American Idol (season 5)

  (Redirected from Jose Penala)

The fifth season of reality television singing competition 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 resulted in 18 contestants (including all of the top 10 and a few semifinalists) getting record deals – nine of them with major labels. It was the first season with a male winner (Taylor Hicks) and a female runner-up (Katharine McPhee).

American Idol
Season 5
American Idol logo.svg
Hosted byRyan Seacrest
JudgesPaula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Randy Jackson
WinnerTaylor Hicks
Runner-upKatharine McPhee
Finals venueKodak Theatre
Original networkFox
Original releaseJanuary 17 (2006-01-17) –
May 24, 2006 (2006-05-24)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 4
Next →
Season 6
List of American Idol episodes

Regional auditionsEdit

Auditions were held in seven cities in the summer and fall of 2005.[1][2] An audition was originally planned for Memphis, Tennessee but that was canceled due to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort that was taking place in the city,[3] and replaced by Las Vegas, Nevada and Greensboro, North Carolina.[4]

Episode Air Date Audition City Date First Audition Venue Callback Date Callback Venue Golden Tickets
January 17, 2006 Chicago, Illinois September 16, 2005 Soldier Field September 20, 2005 W Hotel[5] 34
January 18, 2006 Denver, Colorado September 11, 2005 Invesco Field at Mile High Colorado Convention Center 37
January 24, 2006 Greensboro, North Carolina October 3, 2005 Greensboro Coliseum October 6, 2005 Marriott Downtown 33
January 25, 2006 San Francisco, California August 18, 2005 Cow Palace Parc 55 Hotel 18
January 31, 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada October 10–11, 2005 Las Vegas Convention Center October 12–13, 2005 Renaissance Las Vegas[6] 11
February 1, 2006 Austin, Texasa August 25–26, 2005 Frank Erwin Center September 28, 2005 Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco 12
February 7, 2006 Boston, Massachusetts August 31, 2005 Gillette Stadium October 27, 2005 Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center[7] 28
Total Tickets to Hollywood 175
  • ^a Later stages of the Austin auditions were held in San Francisco due to Hurricane Katrina which caused a large number of evacuees to be relocated in Texas.[8] The show however made no mention of the venue switch and presented the Austin audition as having taken place entirely in Austin.[9]

Unlike season four, no guest judges were involved during the auditions. This season used the same rules as season four.[10]

One notable auditioner this season was Paula Goodspeed, a fervent fan of Paula Abdul, who auditioned in Austin.[11] In 2008, Goodspeed made headlines when she committed suicide outside Abdul's home.[12] Abdul later claimed that she had objected beforehand to Goodspeed being at the audition because she knew Goodspeed and had been frightened by her past behavior, but the producers overrode her objection.[13] The producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe however denied being aware of her fears or that they would put her in danger.[14][15]

In Las Vegas, an auditioner Tora Woloshin gained a golden ticket to Hollywood but was disqualified just before she was due to go to Hollywood for unspecified reasons. She later appeared on the first season of X-Factor.[16]

Hollywood weekEdit

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 women) were selected.


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 12 male singers and 12 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.

Female semifinalistsEdit

Ayla Brown
  • Ayla Brown (born July 28, 1988) is from Wrentham, Massachusetts. She originally auditioned in Boston, singing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
  • Kinnik Sky (born May 13, 1977) is from Duluth, Georgia. She auditioned in Greensboro. She was grouped with Nicole Turk, Celeste Scalone and Tyra Schwartz during the group rounds.
  • Heather Cox (born November 16, 1983) is from Jonesville, North Carolina. She auditioned in Denver. Grouped with Halicia Thompson and Kellie Pickler during Hollywood group performances.
  • Brenna Gethers (born October 7, 1980) is from Mount Vernon, New York. She auditioned in Boston, and was known for her "catty" attitude. She became the lead singer for Bomb Squad, a funk-rock band that won an American Music Award for Best New Music in 2003.[17]
  • Stephanie "Stevie" Scott (born May 22, 1986) is from Fair Oaks, California. She auditioned in Denver. She sang "Emotions" with Hannah Freeman and Paris Bennett during their group performance in Hollywood. She was eliminated on February 23, 2006 along with Becky O'Donohue, Bobby Bennett, and Patrick Hall. She made a cameo appearance on the Top 6 performance show of American Idol on April 25, 2006. In 2014, she became the lead singer of Indie Pop band Machineheart, best known for their debut single, "Circles." [18]
  • Rebecca "Becky" O'Donohue (born July 13, 1980) is from Dobbs Ferry, New York. Her original audition was in Boston with her twin sister (who did not sing due to recent throat surgery). Simon Cowell praised her looks, but said no to her voice. She was let through to Hollywood by Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

