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* In season 5, the top 4 was made up of early favorites Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, and Katharine McPhee, as well as Elliott Yamin, who had not received much, if any, screentime before making the top 24. Despite being widely regarded as a fantastic singer, he was predicted to be the contestant to leave once the final 4 were announced due to him being less popular than the other three. But not only did Elliott sing well enough to escape elimination, he ''escaped the bottom 2 entirely'' while Kat and Daughtry wound up in danger (I think we all remember how that ended...); the fact that a contestant received more votes than two early favorites (possibly three; he could have easily beat out Taylor) due solely to his two fight-back performances that night is a fantastic achievement. Elliott went home the following week, but it's hard to deny him the awesomeness of his acheivement of outlasting the best-selling male AI contestant ever.

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* In season 5, the top 4 was made up of early favorites Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, and Katharine McPhee, Creator/KatharineMcPhee, as well as Elliott Yamin, who had not received much, if any, screentime before making the top 24. Despite being widely regarded as a fantastic singer, he was predicted to be the contestant to leave once the final 4 were announced due to him being less popular than the other three. But not only did Elliott sing well enough to escape elimination, he ''escaped the bottom 2 entirely'' while Kat and Daughtry wound up in danger (I think we all remember how that ended...); the fact that a contestant received more votes than two early favorites (possibly three; he could have easily beat out Taylor) due solely to his two fight-back performances that night is a fantastic achievement. Elliott went home the following week, but it's hard to deny him the awesomeness of his acheivement of outlasting the best-selling male AI contestant ever.


* Haley Reinhart's performance of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=035GStnLOaI House of the Rising Sun]] was enough to get Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to [[http://www.led-zeppelin.org/joomla/current-news/1548-led-zeppelin-offered-a-song-to-haley-reinhart-for-american-idol-performance give her permission]] to sing ''any Led Zeppelin song she wanted.'' Just wow.

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* Haley Reinhart's performance of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=035GStnLOaI House of the Rising Sun]] was enough to get Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to [[http://www.led-zeppelin.org/joomla/current-news/1548-led-zeppelin-offered-a-song-to-haley-reinhart-for-american-idol-performance org/older-news/2578-led-zeppelin-offered-a-song-to-haley-reinhart-for-american-idol-performance give her permission]] to sing ''any Led Zeppelin song she wanted.'' Just wow.


* Joey Cook "nailing Fancy", giving the performance of the season. here is the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYikSJ27fbM

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* Joey Cook "nailing Fancy", giving the performance of the season. here is the link:https://www.nailing "Fancy", [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYikSJ27fbMcom/watch?v=XYikSJ27fbM giving the performance of the season]].


* Season 10's James Durbin, who was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's as a kid, brought HeavyMetal into the show [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent for the first time in its history.]] He managed to bring in Zakk Wylde and got to perform with Music/JudasPriest in the finale.

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* Season 10's James Durbin, who was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's as a kid, brought HeavyMetal into the show [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent for the first time in its history.]] He managed to bring in Zakk Wylde and got to perform with Music/JudasPriest '''Music/JudasPriest''' in the finale.


* CarrieUnderwood's performance of Heart's "Alone", which made ''Simon'' predict that not only would she win the show, she would outshine any other previous Idol winner. As of 2012, Carrie has not only outshone the ''previous'' Idol winners, but all subsequent ones as well.

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* CarrieUnderwood's Music/CarrieUnderwood's performance of Heart's "Alone", which made ''Simon'' predict that not only would she win the show, she would outshine any other previous Idol winner. As of 2012, Carrie has not only outshone the ''previous'' Idol winners, but all subsequent ones as well.


* The very first season, KellyClarkson emerging from the pack with her rendition of "Natural Woman" and suddenly perfroming a whistle note that brings the audience to their feet.

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* The very first season, KellyClarkson Music/KellyClarkson emerging from the pack with her rendition of "Natural Woman" and suddenly perfroming a whistle note that brings the audience to their feet.


* Caleb Johnson in the season 13 finale sang Aerosmith's "Dream On", a song that has proven difficult over the years, particularly the scream (looking at you, Danny Gokey). But Caleb managed to pull off the scream in a way that would make Steven Tyler himself proud. Check it out here: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klizGYP7VBs]]

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* Caleb Johnson in the season 13 finale sang Aerosmith's "Dream On", a song that has proven difficult over the years, particularly the scream (looking at you, Danny Gokey). But Caleb managed to pull off the scream in a way that would make Steven Tyler himself proud. Check it out here: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klizGYP7VBs]]com/watch?v=klizGYP7VBs]]
*Joey Cook "nailing Fancy", giving the performance of the season. here is the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYikSJ27fbM


* [[http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=731664>1=28103 Phillip underwent multiple kidney-stone surgeies during the competition.]] The fact that he was able to brave the pain (and eventually [[spoiler: win the whole thing]]) is simply unbelieveable.

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* [[http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=731664>1=28103 Phillip underwent multiple kidney-stone surgeies surgeries during the competition.]] The fact that he was able to brave the pain (and eventually [[spoiler: win the whole thing]]) thing) is simply unbelieveable.unbelievable.


