So all the birdies are telling me tonight is the season finale of 'American Idol'. Though I've watched maybe 20 minutes of the entire series in my life, the combination of Facebook statuses, media outlets and friends yapping about it kept me up to date as to who's still in. While I'm still skeptical as to how winning this competition translates to success (only 2 of the previous Idol winners went on to have to successful music careers), it's almost certain one talent, usually not the winner, from each season emerge as a breakout. Here's my take on the five best post-Idol tracks sung originally by former contestants.
5. 'Before He Cheats' by Carrie Underwood. Picking up the 'country pop' tag a decade after Faith Hill and Shania Twain, Miss Underwood's track does a fine combination of pleasing country music listeners while capitalizing on the pop world's redneck stigma of country songs.
4. 'Crush' by David Archuleta. Prior to this song, I had no idea who this guy was. With a very unmarketable last name (sorry, truth bomb), it would almost seem wise go the Disney route. Instead, young Archuleta was given this infectious pop ballad that has the makings of a perfect tween hit.
3. 'Love You I Do' by Jennifer Hudson. A little bit of a cheat here, but overshadowed by her rendition of '... And I'm Telling You' in her Oscar-winning performance is this hidden R&B gem from the same musical. Fun and showy, the track boasts a fine sense of playfulness and divaness.
2. 'Home' by (Chris) Daughtry. The fact that he broke the notion all post-Idols' first single needs to be a straight pop song is already enough, but add to that a reflective song that can be played during any montage and you have a hit. Just don't cross that fine to the annoying 'Kid Rock/US Marines ad' territory.
1. 'Since U Been Gone' by Kelly Clarkson. The ultimate pop single. It even has a 'U' where 'you' should be! Easy and fun to sing along to, jump up and down with and feel young about when you're around the MTV generation, the track got Clarkson shook the tag 'American Idol winner' when introduced to the world.