As American Idol’s ninth season gathers steam, we create the perfect contestant from previous winners
Taylor Hicks’s hair
Taylor’s hair is symbolic of his ‘lemons to lemonade’ philosophy. A 30-year-old who’d been grey since he was 14, he ought to have been a rank outsider. But he capitalised on that image and won the competition.
David Cook’s ears
A big part of the show is choosing which covers to sing, and few have the selective skills that David Cook displayed when he decided to perform the likes of Dolly Parton’s ‘Little Sparrow’ and Jacko’s ‘Billie Jean’ as soulful slow rock numbers. But the standout was when he became the first person in history to make Mariah Carey’s ‘Always Be My Baby’ sound amazing. And yes, that includes Mariah’s version.
Fantasia Barrino’s lungs
Of all the show’s winners, it was Fantasia’s voice that stayed with us the most. Her mellifluous, soulful tones really stood out – so much so that she took the lead role in the Broadway production of The Color Purple, garnering rave reviews from even the toughest critics.
Carrie Underwood’s legs and feet
American Idol gives people a shot at the big time but it often traps them with a pop association from which it’s hard to break free. This wasn’t a problem for Carrie – she stuck with country and western tunes from the off and made a fortune standing on her own two feet (see what we did there?).
Kris Allen’s eyes
After a hard-fought battle last season, rank outsider Kris Allen defeated black-haired favourite Adam Lambert to be crowned the eighth American Idol champion. There’s no doubting his skills, but a straw poll revealed that his ‘lovely eyes’ may have been a factor.
Kelly Clarkson’s mouth
Kelly’s great voice made her the first-ever American Idol winner, but it was her mouth that grabbed the headlines in 2007 when she became embroiled in a public feud with record label Sony BMG after they tried to make her third album, My December, more commercial. It didn’t do as well as its predecessors, but as they say: there’s no such thing as bad publicity…
Jordin Sparks’s arms
Throughout her childhood Jordin suffered from low self-esteem due to her weight, but her appearances on Idol turned that around. Forced by the costume department to bare her arms on TV, she became so comfortable with her shape that she even launched a clothing range, with sizes going up to XL.
Ruben Studdard’s shoes
Ruben won season two of American Idol, but we’re not sure how – if we’re perfectly honest, we don’t rate his voice. He does, however, have awesome taste in trainers, so we’ll steal something from his shoeboxes for our Idol creation.