed from Southern states. After the selection of the American Idol 6 semi-finalist, much was made over how there were less Southerners than in previous years. Still, Melinda Doolittle was widely regarded as an early favorite to win the competition, so it had initially looked like the South might continue its streak.
However, in the end, Melinda Doolittle came up one spot short of making the final two, and American Idol 6 came down to a battle between Jordin Sparks from Glendale, Arizona and Blake Lewis from Bothell, Washington. Jordin Sparks’ win gave the Western United States their first victory ever on American Idol.