Male semifinalistsEdit

  • Gedeon McKinney (born October 1, 1988) is from Memphis, Tennessee. He intended to audition in Memphis, but the auditions there were canceled due to the city's role in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. He raised funds to travel to the Chicago auditions by putting on a benefit concert. His elimination was a surprise to many, including Simon Cowell, who had criticized him previously. McKinney's father, Tony McKinney, also a performing artist, died in December 2005 before the show aired. In 2018, his younger sister, Evvie won the first season of The Four: Battle for Stardom.
  • William "Will" Makar (born March 2, 1989, in The Woodlands, Texas) attended high school at The Woodlands College Park High School. In high school, Will starred in several musical productions, including The Woodlands College Park High School Musical in January 2006, the performance of which began the day after the airing of his American Idol audition and was covered by local media. He has also performed for Presidents Clinton and Bush and with singer Celine Dion as part of the Houston Children's Chorus. He has performed the National Anthem at many sporting events and was also a member of the band Last Born. During the Hollywood rounds, he performed Fly Me to the Moon with David Radford and Kevin Covais. Will was signed to Double Deal Brand Records, which also signed fellow Top 16 semifinalist Ayla Brown, and released his debut single titled "I Won't Make It Out" on iTunes on April 27, 2007.
  • José "Sway" Penala (born January 23, 1978) is from South San Francisco, California, where he also had his audition for the show. He was the only Asian-American who made it to the semifinals that season. He has performed with such groups as DnH and 6th Day. When he competed, on stage, Penala often wore a Fedora hat and coat and military dog tags. He developed friendships with Elliott Yamin, Taylor Hicks, and Chris Daughtry during the season. Elliott was also his Hollywood Week group mate and later his roommate.
  • David Radford (born March 22, 1988, in Crystal Lake, Illinois) was a high school senior at Crystal Lake Central High School.[19] In addition to singing, David plays the trumpet. He originally auditioned in Chicago.
  • Patrick Hall (born September 24, 1977) is from Gravette, Arkansas, and was seen for the first time in Hollywood, California. During the Hollywood rounds, Simon Cowell called him 'very likeable', and compared him to Clay Aiken. He received many positive comments during these rounds. To separate himself from the Clay Aiken comparison, however, he chose to perform "Come to My Window" in the first week of the Top 24. He was eliminated that week.
  • Bobby Bennett, Jr. (born June 4, 1986) is from Denver, Colorado, where his audition was held. He is most known for his rousing rendition of the song "Copacabana" and was named the "showman" of the semifinalists. He also made an appearance in the March 21 episode on which Barry Manilow performed.

Top 24Edit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Mandisa "Never"(Heart) Safe
2 Kellie Pickler "How Far"(Martina McBride) Safe
3 Becky O'Donohue "Because the Night"(Patti Smith) Eliminated
4 Ayla Brown "Reflection"(Christina Aguilera) Safe
5 Paris Bennett "Midnight Train to Georgia"(Cissy Houston) Safe
6 Stevie Scott "To Where You Are"(Josh Groban) Eliminated
7 Brenna Gethers "You Are the Sunshine of My Life"(Stevie Wonder) Safe
8 Heather Cox "When You Tell Me That You Love Me"(Diana Ross) Safe
9 Melissa McGhee "When the Lights Go Down"(Faith Hill) Safe
10 Lisa Tucker "I Am Changing"(Jennifer Holliday) Safe
11 Kinnik Sky "Get Here" (Oleta Adams) Safe
12 Katharine McPhee "Since I Fell for You" (Ella Johnson) Safe
Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Patrick Hall "Come to My Window"(Melissa Etheridge) Eliminated
2 David Radford "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"(Queen) Safe
3 Bucky Covington "Simple Man"(Lynyrd Skynyrd) Safe
4 Will Makar "I Want You Back"(The Jackson 5) Safe
5 Sway Penala "Reasons"(Earth Wind & Fire) Safe
6 Chris Daughtry "Wanted Dead or Alive"(Bon Jovi) Safe
7 Kevin Covais "One Last Cry"(Brian McKnight) Safe
8 Gedeon McKinney "Shout"(The Isley Brothers) Safe
9 Elliott Yamin "If You Really Love Me"(Stevie Wonder) Safe
10 Bobby Bennet "Copacabana"(Barry Manilow) Eliminated
11 Ace Young "Father Figure" (George Michael) Safe
12 Taylor Hicks "Levon" (Elton John) Safe

Top 20Edit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Katharine McPhee "All in Love Is Fair"(Stevie Wonder) Safe
2 Kinnik Sky "Here for the Party"(Gretchen Wilson) Bottom 3
3 Lisa Tucker "Who's Lovin' You"(The Miracles) Safe
4 Melissa McGhee "Why Haven't I Heard from You"(Reba McEntire) Safe
5 Heather Cox "Hero"(Mariah Carey) Eliminated
6 Brenna Gethers "Last Dance"(Donna Summer) Eliminated
7 Paris Bennett "Wind Beneath My Wings"(Roger Whittaker) Safe
8 Ayla Brown "I Want You to Need Me"(Celine Dion) Safe
9 Kellie Pickler "Something to Talk About"(Bonnie Raitt) Safe
10 Mandisa "Cry"(Angie Aparo) Safe
Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Taylor Hicks "Easy"(The Commodores) Safe
2 Elliott Yamin "Moody's Mood for Love"(James Moody) Safe
3 Ace Young "If You're Not the One"(Daniel Bedingfield) Safe
4 Gedeon McKinney "A Change Is Gonna Come"(Sam Cooke) Safe
5 Kevin Covais "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"(The Miracles) Bottom 3
6 Sway Penala "Overjoyed"(Stevie Wonder) Eliminated
7 Will Makar "Lady"(Kenny Rogers) Safe
8 Bucky Covington "The Thunder Rolls"(Garth Brooks) Safe
9 David Radford "The Way You Look Tonight"(Fred Astaire) Eliminated
10 Chris Daughtry "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)"(Fuel) Safe

