Congratulations, David Cook! David won us over with his brilliant performances, sultry voice, and very good looks. Though the American Idol competition is over, read on for our take on the finalists, including odds, our predictions and their celebrity look-alikes.
24, Mesa, AZ Why her: The first female to make playing an instrument work on AI (piano and guitar). She plays by ear and her vocals have never been compromised. Why not: As a performer, she needs to separate herself from her real-life goodie two shoes mentality. What Simon says: Brooke's smart about making a song work for her even when there's no way the original ever would. Celebrity Twin: Faith Hill, from her looks to that sweetheart personality. This chick has that hidden spark of feistiness too. Odds: After she's asked to leave the show at number five -- Brooke will be giving us the same infamous "WHAT" surprise look that Faith Hill gave at the '06 CMA's (when she lost to AI: 4 winner Carrie Underwood)
Update: We were right! Brooke was ousted at number five after her two Neil Diamond performances. The blonde nanny cried/sang her way off stage.
24, San Diego, CA Why her: She was talented enough to cut a record with AI judge Randy Jackson in the late '90s. Why not: The tattoo-less recording artist Carly Hennessy has been transformed into the tattooed AI contestant Smithson. She's already had her chance with a major label. This show is about rooting for the underdog! What Simon says: Carly needs to lighten up. Celebrity twin: The icy blue eyes, dark hair and fair skin... she's a dead ringer for Evanescence lead singer, Amy Lee. Odds: She's had plenty of exposure to make a successful album. It will be her time when she leaves the show in a respectable fourth place.
Update: Carly was shockingly voted off on the April 23rd episode, after she and Syesha were in the bottom two. Most people thought it was between Brooke and Jason, so everyone was surprised that Carly's "Superstar" performance sent her home.
29, Buckhead, GA Why him: This Aussie has the look, professionalism and pipes! He's not always amazing, but is consistently great. Why not: Rocker David Cook currently has an edge on him. What Simon says: Michael's like a white soul singer. He has a lot of talent, but needs to dazzle and show more star quality. Celebrity twin: Just as sexy as Gavin Rossdale! Odds: He'll take number two after the finale sing-off with Cook. Update: SHOCKING! Michael Johns was eliminated on the April 10th show. When Seacrest said, "Carly and Syesha...," everyone thought he was going to say, "You are in the bottom two." Instead he finished with, "You are safe," leaving viewers' jaws on the ground when they realized it meant Michael Johns was going home.
17, Murray, UT Why him: His voice is brilliant, confident, pure... and it has been since he was in the single digits. Why not: He's an old soul. When you're 17, people want to see you have fun. At least once in a while. Do it before your "vocal paralysis" comes back. What Simon says: His vocals are masterclass, but his performances are blase. Celebrity twin: Ricky Martin from the Menudo days. Odds: He has a range of followers from teenyboppers to baby boomers. That should position him comfortably at third. Update: David Archuleta went home in second place. Though "Archie" did much better in the finale (especially according to Simon), fans came through for David Cook, who won by 12 million votes.
25, Blue Springs, MO Why him: The guitar, his choice of arrangements, vocals and stage presence make him stand out. Why not: There are a few contestants who can sneak up and change where the competition is heading. What Simon says: "You've 100% secured a place in the finals." Celebrity twin: Nickelodeon rocker, Drake Bell Odds: This is your next American Idol.
20, Rockwall, TX Why him: His simple, beautiful soul bleeds through his performances and touches his audience. Why not: He's not aggressive enough. Jason stays true to who he is, but you want an idol who mixes it up more. What Simon says: Potentially a winner, but has to take it more seriously. Celebrity twin: His face is pretty like Fiona Apple. But he's much softer than her fiery persona. Odds: Jason will gracefully exit stage left -- at number six.
Update: Jason left the Idol stage on the May 6 episode, as a member of the final four. His elimination was no surprise as Jason forgot the lyrics to his second song, "Mr. Tambourine Man."
Kristy Lee Cook
24, Selma, OR Why her: Don't underestimate how a fun, beautiful blonde can get people to like her. It's not always about who's the best singer. Why not: She should have been voted off weeks ago. Her only hope to be identifiable with the country genre was a mess. What Simon says: Her performances are like musical wallpaper. You notice it, but can't remember it. Celebrity twin: She's young and she's restless... just like the soap star Sharon Case. Odds: If voter tactics are outnumbered by the honest vote, she'll be booted next! Update: Kristy Lee Cook was finally voted off after Mariah Carey night on April 16. She was in the bottom two with Brooke White. Will Brooke go home next?
20, Miramar, FL Why her: Teen boys love her. The tenderness in her voice is classy. Despite her tiny stature her vocals are full of texture and can get really big. Why not: Not a strong enough contender. She usually doesn't pick the right song to showcase her range and that's going to catch up with her. What Simon says: He didn't like her for the competition at first because he thought she was too contemporary. She's changed his stubborn mind since. Celebrity twin: Brenda Song, who plays London Tipton on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Odds: She'll be saying "Yea me," all the way to number seven. Update: Ramiele went home on April 2 after her Dolly Parton performance, and Kristy Lee Cook was saved for another day. Will it be her time next week?
21, Sarasota, FL Why her: She has the total package. Syesha is sophisticated enough to sing songs from the greatest singers of all times -- and nail them. Why not: There are other contestants (Carly, Archuleta) who were supposedly planted in the competition. That could thwart off contestants like her. What Simon says: One of the best girls, but there's definitely a limit to her vocals. Celebrity twin: AI Season 1 finalist, Christina Christian Odds: She's going to get cut way before she's due, at number eight. Update: Syesha went home in third place, way later than we expected. She continued to do better each round, but unfortunately for her, it wasn't enough to get her into the David versus David finals.
22, Inglewood, CA Why him: His versatility and willingness to take risks keeps it exciting. He recently shocked us with his southern rock side. Chikezie's a lot of fun! Why not: There are more polished performers. Simon's dogged him 80% of the time. What Simon says: "You are someone who could really do well." Celebrity twin: David Reivers, Corbin Bleu's actor father. Odds: If Simon has his say, he won't last very long. Update: Chikezie went home on March 26, cut just before he could hoot and holler on Dolly Parton night. Could Kristy Lee be saved?