What Kids Can Learn From 'American Idol' Finalists

Your kids can learn more from watching American Idol finalists than just that some contestants are better than others and most are taller than Ryan Seacrest. Many can be solid role models. And even if that's a stretch, at least seven represent good talking points to raise with your Idol-worshipping children:

Thia Megia
, 16
Auditioning at 15 (a new age-low for Idol), Thia demonstrates that kids can not only have a place at the grown-up talent table, but be just as impressive as anyone else there. And if you think Thia's good now that she just turned 16, check her out on America's Got Talent from two years ago.

Paul McDonald, 26
With his unique Michael McDonald/Kenny Loggins/Rod Stewart-like voice, Paul demonstrates that originality can make a positive difference, and certainly leave a lasting impression. "You were just so unique and different," Randy Jackson told Paul. "Different from anything we've ever had on the show."

James Durbin, 22
Overcoming both his Tourette Syndrome and Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism), James exemplifies not letting afflictions stand in your way. He's already a hero in the autism awareness community.

Scotty McCreery, 17
In pop music, country has to travel far from its roots to be considered "cool." But Scotty -- whom Randy has called "a throwback country guy" -- sticks to what he does best, and so far it's worked out. The point: Be who you are. McCreery and fellow contestant Lauren Alaina, 16, also identify so strongly with their spiritual sides that they each boldly chose (the same!) religious quotation on their official American Idol fan sites.

Naima Adedapo, 26
Naimi's quotation for the American Idol site is "Be humble." And this quiet former janitor is very much that, letting her unique talent -- and, some would say, her fashion sense -- do all the talking.

Casey Abrams, 20
Casey projects a nice "Be yourself" message as well, but his presence also says that good things can come in unusual packages, even if that package seems a lot like Seth Rogen. Casey doesn't look like a classic superstar, but he shines nonetheless.

Karen Rodriguez, 21
Karen's bilingual version of "Hero" demonstrate how one's personal culture can be an empowering inspiration. Rodriguez recently told MTV News, "I decided to sing in Spanish because I am a Latina. I want to represent for all my Latinos out there... I have it in my blood, it lives inside me and I have to be who I am."

Check out all of the Season 10 Idols here.

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