Top 16Edit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Paris Bennett "Conga"(Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine) Safe
2 Lisa Tucker "Here's Where I Stand"(Tiffany Taylor) Safe
3 Melissa McGhee "What About Love"(Heart) Safe
4 Kinnik Sky "If I Ain't Got You"(Alicia Keys) Eliminated
5 Katharine McPhee "Think"(Aretha Franklin) Safe
6 Ayla Brown "Unwritten"(Natasha Bedingfield) Eliminated
7 Mandisa "I'm Every Woman"(Chaka Khan) Safe
8 Kellie Pickler "I'm the Only One"(Melissa Etheridge) Safe
Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Gedeon McKinney "When a Man Loves a Woman"(Percy Sledge) Eliminated
2 Chris Daughtry "Broken"(Seether featuring Amy Lee) Safe
3 Kevin Covais "Vincent"(Don McLean) Safe
4 Bucky Covington "Wave on Wave"(Pat Green) Safe
5 Will Makar "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"(Marvin Gaye) Eliminated
6 Taylor Hicks "Takin' It to the Streets"(The Doobie Brothers) Safe
7 Elliott Yamin "Heaven"(Bryan Adams) Safe
8 Ace Young "Butterflies"(Michael Jackson) Safe

Top 12 finalistsEdit

Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks is from Birmingham, Alabama. He is gray-haired and performed "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke at his original audition in Las Vegas. At the first audition, the judges were surprised by his appearance. He performed Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" in the Hollywood round. He is one of the eight winners in American Idol history to never be in the bottom three. He won the competition on May 24. At 29 years 229 days at the time of the finale, he is the oldest winner in American Idol history.

Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee is from Los Angeles, California. Her mother is a vocal coach. She auditioned in San Francisco with Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child", and Randy Jackson said her audition was the best he'd heard yet that season. In the Hollywood round she performed Dionne Warwick's "I'll Never Love This Way Again", and "I Can't Help Myself" for the group round, "My Funny Valentine" for the last solo. At the end of the first semifinal round, Simon Cowell said that he had heard four very good singers that evening and that McPhee was the best among them. McPhee was the runner-up on American Idol as announced on the May 24 finale.

Elliott Yamin

Elliott Yamin was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He started singing at the age of five and did not have any formal training. He auditioned for American Idol in Boston. In the Hollywood week, he performed Rascal Flatts' Bless the Broken Road for the first solo, The Shoop Shoop Song for the group round. After his first semifinal performance, Simon Cowell said that he was potentially the best male vocalist in American Idol history, reprising his praise on Top 6 week after Yamin's "A Song for You", calling it a vocal masterclass; also, in the second round of the semifinals, Randy Jackson gave Yamin a standing ovation after his rendition of "Moody's Mood for Love". Yamin finished in third place in one of the closest outcomes in Idol history where less than 1% separated the votes of all top three contestants.

Chris Daughtry

Chris Daughtry is a former car service worker from McLeansville, North Carolina. During the audition round, he was profiled as a "Rocker Dad." He originally auditioned in Denver with Joe Cocker's The Letter (originally by The Box Tops). During the Hollywood week, he performed Samantha Sang's Emotion in the group round. He was eliminated at Top 4 in a surprise result.

Paris Bennett, from Fayetteville, Georgia, is the granddaughter of Grammy Award winner Ann Nesby. Her mother and grandmother are a part of the Grammy-winning group, Sounds of Blackness. She sang "Cowboy Take Me Away" by The Dixie Chicks at her original audition in Greensboro. In the Hollywood rounds, she performed LeAnn Rimes's Can't Fight the Moonlight for her solo, and Samantha Sang's Emotion for the group round.
Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler is from Albemarle, North Carolina. She was profiled as a roller-skating waitress. Her mother left when she was two and her father has had numerous legal problems; he is now free. Pickler lived with her grandfather and originally auditioned in Greensboro. She was never in the bottom three until she was eliminated.
Ace Young
Ace Young (who goes by his middle name) is from Denver where he auditioned. At that time, Randy Jackson called him one of the best he'd seen so far this season. In the Hollywood week, he performed Shai's If I Ever Fall in Love for the solo, and with Daughtry in the group round Samantha Sang's Emotion. After he sang "Father Figure" in the semifinals, Simon Cowell said that Young had the 'X-Factor' (a reference to another RTL talent show, in the UK). Young had been singing since age nine and had voice lessons.
Bucky Covington

Bucky Covington is from Rockingham, North Carolina. He auditioned in Greensboro. He has an identical twin brother named Rocky.

Mandisa is from Antioch, Tennessee. She had a successful original audition in Chicago, Illinois, where she performed Alicia Keys's Fallin'. Afterwards Simon Cowell made jokes about her size, but he later apologized after being confronted by Miss Hundley. In the Hollywood week, She performed Freda Payne's Band of Gold in the group round. Like Pickler, she was never in the bottom 3 until her elimination.
Lisa Tucker

Lisa Tucker was 16 years old at the time of the show, and was the youngest finalist of this season. She is from Anaheim, California, and she auditioned in Denver with Whitney Houston's One Moment in Time. Simon Cowell called her the "best 16-year-old" ever to audition on the show at the time of her original Denver audition. She was also a runner-up on Star Search but lost to Tiffany Evans.

Kevin Covais

Kevin Covais was 16 years old at the time of the show, and is from Levittown, New York. For his audition in Boston, he sang "You Raise Me Up". In the Hollywood round he performed Shai's If I Ever Fall in Love in the solo. Viewers gave him the nickname "Chicken Little".

Melissa McGhee

Melissa McGhee is from Tampa, Florida. She auditioned in Denver, Colorado. She sang "Can't Fight the Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes for her audition. She had not sung on camera until her first week in the top 24.


