The fourth season of American Idol premiered on January 18, 2005 and continued until May 25, 2005. It was hosted by Ryan Seacrest. Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell also returned to judge.

This season was won by Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood, who has gone on to become a seven-time Grammy Award-winning country music megastar.

This is the last season to be aired in standard definition.

Auditions[edit | edit source]

Auditions were held in Washington, DC, St. Louis, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, Las Vegas, Nevada, Cleveland, Ohio, Orlando, Florida and San Francisco, California. There was originally supposed to be an audition held in Anchorage, Alaska, but that was changed about a month before so they could go to Orlando, Florida. Auditions were held from August to October 2004. While in the past seasons celebrity guest judges have been invited to participate during the competition, this was the first season where guest judges were invited to participate in the auditions. The music celebrities featured were:

  • January 18, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray
  • January 25, Gene Simmons of KISS
  • January 26, Kenny Loggins
  • February 1, LL Cool J
  • February 2, Brandy

It is also the first season in which the age limit was raised to 28, in order to increase variety. Among those who benefited from this new rule were Constantine Maroulis and Bo Bice, considered to be the eldest (and most experienced) of Idol contestants. They were also constantly mentioned by Ryan Seacrest and in the media as "the two rockers", since their long hair and choice of songs made them stand out from conventional Idol standards.

Hollywood[edit | edit source]

There were 193 contestants in the Hollywood rounds. They were split into two groups to perform on separate day at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. The contestants first chose from a list of 12 songs selected by the producers. They were separated into groups of boys and girls but they performed solo with piano accompaniment and back-up singers. Those who failed were eliminated after all in the group performed. 95 contestants were eliminated after this round but one, Marlea Stroman, left on her own free will and became the first ever contestants to choose to leave the American Idol competition. The remaining 97 contestants competed in the second round which featured group performances. The songs for the groups were Four Tops's "I Can't Help Myself", The Temptations' Get Ready, Barry Manilow's "Jump Shout Boogie", The Marvelettes's "Please Mr. Postman" and The Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go". 75 remained after this round. In the last round they performed a capella. After their performance, the contestants were divided into 4 groups in separate rooms. Two groups eliminated and the number of contestant cut to 44. After further deliberation by the judges, 24 semi-finalists, 12 women and 12 men, were then selected. At Pasadena Civic Center, each contestant took the elevator from their holding room to the floor above, and in a walk that would later be dubbed the "green mile", to see the judges who would then reveal their fate to them.

Semifinals[edit | edit source]

Because of the highly unbalanced finals in Season 3 where female contestants took a clear supermajority (8 to 4) of the Final 12, rules were changed to prevent a similar incident from happening again. This season also implemented new rules for the final portion of the contest. Instead of competing in semifinal heats in which the top vote-getters are promoted to the final round, 24 semifinalists were named -- 12 men and 12 women, who competed separately, with 2 of each gender being voted off each week until 12 finalists were left.

Males:

Nikko Smith Scott Savol Anthony Fedorov Bo Bice Travis Tucker Constantine Maroulis
David Brown Jared Yates Anwar Robinson Judd Harris Joseph Murena Mario Vazquez

Females:

Vonzell Solomon Amanda Avila Janay Castine Carrie Underwood Sarah Mather Melinda Lira
Nadia Turner Celena Rae Mikalah Gordon Lindsey Cardinale Jessica Sierra Aloha Mischeaux

Top 12[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were Season 4's Top 12

Males

The Finalists; Standing: Anthony Fedorov, Vonzell Solomon, Bo Bice, Nikko Smith, Mikalah Gordon, Anwar Robinson, Nadia Turner, Lindsey Cardinale & Jessica Sierra; Seated: Scott Savol, Constantine Maroulis & Carrie Underwood

Females

Finals[edit | edit source]

Top 12 perform[edit | edit source]


During the first round of the finals, the Top 12 performed a song from the year 1960 for a spot in the Top 11.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Lindsey Cardinale was the first contestant to be eliminated on March 16, 2005 bringing the total down to 11 remaining contestants.

