Now that we have gotten to the Top 3, these rankings become much more subjective -- all of these contestants were fantastic (well, all of them except Nikki -- really, let's be honest), so ranking them is, above all, a matter of personal taste. Remember, these rankings are determined on American Idol performances only, not on what the contestants have accomplished since their time on the show.
1. Melinda Doolittle (Season 6)
Best Known For: Being a former back-up singer; humble demeanor; remarkably consistent performances
Best Performance: "My Funny Valentine," "I've Got Rythym," "Have a Nice Day," "Nutbush City Limits," and the list goes on
Worst Performance: Not a stinker in the bunch, but if I had to name one I'd go with "I Believe in You and Me"
Post-AI: Hopefully great things...
2. Elliott Yamin (Season 5)
Best Known For: Season 5's underdog; moving backstory -- juvenile diabetes, deaf in one ear
Best Performance: "Song for You," "Trouble"
Worst Performance: Again, not a stinker in the bunch -- if I had to name one, I'd go with "Open Arms" (which I still kinda loved)
Post AI: Released a self-titled CD in March; single "Wait for You" is currently in the Top 30 on the pop chart; national tour begins today
3. Kimberley Locke (Season 2)
Best Known For: Sparring with Simon in her semifinal audition; dueting with Frenchie on "Band of Gold" during Hollywood week; Season 2's underdog
Best Performance: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "New York State of Mind," "Inseparable"
Worst Performance: "Heat Wave"
Post AI: Debut CD spawned a couple of Adult Contemporary hits, including "8th World Wonder"; new CD "Based on a True Story" was released two weeks ago; modeled for Lane Bryant; appearing on Celebrity Fit Clubl; current single "Change" in the Top 10 on the Mainstream AC chart
4. Vonzell Solomon (Season 4)
Best Known For: Being an endlessly cheery postal worker; Season 4's underdog
Best Performance: "I'm Every Woman"
Worst Performance: "Respect"
Post AI: Working on recording an album -- we're waiting Baby V!
5. Jasmine Trias (Season 3)
Best Known For: One of Season 3's two Hawaiian contestants; wearing a flower behind her ear
Best Performance: "Inseparable"
Worst Performance: "Breathe"
Post AI: Released a successful CD in the Phillippines, where she is a huge star
6. Nikki McKibbin (Season 1)
Best Known For: Idol's first-ever "rocker"; outlasting Tamyra Gray
Best Performance: "Mary Jane"
Worst Performance: Most of the others, but the biggest offender is probably "Ben"
Post AI: Has yet to release a CD, but has appeared on several reality shows, including Fear Factor and Battle of the Network Stars
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