José "Sway" Penala (born January 23, 1978) was a contestant on Season 5 of American Idol.

Audition[edit | edit source]

Sway auditioned in San Francisco. He sang "Superstar" by Delaney & Bonnie. All three judges voted "yes", sending him to the next round.

Hollywood Round[edit | edit source]

Sway was shown in a group with called "The Idol-Phonics" Terrell Brittenum, Elliott Yamin and Anthony Hansen singing "It's In Her Kiss" by Betty Everett. Everyone advanced except Anthony. Later, he made the judges' final forty-four and at the final deliberation, they told him he did enough to make the Top 24.

Top 24[edit | edit source]

Sway sang "Reasons" by Earth, Wind & Fire. He received enough votes to be considered "safe" for that week.

Top 20[edit | edit source]

Sway sang "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder. He received the second lowest number of votes among the boys, eliminating him from the competition.

Season 5
Finalists
Taylor Hicks  · Katharine McPhee  · Elliott Yamin  · Chris Daughtry  · Paris Bennett  · Kellie Pickler  · Ace Young  · Bucky Covington  · Mandisa  · Lisa Tucker  · Kevin Covais  · Melissa McGhee
Semifinalists
Gedeon McKinney  · Ayla Brown  · Will Makar  · Kinnik Sky  · Jose "Sway" Penala  · David Radford  · Heather Cox  · Brenna Gethers  · Patrick Hall  · Stevie Scott  · Bobby Bennett  · Becky O'Donohue
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