Winner: Taylor Hicks The silver fox's self-titled album, his first major-label release since his 2006 Idol win, was certified platinum. But his fans (dubbed the "Soul Patrol") didn't deliver when Hicks' sophomore effort, The Distance, was released on his own label in 2009. The energetic performer played the Teen Angel (who sings "Beauty School Dropout") in a touring production of Grease and recently began a headlining gig in Las Vegas.
Runner-Up: Katharine McPhee The photogenic California native has had moderate musical success, with her self-titled first album (released in 2007) selling more than 350,000 copies. And since her big break on Idol, McPhee has been making slow and steady inroads in the acting industry, landing a supporting role in Anna Faris' 2008 comedy House Bunny, and guest roles on series like CBS' CSI:NY and NBC's Community -- but she finally scored her big break. McPhee now stars in the NBC series Smash.
Will the real season 5 Idol please stand up? Musically, it's a tie. But as an actress, it looks like McPhee could pull a Jennifer Hudson!