“American Idol” Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past ‘AI’ Winners

lauren scotty kevin winter getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Kevin Winter//Getty Images

The Season Ten finale of American Idol is tonight and the two young finalists are some of the most talented competitors to be seen on the show in its nine-year span. Both [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Lauren Alaina[/lastfm], 16, and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Scotty McCreery[/lastfm], 17, have the potential to become the next teenage country superstars.

After watching their auditions this season, we started to wonder what the auditions of past American Idol winners looked like and culled together auditions from every season of American Idol.

Watch these stars at their start and then vote for whether you think Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery will win tonight.

Season 1: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kelly Clarkson[/lastfm]

kelly clarkson charley gallay getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Charley Gallay//Getty Images

As the first winner of the American Idol television show, Kelly Clarkson did a great job showing the winners of the seasons after her just what pop success looks like. During her audition in 2002, we see a very fresh-faced Clarkson sing in front of the judges with minimal stage fright.

She even sat down at the judges table and pretended to “judge” Randy. That was our first glimpse at not only her gorgeous voice, but her feisty personality.

Season 2:[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Ruben Studdard[/lastfm]

ruben studdard moses robinson getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Moses Robinson//Getty Images

There was no doubt when Ruben Studdard auditioned in 2003 that he was a talented vocalist and all-around nice guy. After his beautiful performance of “Ribbon In The Sky,” there was no doubt from the judges that Studdard was going to Hollywood.

Studdard’s season had the most amount of finale viewers with over 38 Million people tuning in to see the R&B teddy bear given America’s musical stamp of approval.

Season 3: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Fantasia Barrino[/lastfm]

fantasia barrino ethan miller getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Ethan Miller//Getty Images

Hailing from the same cycle as the now famous [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jennifer Hudson[/lastfm], Fantasia Barrino had one of the most unique voices in American Idol history, second probably to Scotty McCreery.

At her audition, Simon Cowell didn’t know how far such a distinctive sound would take her, but the North Carolina native proved her longevity with a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2011.

Season 4: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Carrie Underwood[/lastfm]

carrie underwood than miller getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Ethan Miller//Getty Images

In 2005, Carrie Underwood was the first country star of the competition, even in her audition Cowell predicted that Underwood’s sweet looks and country flair would take her far in the competition.

He was right; since then Underwood has become a multi-platinum selling recording artist, won multiple Grammys, and  is the first female artist to win back-to-back Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards for Entertainer of the Year.

Season 5: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Taylor Hicks[/lastfm]

taylor hicks frederick brown getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Frederick M. Brown//Getty Images

Prematurely gray Taylor Hicks was an underdog from the start. During his audition, Cowell doubted Hicks would ever get far because of his “different” look.

Fellow season five competitor, Katherine McPhee might have gone further in her musical career than Hicks, but in May 2009, Hicks made Forbes “Top Ten Earning American Idol Stars” list at number 10.

Season 6: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jordin Sparks[/lastfm]

jordin sparks frazer harrison getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Frazer Harrison//Getty Images

Exotic and beautiful Jordin Sparks proved to America that just because you are gorgeous and come from a “famous” parent, doesn’t mean you can’t sing with just as much soul as a less-privileged competitor.

Sparks sang one of Cowell’s favorite Celine Dion songs during her audition and while he called her too “sugary sweet,” he couldn’t deny the majestic power of her voice. Sparks is to date the youngest winner of American Idol.

Season 7: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]David Cook[/lastfm]

1 david cook valerie macron getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photob by Valerie Macon//Getty Images

Good-looking soft rocker, David Cook, has one of the most loyal fan bases of all the American Idol winners. Evoking the same energy as popular rockers like Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, Cook was the first “rocker” to win American Idol.

Cook’s first single, “The Time of My Life” debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Cook broke records by having eleven songs debut on the Hot 100 a week after his American Idol win.

Season 8: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kris Allen[/lastfm]

kris allen valerie macon getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Valerie Macon//Getty Images

Arkansas-raised hunk and singer-songwriter, Kris Allen, was sort of the unexpected winner when paired with the more theatrical Adam Lambert in the finale.

While his win was considered controversial because of alleged vote tampering, Allen undoubtedly has talent and star-quality with Allen’s self-titled début album releasing at #11 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

Season 9: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Lee DeWyze[/lastfm]

lee dewyze kevin winter getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Kevin Winter//Getty Images

Illinios-based singer-songwriter, Lee DeWyze, had a brief audition segment show on live television (right next to Crystal Bowersox’s). At the close of the show, DeWyze won a recording contract with RCA Records.

Season 10: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Scotty McCreery[/lastfm]


scott mccreey steve exum getty images American Idol Video Retrospective Of The Auditions Of Past AI Winners

Photo by Steve Exum//Getty Images

17-year-old Scotty McCreery sounds like a mixture of young Elvis and Hank Williams; McCreery has one of the most unique voices we’ve ever heard on American Idol.

There’s no question in my mind why he won American Idol, but do you agree?? Take our poll and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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