Top 12 – Stevie WonderEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Ace Young "Do I Do" Bottom 3
2 Kellie Pickler "Blame It on the Sun" Safe
3 Elliott Yamin "Knocks Me Off My Feet" Safe
4 Mandisa "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing" Safe
5 Bucky Covington "Superstition" Safe
6 Melissa McGhee "Lately" Eliminated
7 Lisa Tucker "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" Bottom 2
8 Kevin Covais "Part-Time Lover" Safe
9 Katharine McPhee "Until You Come Back to Me" Safe
10 Taylor Hicks "Living for the City" Safe
11 Paris Bennett "All I Do" Safe
12 Chris Daughtry "Higher Ground" Safe

Top 11 – 1950sEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Mandisa "I Don't Hurt Anymore"(Hank Snow) Safe
2 Bucky Covington "Oh, Boy!"(Buddy Holly) Bottom 2
3 Paris Bennett "Fever"(Little Willie John) Safe
4 Chris Daughtry "I Walk the Line"(Johnny Cash) Safe
5 Katharine McPhee "Come Rain or Come Shine"(Sy Oliver) Safe
6 Taylor Hicks "Not Fade Away"(The Crickets featuring Buddy Holly) Safe
7 Lisa Tucker "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"(Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) Bottom 3
8 Kevin Covais "When I Fall in Love"(Doris Day) Eliminated
9 Elliott Yamin "Teach Me Tonight"(The DeCastro Sisters) Safe
10 Kellie Pickler "Walkin' After Midnight"(Patsy Cline) Safe
11 Ace Young "In the Still of the Night" (The Five Satins) Safe

Top 10 – 2000sEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Lisa Tucker "Because of You"(Kelly Clarkson) Eliminated
2 Kellie Pickler "Suds in the Bucket"(Sara Evans) Safe
3 Ace Young "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)"(Train) Bottom 3
4 Taylor Hicks "Trouble"(Ray LaMontagne) Safe
5 Mandisa "Shackles (Praise You)"(Mary Mary) Safe
6 Chris Daughtry "What If"(Creed) Safe
7 Katharine McPhee "The Voice Within"(Christina Aguilera) Bottom 2
8 Bucky Covington "Real Good Man"(Tim McGraw) Safe
9 Paris Bennett "Work It Out"(Beyoncé) Safe
10 Elliott Yamin "I Don't Want to Be"(Gavin DeGraw) Safe

Top 9 – CountryEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Taylor Hicks "Take Me Home, Country Roads"(John Denver) Safe
2 Mandisa "Any Man of Mine"(Shania Twain) Eliminated
3 Elliott Yamin "If Tomorrow Never Comes"(Garth Brooks) Bottom 2
4 Paris Bennett "How Do I Live"(LeAnn Rimes) Bottom 3
5 Ace Young "Tonight I Wanna Cry"(Keith Urban) Safe
6 Kellie Pickler "Fancy"(Bobbie Gentry) Safe
7 Chris Daughtry "Making Memories of Us"(Keith Urban) Safe
8 Katharine McPhee "Bringing Out the Elvis in Me"(Faith Hill) Safe
9 Bucky Covington "Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)"(Vertical Horizon) Safe

Top 8 – QueenEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Bucky Covington "Fat Bottomed Girls" Eliminated
2 Ace Young "We Will Rock You" Bottom 3
3 Kellie Pickler "Bohemian Rhapsody" Safe
4 Chris Daughtry "Innuendo" Safe
5 Katharine McPhee "Who Wants to Live Forever" Safe
6 Elliott Yamin "Somebody To Love" Bottom 3
7 Taylor Hicks "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Safe
8 Paris Bennett "The Show Must Go On" Safe

Top 7 – Great American SongbookEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Chris Daughtry "What a Wonderful World"(Louis Armstrong) Bottom 2
2 Paris Bennett "These Foolish Things"(Billie Holiday) Bottom 3
3 Taylor Hicks "You Send Me"(Sam Cooke) Safe
4 Elliott Yamin "It Had To Be You"(Sam Lanin and his Orchestra) Safe
5 Kellie Pickler "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered"(Vivienne Segal) Safe
6 Ace Young "That's All"(Nat King Cole) Eliminated
7 Katharine McPhee "Someone to Watch Over Me"(Gertrude Lawrence) Safe

Top 6 – Love SongsEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Katharine McPhee "I Have Nothing"(Whitney Houston) Top 2
2 Elliott Yamin "A Song for You"(Leon Russell) Safe
3 Kellie Pickler "Unchained Melody"(Todd Duncan) Eliminated
4 Paris Bennett "The Way We Were"(Barbra Streisand) Bottom 2
5 Taylor Hicks "Just Once"(James Ingram) Safe
6 Chris Daughtry "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"(Bryan Adams) Top 2

Top 5 – Year of Birth/Current Billboard Top 10Edit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Elliott Yamin "On Broadway"(The Crystals) Bottom 2
2 Paris Bennett "Kiss"(Prince and The Revolution) Eliminated
3 Chris Daughtry "Renegade"(Styx) Safe
4 Katharine McPhee "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"(Phil Collins) Safe
5 Taylor Hicks "Play That Funky Music"(Wild Cherry) Safe
6 Elliott Yamin "Home"(Michael Bublé) Bottom 2
7 Paris Bennett "Be Without You"(Mary J. Blige) Eliminated
8 Chris Daughtry "I Dare You"(Shinedown) Safe
9 Katharine McPhee "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"(KT Tunstall) Safe
10 Taylor Hicks "Something"(The Beatles) Safe

Top 4 – Elvis PresleyEdit

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Taylor Hicks "Jailhouse Rock" Safe
2 Chris Daughtry "Suspicious Minds" Eliminated
3 Elliott Yamin "If I Can Dream" Safe
4 Katharine McPhee "Hound Dog" / "All Shook Up" Bottom 2
5 Taylor Hicks "In the Ghetto" Safe
6 Chris Daughtry "A Little Less Conversation" Eliminated
7 Elliott Yamin "Trouble" Safe
8 Katharine McPhee "Can't Help Falling in Love" Bottom 2

