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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  • stolidog says:

    Clearly, the best singles from this group are the ones that will never get recorded, so I think you got it backwards.

  • Anonymous says:

    OK, WHY DID YOU LEAVE OUT DANNY GOKEY!!! Not only did Danny finish 3rd on Idol, but his single is MUCH better than Sarver's OR Desai's AT LEAST! Not to mention a couple others!

  • melon says:

    Matt has a single out, recorded with Anna Wilson. It reached number one on itunes jazz chart a couple of times - You Don't Know Me. It's really good. Not sure if you'd consider a duet as a single for Matt, though.

  • Rand says:

    "...and that’s more than I expect from any sixth-place finisher." Just Jennifer Hudson 🙂
    Nice review.

  • Randy says:

    Wow, someone has strange opinions here.
    Michael Sarver??
    And Allison's piece of overproduced junk as #2?!
    What are you smoking?
    My rankings: #1 Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Adam, Megan Joy

  • High School Grad says:

    I enjoyed your opinion. But since I've graduated High School, I would go with 1. Allison, Friday I'll be over you.(I've never heard it on the radio. Too bad. It's the best song of the bunch.) 2. Whataya want from me. (It has PINK written all over it) I think it would of been a bigger hit if she sang it.Not as hated as Adam. #3 Live like we're dying. I think Kris got a bigger hit out of it, than if the Script sang it. I agree with #4 & #5.

  • Faye says:

    I'm loving Anoop's new song. It's fun and has such a cool east meets west vibe. I'm impressed that he put such great materical together completely on his own. He should be proud. I'm looking forward to his cd !

  • claudia says:

    Kris,Matt and Dannny are so good just hope to hear matt out there. Someone needs to sign him. I use to really like Allison but just dont care for her anymore cant understand what she sings most the time.

  • daphine says:

    Megan Joy doesn't have a single out.She has songs posted on her MySpace but it's not out yet.Matt was guest singer in that Anna Wilson duet number that's a cover so I don't think that counts.
    That being said, I am totally impressed that Anoop is able to come up with a really strong,unique pop RnB tune even if he is indie.I agree, it's instantly replayable.More power to him...

  • Bobbi says:

    I love Anoop's single! It has such an awesome vibe and sound. He is something special! Can't wait for his cd!

  • eimee123 says:

    I saw the American Idol tour this summer and altho I never liked Allison to begin with, her performance was horrible. I was in the 2nd role and i still couldn't understand a word she said. It was like a big scream concert. The last interview I saw of her, i think her fame went to her head. She seemed a bit smug.
    I do like Matt Giraud.