Top 11[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 11.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 11 perform[edit | edit source]


During the first round of the finals, the Top 10 performed a song from Billboard Number Ones for a spot in the Top 10.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Mikalah Gordon was the second contestant to be eliminated on March 24, 2005 bringing the total down to 10 remaining contestants.

Top 10[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 10.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 10 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 10 performed a song from the year 1990 for a spot in the Top 9.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Jessica Sierra was the eliminated contestant on March 30, 2005, bringing the total down to 9 remaining contestants.

Top 9[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 9.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 9 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 9 performed a song from a Classic Musical for a spot in the Top 8.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Nikko Smith was the eliminated contestant on April 6, 2005, bringing the total down to 8 remaining contestants.

Top 8[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 8.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 8 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 8 performed a song from the year they were born for a spot in the Top 7.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Nadia Turner was the eliminated contestant on April 13, 2005, bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants.

Top 7[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 7.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 7 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 7 performed a song from the Dance Music of the 1970s for a spot in the Top 6.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Anwar Robinson was the eliminated contestant on April 20, 2005, bringing the total down to 6 remaining contestants.

Top 6[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 6.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 6 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 6 performed a song from the 21st Century for a spot in the Top 5.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Constantine Maroulis was the eliminated contestant on April 27, 2005, bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants.

Top 5[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 5.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 5 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the Top 5 contestants performed a song from the Leiber & Stoller songbook and a song from the current Billboard chart for a spot in the Top 4.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Scott Savol was the eliminated contestant on May 4, 2005, bringing the total down to 4 remaining contestants.

Top 4[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 4.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 4 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, each contestant will perform a country song and a song from the Ganble & Huff Songbook for a spot in the Top 3.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Anthony Fedorov was the eliminated contestant on May 11, 2005, bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants.

Top 3[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 3.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 3 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 3 performed a song picked by Clive Davis, a song of their choice and a song picked by the judges for a spot in the Top 2.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Vonzell Solomon was the eliminated contestant on May 18, 2006, bringing the total down to 2 remaining contestants.

Top 2[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 2.

Performances[edit | edit source]

(The first round of performances was chosen by Clive Davis, the second round was the contestant's choice and the final round were chosen by the judges). The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 2 perform[edit | edit source]

During the final round of the finals, the Top 2 performed a song picked by Simon Fuller, their previous song from the past round, and their first winning single for a spot as Season 4's American Idol.

Runner-up[edit | edit source]

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Bo Bice was the runner-up of Season 4. Carrie Underwood being the winner.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Winner[edit | edit source]

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Carrie Underwood was the winner of American Idol Season 4 on May 25, 2005.

Results Performances[edit | edit source]

Notable past Idol contestants[edit | edit source]

  • Melissa Lawson, who made it to this season's top 75, later auditioned for and won the sixth season of the country music talent show Nashville Star in 2008.
  • JR Aquino, who made it to Hollywood week, later tried out for season 3 of The Voice in 2012 with R&B star Cee Lo Green as his mentor. He was eliminated in the Battle Rounds.

Controversy[edit | edit source]

Season 4
Finalists
Carrie Underwood  · Bo Bice  · Vonzell Solomon  · Anthony Fedorov  · Scott Savol  · Constantine Maroulis  · Anwar Robinson  · Nadia Turner  · Nikko Smith  · Jessica Sierra  · Mikalah Gordon  · Lindsey Cardinale
Semifinalists
Mario Vazquez  · Amanda Avila  · Janay Castine  · Travis Tucker  · Joseph Murena  · David Brown  · Aloha Mischeaux  · Celena Rae  · Judd Harris  · Sarah Mather  · Jared Yates  · Melinda Lira
American Idol
Seasons
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
Judges
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)  · Katy Perry (Seasons 16-)  · Luke Bryan (Seasons 16-)  · Lionel Richie (Seasons 16-)
Hosts
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-16) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Winners
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon · Maddie Poppe · Laine Hardy · Just Sam
Runners-up
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae · Caleb Lee Hutchinson · Alejandro Aranda · Arthur Gunn
Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling" · "Going Going Gone" · "Flame"
Spin-offs
From Justin to Kelly · Juniors · Christmas
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