The fifth season of American Idol began on January 17, 2006 and concluded on May 24, 2006. Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell returned to judge, and Ryan Seacrest returned to host. It is the most successful season to date ratings-wise and also with 17 contestants (including all of the top 9) getting record deals - nine of them with major labels. It became the first season with a male winner (Taylor Hicks) and a female runner-up (Katharine McPhee).

Auditions[edit | edit source]

Auditions were held in seven cities in the summer and early fall of 2005 in the following order:

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • San Francisco, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Austin, Texas (later stages of auditions were held in San Francisco because of Hurricane Katrina and the number of evacuees in Texas)
  • Foxborough, Massachusetts (Greater Boston)

Unlike Season 4, no guest judges were involved during the auditions.

Hollywood[edit | edit source]

The Hollywood semi-final rounds were held at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California consisting of 175 contestants. The first round of semi-finals consisted of solo a cappella performance with each contestant choosing one song out of twelve that were given to each contestant two weeks in advance. Those who did not impress the judges were sent home the following day. After the singles round, the contestants were separated into four groups, with three groups going through (with 44 contestants chosen). In the Pasadena Civic Center, each were individually taken via elevator walking the infamous "mile" to the judges station where the verdict if they would be chosen or not was announced. Twenty were cut and the final twenty-four (12 men and 12 woman) were selected.

Semi-finals[edit | edit source]

The live show portion of the semifinals began on February 21, 2006, with the names announced on February 15, 2006. There were three live shows each week for the three weeks of the semifinals. There were no format changes from season four which featured 18 male singers and 18 female singers with two of each being eliminated each week. The semifinalists were announced February 15, 2006. The following are semifinalists who did not reach the finals.

Females:

Mandisa Kellie Pickler Becky O'Donohue Ayla Brown Paris Bennett Stevie Scott
Jessica Santos Stephanie White Megan Bobo Brooke Barrettsmith Crystal Stark Shawna White
Brenna Gethers Heather Cox Melissa McGhee Lisa Tucker Kinnik Sky Katharine McPhee

Males:

Patrick Hall David Radford Bucky Covington Will Makar José "Sway" Penala Chris Daughtry
Garet Johnson Matthew Buckstein Dave Hoover Syd Harcourt Derrell Brittenum Terrell Brittenum
Kevin Covais Gedeon McKinney Elliott Yamin Bobby Bennet Ace Young Taylor Hicks

Top 12[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were Season 5's Top 12

Females

The Finalists; Back Row: Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Kellie Pickler, Katharine McPhee, Kevin Covais & Mandisa; Front Row: Bucky Covington, Melissa McGhee, Lisa Tucker, Paris Bennett, Ace Young & Elliott Yamin

Males

Finals[edit | edit source]

Top 12 perform[edit | edit source]


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

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Melissa McGhee was the first contestant to be eliminated on March 15, 2006 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 the year 1950 for a spot in the Top 10.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Kevin Covais was the second contestant to be eliminated on March 22, 2006 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 2000 for a spot in the Top 9.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Lisa Tucker was the eliminated contestant on March 29, 2006, 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 Country music for a spot in the Top 8.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Mandisa was the eliminated contestant on April 5, 2006, 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 Queen for a spot in the Top 7.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Bucky Covington was the eliminated contestant on April 12, 2006, 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 Great American Songbook for a spot in the Top 6.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Ace Young was the eliminated contestant on April 19, 2006, 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 love song for a spot in the Top 5.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Kellie Pickler was the eliminated contestant on April 26, 2006, 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 year they were born in and a song from the current Billboard Top 10 for a spot in the Top 4.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Paris Bennett was the eliminated contestant on May 3, 2006, 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 two songs from Elvis Presley for a spot in the Top 3.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Chris Daughtry was the eliminated contestant on May 10, 2006, bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants.

Top 3[edit | edit source]

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 picked by the judges and a song of their choice for a spot in the Top 2.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

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Elliott Yamin was the eliminated contestant on May 17, 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 were chosen by the judges and the final round was the contestant's choice). The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 2 perform[edit | edit source]

During the final round of the finals, the Top 2 performed two of their previous song from the past round and their first winning single for a spot as Season 5's American Idol.

Runner-up[edit | edit source]

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Katharine McPhee was the runner-up of Season 5. Taylor Hicks being the winner.

Performances[edit | edit source]

(The first and second performance were two songs from their favorite performances, the last was their winner single). The contestants performed in the following order:

Winner[edit | edit source]

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Taylor Hicks was the winner of American Idol Season 5 on May 24, 2006. He is the eldest contestant to win the competition at the age of 29.

Results Performances[edit | edit source]

Controversy[edit | edit source]

The biggest controversy to come out of this season was the May 10, 2006 elimination of fan favorite Chris Daughtry. Some voters claimed that phone calls dialed for Daughtry during the first few minutes of voting were misrouted to contestant Katherine McPhee's lines, resulting in the voter hearing McPhee's recorded message thanking them for voting instead of his. An unsuccessful petition drive to bring Daughtry back to the show was started by his fans and garnered attention by the media. It also brought the show's voting system back into question with some fans and several critics claiming that the show's voting is rigged. Rigged voting would gain even more attention in Season 10 when contestant Pia Toscano was eliminated, and in Season 12 when contestant Angie Miller was eliminated.

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
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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