Added DiffLines:

** The most unbelievable thing about Phillips winning it all? His championship run might not have even been the most impressive 2012 by a native of his relatively small hometown (population ~2900). [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Posey#2012_.28MVP_season.29 Fellow Leesburg native Buster Posey collected a bevy of awards that year, chiefly among them the NL MVP Award and his second career World Series Ring]]. (The World Series is ''also'' televised on FOX.) What are the odds that the winner of America's top singing competition and the winner of the highest award in [[UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}} the sport]] that is still at least [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball tenuously]] "America's Pastime" would come from the same town of under 3,000 people? One would imagine they're astronomically low.


* Season 10's James Durbin, who was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's as a kid, brought Music/HeavyMetal into the show [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent for the first time in its history.]] He managed to bring in Zakk Wylde and got to perform with Music/JudasPriest in the finale.

to:

* Season 10's James Durbin, who was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's as a kid, brought Music/HeavyMetal HeavyMetal into the show [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent for the first time in its history.]] He managed to bring in Zakk Wylde and got to perform with Music/JudasPriest in the finale.

Added DiffLines:

** Not the first time this has happened. Bo Bice was presented with a similar choice in Season 4; his answer was to stand in the middle of the stage with a "you can't make me" look on his face.


* Allison Iraheta, in her very first live performance on the show, sang [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RWOHeskeF4 Heart's "Alone"]], and promptly blew ''everyone'' else out of the water, even Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.

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* Allison Iraheta, in her very first live performance on the show, sang [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RWOHeskeF4 Heart's "Alone"]], and promptly blew ''everyone'' else out of the water, even Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.Lambert.
* Caleb Johnson in the season 13 finale sang Aerosmith's "Dream On", a song that has proven difficult over the years, particularly the scream (looking at you, Danny Gokey). But Caleb managed to pull off the scream in a way that would make Steven Tyler himself proud. Check it out here: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klizGYP7VBs]]


* Paula Abdul, most well known on the show for acting "whacked out" (a side effect of being in chronic pain for a decade and thus on painkillers), choreographed the group number in season eight's disco week. After years of seeing her act that way, seeing her show the choreography to the Idol contestants and being in her zone, completely serious and, to use her words, acting like a drill sergeant, it's a serious moment of awesome.

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* Paula Abdul, most well known on the show for acting "whacked out" (a side effect of being in chronic pain for a decade and thus on painkillers), choreographed the group number in season eight's disco week. After years of seeing her act that way, seeing her show the choreography to the Idol contestants and being in her zone, completely serious and, to use her words, acting like a drill sergeant, it's a serious moment of awesome.awesome.
* Allison Iraheta, in her very first live performance on the show, sang [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RWOHeskeF4 Heart's "Alone"]], and promptly blew ''everyone'' else out of the water, even Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.


* The very first season, KellyClarkson emerging from the pack with her rendition of "Natural Woman" and suddenly perfroming a whistle note that brings the audience to their feet.

to:

* The very first season, KellyClarkson emerging from the pack with her rendition of "Natural Woman" and suddenly perfroming a whistle note that brings the audience to their feet.feet.
* Paula Abdul, most well known on the show for acting "whacked out" (a side effect of being in chronic pain for a decade and thus on painkillers), choreographed the group number in season eight's disco week. After years of seeing her act that way, seeing her show the choreography to the Idol contestants and being in her zone, completely serious and, to use her words, acting like a drill sergeant, it's a serious moment of awesome.


* Ryan Seacrest, during the top 7 results of season 7, split six of the seven contestants into two groups and said that one was safe, and one was not, and that David Archuleta, who was the only one explicitly stated as "safe", had to guess which one was the safe group and join them. Archuleta's response? Was to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=H4NIkXmcqoM#t=316s sit down in the middle of the stage and not move]], despite Ryan's multiple attempts to get him to move or get up.

to:

* Ryan Seacrest, during the top 7 results of season 7, split six of the seven contestants into two groups and said that one was safe, and one was not, and that David Archuleta, who was the only one explicitly stated as "safe", had to guess which one was the safe group and join them. Archuleta's response? Was to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=H4NIkXmcqoM#t=316s sit down in the middle of the stage and not move]], despite Ryan's multiple attempts to get him to move or get up.up.
* The very first season, KellyClarkson emerging from the pack with her rendition of "Natural Woman" and suddenly perfroming a whistle note that brings the audience to their feet.


* Jason Castro, an otherwise largely forgettable contestant from season 7 who was basically a [[TheStoner friendly stoner]] type, sang [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2nRxKC-OyA Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah]]. In addition to rare praise from Simon, Jeff Buckley's record immediately went platinum as a result and Castro's version was briefly number 1 on the iTunes chart until it was [[ScrewedByTheNetwork removed by American Idol producers to prevent favoritism]].

to:

* Jason Castro, an otherwise largely forgettable contestant from season 7 who was basically a [[TheStoner friendly stoner]] type, sang [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2nRxKC-OyA Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah]]. In addition to rare praise from Simon, Jeff Buckley's record immediately went platinum as a result and Castro's version was briefly number 1 on the iTunes chart until it was [[ScrewedByTheNetwork removed by American Idol producers to prevent favoritism]].favoritism]].
* Ryan Seacrest, during the top 7 results of season 7, split six of the seven contestants into two groups and said that one was safe, and one was not, and that David Archuleta, who was the only one explicitly stated as "safe", had to guess which one was the safe group and join them. Archuleta's response? Was to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=H4NIkXmcqoM#t=316s sit down in the middle of the stage and not move]], despite Ryan's multiple attempts to get him to move or get up.

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