Top 3 – Clive Davis's choice/Judges' choice/Contestants' choiceEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Elliott Yamin "Open Arms"(Journey) Eliminated
2 Katharine McPhee "I Believe I Can Fly"(R. Kelly) Safe
3 Taylor Hicks "Dancing in the Dark"(Bruce Springsteen) Safe
4 Elliott Yamin "What You Won't Do for Love1"(Bobby Caldwell) Eliminated
5 Katharine McPhee "Over the Rainbow2"(Judy Garland) Safe
6 Taylor Hicks "You Are So Beautiful3"(Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher) Safe
7 Elliott Yamin "I Believe to My Soul"(Ray Charles) Eliminated
8 Katharine McPhee "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues"(Duke Ellington) Safe
9 Taylor Hicks "Try a Little Tenderness"(Val Rosing and The Ray Noble Orchestra) Safe
  • Note 1: Paula Abdul chose this song
  • Note 2: Simon Cowell chose this song
  • Note 3: Randy Jackson chose this song

Top 2 – Previous Song/Another Previous Song/Winning SongEdit

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Katharine McPhee "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"(KT Tunstall) Runner-Up
2 Taylor Hicks "Living for the City"(Stevie Wonder) Winner
3 Katharine McPhee "Over The Rainbow"(Judy Garland) Runner-Up
4 Taylor Hicks "Levon" (Elton John) Winner
5 Katharine McPhee "My Destiny"(Katharine McPhee) Runner-Up
6 Taylor Hicks "Do I Make You Proud"(Taylor Hicks) Winner

Performers on results showsEdit

Elimination songEdit

A new feature this year, the show used a special song to make a tribute to an eliminated contestant's journey on the show, as opposed to before when various different melodic music compositions were played. This year, the song used for an eliminated contestant's flashback tribute was "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter.

The finaleEdit

On the finale, Carrie Underwood sang "Don't Forget to Remember Me" solo along with the song "Through the Rain" with the 12 finalists. Also, the finalists performed two medleys: one medley was for the female finalists and the other for the male finalists. Several special guests performed with one of the top five Idols: Al Jarreau (Paris Bennett), Live (Chris Daughtry), Meat Loaf (Katharine McPhee), Mary J. Blige (Elliott Yamin) and Toni Braxton (Taylor Hicks). Clay Aiken performed with lookalike auditioner Michael Sandecki, who resembled Aiken c. his 2005 audition. Also, Prince performed without an Idol. Towards the end of the program, the finalists performed "That's What Friends Are For" with Dionne Warwick as well as other songs in the Burt Bacharach canon, with Burt Bacharach playing the piano. Several auditioners from the first round returned to accept "Golden Idol" awards, and to sing. A parody of Brokeback Mountain (though there was no mention of homosexuality) called "Brokenote Mountain," featuring a group of three failed auditioners (Garet Layne Johnson, Michael Evans, and Matthew Buckstein) was replayed from the Hollywood round. The trio "The Brokenote Cowboys" then performed the Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson song "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys". In a pre-taped segment, finalist Kellie Pickler ate lunch with Wolfgang Puck at his brasserie as a way of making fun of Kellie's admitted lack of culinary savvy. Finally, just before the results were announced, Hicks and McPhee performed "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".

The chairman of TeleScope Inc., the company which manages the American Idol results, came at the end of the show with the result card. 578 million votes were cast for the season with 63.5 million votes in the finale, and Taylor Hicks was named the winner, the second American Idol winner from the city of Birmingham, Alabama (the first being Ruben Studdard), and the fourth finalist with close ties to the city.[20]

Elimination chartEdit

Note: Bottom 3 indicates that the contestant was 'saved' first while, Bottom 2 indicates that the contestant was 'saved' last. This may or may not indicate his or her actual vote rank.

Female Male Top 24 Top 12 Winner
Safe Top 2 Safe First Safe Last Eliminated
Stage: Semifinals Finals
Week: 2/23 3/2 3/9 3/15 3/22 3/29 4/5 4/12 4/19 4/26 5/3 5/10 5/17 5/24
Place Contestant Result
1 Taylor Hicks Winner
2 Katharine McPhee Bottom 2 Top 2 Bottom 2 Runner-Up
3 Elliott Yamin Bottom 2 Bottom 3 Bottom 2 Elim
4 Chris Daughtry Bottom 2 Top 2 Elim
5 Paris Bennett Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 2 Elim
6 Kellie Pickler Elim
7 Ace Young Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Elim
8 Bucky Covington Bottom 2 Elim
9 Mandisa Elim
10 Lisa Tucker Bottom 2 Bottom 3 Elim
11 Kevin Covais Bottom 3 Elim
12 Melissa McGhee Elim
13–16 Gedeon McKinney Elim
Ayla Brown
Will Makar
Kinnik Sky Bottom 3
17–20 José "Sway" Penala Elim
David Radford
Heather Cox
Brenna Gethers
21–24 Patrick Hall Elim
Stevie Scott
Bobby Bennett
Becky O'Donohue


DialIdol is both the name of a computer program for Microsoft Windows and its associated website that began tracking contestants during season four and sprang to prominence at the start of season five. The program allowed users to automatically vote for the American Idol contestants of their choice using their PC's phone modem. The program then reported back to the main website, which kept track of the results based on the percentage of calls for each contestant that result in a busy signal. Based on the data received, the website then predicted which contestants may be eliminated or may be in danger of being eliminated. As of May 25, 2006, its predictions for season five were 87% accurate.[21]

This was the first season in which the free US public service website,, started to openly present voting results (starting with the top 12 and onward) that it claimed were from Cingular and American Idol. It has experienced controversy over the fact that its results changed throughout the day until (and often through) the results show.


