Ranking the Best 5 Singles from Last Year's American Idol Contestants
Almost a year after the Kris Allen coronation ceremony that shattered devoted Glamberts and Lamb Skanks across our sparkly nation, we've reached the point where seven American Idol contestants from season nine's Top 10 have released singles. We're still waiting for entries from Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud (of the popular Twitter hashtag #SignMattGiraud) and Megan Joy Corkrey (whose Myspace singles don't seem finalized yet) to follow suit. In the meantime, let's rank what we've heard and figure out the whole "Who was the real winner?" thing.
5. Michael Sarver "Cinderella Girl"
Did you know M-Sarv had a single out? I was in the dark. The tenth place finisher and consummate oil rigger produced two tracks our consideration (including the sleepy "You Are"), but "Cinderella Girl" is the more successful record. With crunchy guitars and well-varnished production, "Cinderella Girl" touts all the wife-lovin' and right-livin' you can muster. Forgive that gross "ring my bell" line and some lingering maudlin lyrics, and you have hit material on your hands. Props to Giselle, the hamster he namedrops in verse one.
4. Anoop Desai "My Name"
Judging by his excruciating performance of "Beat It" during last year's Michael Jackson Week, you wouldn't expect danceable material to pop up on Desai's debut disc. But hear this: "My Name" is a Bollywood-infused, club-ready jam for summer 2010. Desai sounds mysteriously like Kevin Lyttle (of the hit "Turn Me On"), but there's a very distinct rhythm and production here, and that's more than I expect from any sixth-place finisher. Instantly replayable.
3. Adam Lambert "Whataya Want From Me"
Adam Lambert's post-Idol disc For Your Entertainment has been well-received, but the titular first single barely sounded like him, allowing him no room to trill and yelp like America once preferred. "Whataya Want From Me" gives us back the bleary-eyed balladeer of "Mad World," and with a stronger hook to boot. It's also salient to note that Lambert is answering his critics, skeptics, and those who expect him to represent a demographic for which he doesn't want to claim responsibility. It's a tactful reply -- perhaps more tactful than any of his performances on Idol, which sometimes turned his incredible range into a gimmick.
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