  • In January 2006, twins Derrell and Terrell Brittenum were charged with forgery and theft after allegedly using a false identity to purchase a car. This occurred after the "Hollywood" portion of the show was filmed, and the twins were subsequently disqualified.[22]
  • In February 2006, it was discovered that José "Sway" Penala was reportedly signed to E-Real Record with his band 6th Day, at the time of his audition.
  • A rumors about finalist Katharine McPhee circulated during early March and throughout the season. Allegedly, she was quitting the show and would not show up for the March 7th airing. Katharine denied the rumor when interviewed by host Ryan Seacrest on the March 7th show.[23]
  • During the March 28 show while Mandisa Hundley was singing, her name and phone number came up, but changed for a few seconds and showed Taylor Hicks' name and phone number. At the end of the show the numbers were right.[24]
  • Mandisa Hundley was voted out after country week. The reason behind her elimination was speculated to be what she said before she began to sing her rendition of "Shackles (Praise You)" by Mary Mary: "This song goes out to everybody that wants to be free. Your addiction, lifestyle and situation may be big, but God is bigger." Many viewers believed that the "lifestyle" stated was regarding the homosexual lifestyle, which she denied, clarifying that the lifestyle she was referring to was her lifestyle of addiction to food. Mandisa is a former employee of the Southern Baptist Convention, having joined the Convention in 2000 as a telephone sales representative for their LifeWay book division, and later in their women's enrichment events area, and later Beth Moore's Living Proof Live events. (Moore's books are published by LifeWay.)[25]
  • On the April 25 show, the theme of which was Greatest Love Songs and featured guest coaches Andrea Bocelli and David Foster, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe forced contestant Taylor Hicks to change his song a day before air time (and the same day as the dress rehearsal). Hicks' chosen song was "Try a Little Tenderness," but Lythgoe, in a radio interview, claimed the song was more appropriate for a Blues Brothers week and was not a song that Andrea Bocelli would sing. Hicks changed his song at the last minute to "Just Once" (James Ingram) and appeared very uncomfortable on stage. Hicks fans were distressed, feeling that a) Hicks' original choice of song was very appropriate to the theme; b) The producers changed the song at the last minute even though they must have known Hicks' choice the previous week as they must obtain clearance for all songs; c) Lythgoe's statement that it was not a song Andrea Bocelli would sing was dubious, as other song choices that were approved were songs sung by Bryan Adams ("Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," sung by Chris Daughtry) and Donny Hathaway ("A Song for You," sung by Elliott Yamin).[26]
  • During the East Coast transmission of the May 2 show, Paris Bennett was bleeped while singing Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" at the exact point where an obscenity appears in the lyrics. However, Fox confirmed that the song was not bleeped when it was broadcast on the West Coast. Forum posters on the West Coast said Bennett sang the radio edit of the song which excludes the obscenity, leaving viewers nationwide wondering why Bennett was precensored during the earlier live transmission. Paris was eliminated in the results show the day after.[27]
  • Following Chris Daughtry's elimination, many Idol fans claimed calls they dialed to Daughtry's line during the first few minutes of voting were misdirected. According to them, the first of his two numbers was answered by a recording of Katharine McPhee (who was also in the bottom two that night) giving thanks for their vote rather than Daughtry.[28] Others reported similar behavior dialing other lines, such as dialing Elliott Yamin's line and hearing a recording of Daughtry giving thanks for their vote.[29]
  • On Top 5 night (May 3), Elliott Yamin performed first, with Taylor Hicks going out last. Next week (May 10, Top 4 night), Katharine McPhee went out last. Yamin was expected to go out last on Top 3 night (May 17), but he was again the first one to sing, losing what is called the "pimp spot", while Hicks was the last one to perform that night. Yamin's fans were distressed stating it was Yamin's right to go out last, while McPhee should have been first, and that the show producers' arranged it to have Yamin eliminated next night (May 18), which actually happened.

U.S. Nielsen ratingsEdit

American Idol was the top-rated show for the 2005–06 TV season and occupied the top two positions. The number of viewers for its Tuesday episodes averaged 31.17 million and for the Wednesday episodes 30.16 million.[30] It is still the most-watched of all seasons with an overall average number of viewers of 30.6 million per episode. Its 17.6 household share for the season average still ranks as the highest household share rating for any regular series on 21st-century U.S. television.[citation needed]

Episode list
Show Episode Air date Week
Rating/Share 18–49
1 "Chicago Auditions"[31] January 17, 2006 3 19.3 / 28 15.3 / 34 35.53
2 "Denver Auditions"[31] January 18, 2006 4 17.8 / 27 13.0 / 33 31.65
3 "Greensboro Auditions"[32] January 24, 2006 1 19.6 / 29 15.1 / 35 34.96
4 "San Francisco Auditions"[32] January 25, 2006 2 18.2 / 28 13.0 / 33 32.44
5 "Las Vegas Auditions"[33] January 31, 2006 5 17.4 / 27 12.4 / 31 30.18
6 "Austin Auditions"[33] February 1, 2006 6 16.9 / 25 12.5 / 32 30.40
7 "Boston Auditions"[34] February 7, 2006 1 17.6 / 26 12.9 / 32 31.15
8 "Hollywood Round 1"[34] February 8, 2006 2 16.3 / 24 11.4 / 29 28.74
9 "Hollywood Round 2"[35] February 14, 2006 2 16.5 / 25 11.4 / 29 26.96
10 "Hollywood: Top 24 Revealed"[35] February 15, 2006 1 15.5 / 24 11.9 / 30 28.78
11 "Top 12 Women Perform"[36] February 21, 2006 2 16.9 / 24 13.0 / 30 30.16
12 "Top 12 Men Perform"[36] February 22, 2006 1 18.2 / 27 13.5 / 33 31.69
13 "Top 24 Results"[36] February 23, 2006 7 13.3 / 20 9.9 / 24 23.38
14 "Top 10 Women Perform"[37] February 28, 2006 2 17.0 / 25 12.4 / 31 30.09
15 "Top 10 Men Perform[37] March 1, 2006 4 16.6 / 26 12.2 / 31 29.64
16 "Top 20 Results[37] March 2, 2006 5 15.2 / 23 10.9 / 27 26.32
17 "Top 8 Women Men Perform"[38] March 7, 2006 2 16.7 / 25 11.8 / 31 28.56
18 "Top 8 Men Perform"[38] March 8, 2006 1 17.2 / 27 12.4 / 32 30.38
19 "Top 12 Revealed"[38] March 9, 2006 4 15.4 / 24 10.8 / 28 26.63
20 "Top 12 Perform"[39] March 14, 2006 1 18.5 / 27 13.7 / 33 32.77
21 "Top 12 Results"[39] March 15, 2006 1 16.3 / 25 11.5 / 27 28.09
22 "Top 11 Perform"[40] March 21, 2006 1 19.2 / 28 13.6 / 33 33.36
23 "Top 11 Results"[40] March 22, 2006 2 15.9 / 24 11.4 / 27 27.68
24 "Top 10 Perform"[41] March 28, 2006 1 18.0 / 27 13.0 / 33 31.71
25 "Top 10 Results"[41] March 29, 2006 2 15.9 / 24 11.3 / 27 27.66
26 "Top 9 Perform"[42] April 4, 2006 1 16.6 / 23 11.6 / 32 28.83
27 "Top 9 Results"[42] April 5, 2006 2 15.7 / 23 10.8 / 26 26.23
28 "Top 8 Perform"[43] April 11, 2006 1 14.2 / 22 12.0 / 33 29.65
29 "Top 8 Results"[43] April 12, 2006 3 12.0 / 19 9.2 / 24 22.64
30 "Top 7 Perform"[44] April 18, 2006 1 16.6 / 26 11.4 / 32 28.44
31 "Top 7 Results"[44] April 19, 2006 2 16.5 / 25 11.3 / 30 27.63
32 Top 6 Perform"[45] April 25, 2006 1 16.7 / 26 11.5 / 30 28.67
33 "Top 6 Results"[45] April 26, 2006 2 16.6 / 25 11.6 / 28 28.27
34 "Top 5 Perform"[46] May 2, 2006 2 16.6 / 26 11.4 / 31 28.58
35 "Top 5 Results"[46] May 3, 2006 1 16.9 / 25 11.7 / 28 29.26
36 "Top 4 Perform"[47] May 9, 2006 1 16.8 / 26 11.6 / 31 28.85
37 "Top 4 Results"[47] May 10, 2006 2 16.1 / 24 11.2 / 27 27.88
38 "Top 3 Perform"[48] May 16, 2006 1 16.6 / 26 11.0 / 30 28.33
39 "Top 3 Results"[48] May 17, 2006 2 16.6 / 26 10.7 / 25 27.67
40 "Top 2 Perform"[49] May 23, 2006 2 18.2/ 29 12.3 / 34 31.78
41 Season 5 Finale"[49] May 24, 2006 1 20.5 / 32 14.2 / 35 36.38

Post IdolEdit

This is the first season that a majority of finalists have major label recording contracts after Idol. Of them – Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, and Kellie Pickler are distributed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Bucky Covington by Universal Music Group; Ace Young and Mandisa by EMI. One other contestant that did not even make the top 24 (Brooke Barrettsmith) was also picked up by Sony BMG, and Universal also picked up Brianna Taylor who also did not make the top 24. Two finalists have a deal with an independent labels – Paris Bennett and Lisa Tucker.[50] Also, six semi-finalists have deals and albums with independent labels – Ayla Brown, Gedeon McKinney (a.k.a. Gedeon Luke), Heather Cox, Patrick Hall, Will Makar, Stevie Scott and David Radford. In addition, at least one contestant who was cut before the semifinals, Bobby Bullard, has also been signed and recorded with a small label.

Taylor Hicks first post-Idol single, "Do I Make You Proud", would debut at number one and be certified gold.[51] Hicks' album, Taylor Hicks, has sold 703,000 copies. He later parted with Arista Records. His follow-up album, "The Distance," was released March 10, 2009 on his own record label Modern Whomp Records.

The fifth-season contestant with the most commercial success is fourth-place finisher Chris Daughtry, now lead singer of the band Daughtry. Their eponymous debut album has sold over 5 million copies to date—surpassing former winners Studdard and Fantasia's respective two-album totals—and produced two top-ten singles. The album, which spent two weeks at number one in the US, is also the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history.[52]

As of November 2008: Runner-up Katharine McPhee's debut album has sold 374,000 copies; she has two Top 40 Billboard hits. Also notable: sixth-place finisher Kellie Pickler, whose Small Town Girl reached number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and was certified gold. To date it has sold over 815,000 copies. Third-place finisher Elliott Yamin's eponymous debut album was certified gold and produced a platinum-selling single. Eighth-place finisher Bucky Covington's self-titled debut album has sold over 400,000 copies and generated a top 20 and two top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Ninth-place finisher Mandisa's True Beauty album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album in 2007.

Season five is the season from the first ten seasons of American Idol with the most number of finalists who have made it onto the Billboard charts.

Major releasesEdit


The compilation album for this season was performed by the top twelve finalists.

Information Digital Downloads
American Idol Season 5: Encores
  • Released: May 23, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: – 3 (US)
  • RIAA Certification: – Gold
  • U.S. sales: – 381,075
Alphabetical order by song title
(108 US)
(52 US Pop)
(73 US Pop, 76 US Digital)
(69 US, 42 US Digital)
(121 US, 90 US Pop)
(43 US, 11 US Digital, 37 US Pop)


Artist Information
Chris Daughtry Daughtry
  • Released: November 21, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 1 (US), 1 (Rock), 1 (Digital), 1 (Comprehensive), 1 (Internet)
  • RIAA Certification: 6× Platinum
  • U.S. sales: 5,040,000
Kellie Pickler Small Town Girl
  • Released: October 31, 2006
  • Label: BNA Records
  • Chart Positions: 1 (US Top Country), 9 (Billboard 200), 12 (Canada Top Country Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 854,000
Taylor Hicks Taylor Hicks
  • Released: December 12, 2006
  • Label: Arista Records
  • Chart Positions: 2 (US Billboard 200), 43 (Canada)
  • RIAA Certification: Platinum
  • U.S. sales: 704,000
Elliott Yamin Elliott Yamin
  • Released: March 20, 2007
  • Label: Hickory Records
    Sony RED Distribution
  • Chart Positions: 3 (Billboard 200), 1 (Top Independent Albums), 11 (Top R&B albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 527,000
Bucky Covington Bucky Covington
Katharine McPhee Katharine McPhee
  • Released: January 30, 2007
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 2 (US Billboard 200), 23 (Canada)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 381,000
Mandisa True Beauty
  • Released: July 31, 2007
  • Label: Sparrow Records
  • Chart Positions: 43 (Billboard 200), 1 (Hot Christian Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 219,000
Mandisa It's Christmas
  • Released: October 14, 2008
  • Label: Sparrow Records
  • Chart Positions: 64 (Billboard Hot 200) 1 (Billboard Top Christmas Albums) 5 (Billboard Top Christian Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: not certified
  • U.S. sales:26,000
Mandisa Freedom
  • Released: March 24, 2009
  • Label: Sparrow Records
  • Chart Positions: 83 (US Billboard 200), 4 (US Billboard Top Christian Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 132,000
Elliott Yamin Fight for Love
  • Released: May 5, 2009
  • Label: Hickory Records
  • Chart Positions: 26 (US Billboard 200), 4 (US Billboard Independent Albums)
  • RIAA Certification: Uncertified
  • U.S. sales: 49,000
Chris Daughtry Leave This Town
  • Released: July 14, 2009
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 1 (US Billboard 200), 1 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certification: 2× Platinum
  • U.S. sales: 1,307,000
Chris Daughtry Break the Spell
  • Released: November 21, 2011
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 8 (US Billboard 200), 2 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 520,000
Chris Daughtry Baptized
  • Released: November 18, 2014
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 6 (US Billboard 200), 2 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certifications: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 532,000
Chris Daughtry Cage to Rattle
  • Released: July 27, 2018
  • Label: RCA Records
  • Chart Positions: 10 (US Billboard 200), 2 (Rock)
  • RIAA Certifications: Gold
  • U.S. sales: 500,000+

Minor & independent releasesEdit

Artist Information
Bobby "Bluu Suede" Bullard The Bluu Suede Project
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Stres Entertainment Inc.
Ayla Brown Forward (LP)
  • Released: October 17, 2006
  • Label: Double Deal Brand Records [53]
  • U.S. sales: 3,200
Paris Bennett Princess P (LP)
  • Released: May 8, 2007
  • Label: 306 Entertainment
  • U.S. sales: 22,000
Ace Young "Scattered" (digital download)
  • Released: October 20, 2006
  • Label: Freeman Records
  • U.S. sales: –
Elliott Yamin "This Christmas" (digital download)
  • Released: December 6, 2006
  • Label: Pulse Recording and Three Ring Projects
  • Chart Positions: 167 (Hot Digital Songs)
  • U.S. sales: – 87,000
Katharine McPhee "I Lost You"/"Dangerous" (Wal-Mart)
  • Released: December 19, 2006
  • Label: RCA Records
  • U.S. sales: –
Patrick Hall One for the Ages (LP)
  • Released: February 2007
  • Label: Ni-Fi Records
  • U.S. sales: –
Josh Royse Memories
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Independent
David Radford Swing on By (LP)
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: independent
Stevie Scott Stevie Scott (EP)
  • Released: July 29, 2008
  • Label: Heat Rocc Entertainment
  • U.S. sales: –
Brianna Taylor Brianna Taylor (EP)
  • Released: June 3, 2008
  • Label: Chamberlain Records
  • U.S. sales: 60,000[54]
Stephanie White Knee Deep InSanity (CD Baby)
  • Released: October 12, 2007
  • Label: independent
  • U.S. sales: – 1,000+ as of April 2008
  • Notes: lead singer of her band, Stephanie White and the New Jersey Philth Harmonic[55][56]
Ace Young Ace Young
  • Released: July 15, 2008
  • Label: Pazzo Music
  • U.S. sales: 10,000


In 2006, American Idol also became the most nominated unscripted show ever, and has several nominations in the 2006 Emmy Awards for season five:[57]

  • Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
  • Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety, Music Program or Special – Episode #519
  • Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program – Bruce Gowers
  • Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Large team entries – Primarily Multi-Camera Productions) – "Audition City: Greensboro"
  • Outstanding Lighting Direction – "American Classics Songbook with Rod Stewart"
  • Outstanding Lighting Direction – "Finale"
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety or Music Series or Special or Animation – "American Classics Songbook with Rod Stewart"
  • Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Series – Episode #530

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit