American Idol (season 7)

The seventh season of American Idol, the annual reality show and singing competition, began on January 15, 2008 and concluded on May 21, 2008. Ryan Seacrest continued to host the show with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson returning as judges. David Cook was announced the winner of the competition on May 21, 2008, defeating runner-up David Archuleta by a margin of roughly 12 million votes out of over 97 million, which was at that time the highest recorded vote total in the show's history. The split was 56% to 44%.

The seventh season was the first season during which neither the winner nor the runner-up was ever in the bottom group during any week before the finale on May 21, 2008. It was also the second season during which both the winner and the runner-up were male contestants, with the second season being the first.

American Idol
American Idol logo
Season 7
Broadcast fromJanuary 15 – May 21, 2008
JudgesPaula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Randy Jackson
Host(s)Ryan Seacrest
BroadcasterFox Broadcasting Company
Finals venueNokia Theatre Los Angeles
David Cook
David Cook American Idol Homecoming 2
OriginBlue Springs, Missouri, United States
Song"The Time of My Life"
Genre(s)Alternative rock
David Archuleta

Changes from past seasons

Prior to the start of season 7, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe admitted that season 6 had placed more focus on the guest mentors than the contestants.[1] Changes were planned for season 7 designed to return attention to the contestants by providing more information on their backgrounds and families.

A major change for the seventh season was allowing contestants to play musical instruments,[2][3] an element that originated on Australian Idol and can also be seen on Norway's Idol and Canadian Idol. A brand new set was built, and a new introduction credit sequence created. The season finale also moved from the Kodak Theatre to the larger Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Regional auditions

For Season 7, auditions began in San Diego, California on July 30, 2007, and continued in the following cities:[4]

Episode Air Date Audition City Date First Audition Venue Callback Date Callback Venue Golden Tickets
January 15, 2008 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[5] August 27, 2007 Wachovia Center September 1–2, 2007 Hyatt Regency[6] 29
January 16, 2008 Dallas, Texas[7] August 6, 2007 Texas Stadium September 20–23, 2007 W Hotel Dallas Victory[8] 24
January 22, 2008 San Diego, California[9] July 30, 2007 Qualcomm Stadium September 12–13, 2007 Rancho Bernardo Inn[10] 31
January 23, 2008 Charleston, South Carolina [11] August 18, 2007 North Charleston Coliseum September 6–7, 2007 Charleston Area Convention Center[12] 23
January 29, 2008 Omaha, Nebraska[13] August 10, 2007 Qwest Center Omaha October 5–6, 2007 Qwest Convention Center[14] 19
January 30, 2008 Miami, Florida[15] August 22, 2007 American Airlines Arena September 29–30, 2007 JW Marriott Hotel[16] 17
February 5, 2008 Atlanta, Georgia[17] August 14, 2007 Georgia Dome October 8–10, 2007 Georgia International Convention Center[18][19] 21
Total Tickets to Hollywood 164

Contestants were required to be between the ages of 16 and 28 on July 28, 2007, and eligible to work in the United States. Those ineligible include former contestants who had previously reached the semifinal of Season 1 - 3 or the last phase of Hollywood round of Season 4 -6 (top 44 of Season 4 and 5, top 40 of Season 6), those holding recording or management contracts, or those who were not US citizens or landed immigrants (i.e. permanent residents).

One auditioner this year Alexis Cohen gained media attention due to her outraged reaction and profuse profanities after the judges rejected her in the Philadelphia audition.[20] She also returned in Season 8 to audition in New York and her audition was featured. She was later found dead in a hit-and-run accident.[21]

Another auditioner who gained some public attention was Renaldo Lapuz who sang his own composition "We're Brothers Forever" which he wrote for Simon Cowell. He was later asked to return to perform in the finale.

Hollywood week

The Hollywood week took place at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California, over a period of five days. A total of 164 contestants were invited from the seven audition cities. This year the process was altered slightly to ensure that no talent would be prematurely dismissed. The contestants were allowed two performances before elimination, and the group round was removed.

The first round of individual performance lasted two days. For the first time ever, contestants had the option of either being accompanied by the band or playing an instrument themselves. Some were shown playing the keyboard, guitar, or even the drums. If the judges approved of the contestant's performance, they received a "free pass" to the third and final round of performances, and 48 contestants were given this "free pass". Unlike previous seasons, contestants whose performances not considered good enough were given a second chance in the second round. They lined up on stage in groups of ten and each sang a short segment of a song "a cappella." After each group had finished, the judges cut those they felt not talented enough. Almost 100 were eliminated in this round.

In the final round, all the remaining contestants performed individually a song chosen from a large list of songs provided accompanied by the band and three backup singers. After each performance, the judges decided whether or not to cut the contestant. By the end of the day, only 50 contestants remained. The judges then deliberated further on who should be in the Top 24, and their decision was revealed the next day in the Green Mile episode.

One of the more prominent contestants during the Hollywood week was Josiah Leming whose unhappiness with the backing band resulted in him dismissing the band. He was cut in the Green Mile episode. Another piece of drama involved contestant Kyle Ensley when Simon Cowell voiced strong objection over him not being selected for the semifinals. It was later revealed that his non-selection resulted in serious rift between Simon Cowell and the show producer Nigel Lythgoe.[22]


  • Daniel 'Danny' Noriega (born September 29, 1989 in Azusa, California, 18 at the time of the show) auditioned in San Diego. He previously auditioned for Idol in season six and made it to Hollywood week but was cut in the first round. His elimination song was Soft Cell's version of "Tainted Love". Shortly following his elimination, Noriega received an offer from Rosie O'Donnell to perform on her cruise.[23]
  • Luke Menard (29 at the time of the show) auditioned in Omaha with "Bend and Break" by Keane. In Hollywood, he sang "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" by Christopher Cross and "Grace Kelly" by Mika. He auditioned for the sixth season in Memphis and sang "How Deep Is Your Love" but did not make it to Hollywood. Prior to season seven of Idol, he was a member of the a cappella group Chapter 6.
  • Robert "Robbie" Carrico (26 at the time of the show) is from Melbourne, Florida, and auditioned for the show in Miami. His professional singing career prior to American Idol includes being a member of the pop group Boyz N Girlz United, which opened for Britney Spears during her "...Baby One More Time Tour" in 1999.[24][25]
  • Jason Yeager[26] (28 at the time of the show) is from Grand Prairie, Texas, and auditioned in Dallas. He appeared and was a finalist on the first season of Making the Band, the MTV reality show that led to the formation of boy band O-Town.
  • Colton Berry (18 at the time of the show) is from Staunton, Virginia. He auditioned in Charleston.
  • Garrett Haley (17 at the time of the show) is from Elida, Ohio.[27] He auditioned in San Diego.
  • Asia'h Epperson (19 at the time of the show) is from Joplin, Missouri, and auditioned in Atlanta singing "How Do I Live." Two days before the auditions, her father died in a car accident. Her elimination song was "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston.
  • Kady Malloy (18 at the time of the show) is from Houston, Texas, and auditioned in Dallas. She became known on the show for her impersonation of Britney Spears and can also impersonate several other artists. Malloy is trained in opera singing. Her elimination song was "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen. She has released several songs to her MySpace and shot a video for a cover of "Time After Time" with Colton Berry. Simon's comment after her audition was: "Out of all of the people we have seen during this season you are the best."
  • Alaina Whitaker (17 at the time of the show) is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and auditioned in Dallas. She was a member of the female country group Della Rose along with Andrea Young and Erin James. Before the show, she and her sister won a talent competition in Tulsa. Her group Della Rose was working on their debut album in Nashville before they disbanded. The group has opened up for numerous major country acts including Travis Tritt, and Keith Anderson, who was also known as the groups mentor.
  • Alexandréa Lushington (17 at the time of the show) is from Douglasville, Georgia, and auditioned in Atlanta. In 2004, she sang against fellow Idol semi-finalist David Archuleta on an episode of the television show Star Search.[25]
  • Joanne Borgella (25 at the time of the show) was a model from Hoboken, New Jersey, who auditioned in Philadelphia. Before auditioning for Idol, she appeared in and won Mo'Nique's Fat Chance.
  • Amy Davis (25 at the time of the show) is professional model from Lowell, Indiana, who auditioned in Dallas.


Top 24 – 1960s

Order Males Females
Contestant Song (original artist) Result Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 David Hernandez "In the Midnight Hour" (Wilson Pickett) Safe Kristy Lee Cook "Rescue Me" (Fontella Bass) Safe
2 Chikezie "More Today Than Yesterday" (The Spiral Starecase) Safe Joanne Borgella "I Say a Little Prayer" (Dionne Warwick) Eliminated
3 David Cook "Happy Together" (The Turtles) Safe Alaina Whitaker "More Today Than Yesterday" (The Spiral Starecase) Safe
4 Jason Yeager "Moon River" (Andy Williams) Safe Amanda Overmyer "Baby, Please Don't Go" (Big Joe Williams) Safe
5 Robbie Carrico "One" (Harry Nilsson) Safe Amy Davis "Where the Boys Are" (Connie Francis) Eliminated
6 David Archuleta "Shop Around" (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) Safe Brooke White "Happy Together" (The Turtles) Safe
7 Danny Noriega "Jailhouse Rock" (Elvis Presley) Safe Alexandréa Lushington "Spinning Wheel" (Blood, Sweat & Tears) Safe
8 Luke Menard "Everybody's Talkin'" (Fred Neil) Safe Kady Malloy "A Groovy Kind of Love" (The Mindbenders) Safe
9 Colton Berry "Suspicious Minds" (Mark James) Eliminated Asia'h Epperson "Piece of My Heart" (Erma Franklin) Safe
10 Garrett Haley "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (Neil Sedaka) Eliminated Ramiele Malubay "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (Dusty Springfield) Safe
11 Jason Castro "Daydream" (The Lovin' Spoonful) Safe Syesha Mercado "Tobacco Road" (John D. Loudermilk) Safe
12 Michael Johns "Light My Fire" (The Doors) Safe Carly Smithson "The Shadow of Your Smile" (Tony Bennett) Safe

Top 20 – 1970s

Order Males Females
Contestant Song (original artist) Result Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Michael Johns "Go Your Own Way" (Fleetwood Mac) Safe Carly Smithson "Crazy on You" (Heart) Safe
2 Jason Castro "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" (Andy Gibb) Safe Syesha Mercado "Me and Mrs. Jones" (Billy Paul) Safe
3 Luke Menard "Killer Queen" (Queen) Safe Brooke White "You're So Vain" (Carly Simon) Safe
4 Robbie Carrico "Hot Blooded" (Foreigner) Eliminated Ramiele Malubay "Don't Leave Me This Way" (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes) Safe
5 Danny Noriega "Superstar" (Delaney & Bonnie) Safe Kristy Lee Cook "You're No Good" (Betty Everett) Safe
6 David Hernandez "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" (The Undisputed Truth) Safe Amanda Overmyer "Carry On Wayward Son" (Kansas) Safe
7 Jason Yeager "Long Train Running" (The Doobie Brothers) Eliminated Alaina Whitaker "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Olivia Newton-John) Eliminated
8 Chikezie "I Believe to My Soul" (Donny Hathaway) Safe Alexandréa Lushington "If You Leave Me Now" (Chicago) Eliminated
9 David Cook "All Right Now" (Free) Safe Kady Malloy "Magic Man" (Heart) Safe
10 David Archuleta "Imagine" (John Lennon) Safe Asia'h Epperson "All by Myself" (Eric Carmen) Safe

Top 16 – 1980s

Order Males Females
Contestant Song (original artist) Result Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Luke Menard "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (Wham!) Eliminated Asia'h Epperson "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (Whitney Houston) Eliminated
2 David Archuleta "Another Day in Paradise" (Phil Collins) Safe Kady Malloy "Who Wants to Live Forever" (Queen) Eliminated
3 Danny Noriega "Tainted Love" (Gloria Jones) Eliminated Amanda Overmyer "I Hate Myself for Loving You" (Joan Jett) Safe
4 David Hernandez "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Pandora's Box) Safe Carly Smithson "I Drove All Night" (Cyndi Lauper) Safe
5 Michael Johns "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (Simple Minds) Safe Kristy Lee Cook "Faithfully" (Journey) Safe
6 David Cook "Hello" (Lionel Richie) Safe Ramiele Malubay "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (Phil Collins) Safe
7 Jason Castro "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) Safe Brooke White "Love Is a Battlefield" (Pat Benatar) Safe
8 Chikezie "All the Man That I Need" (Linda Clifford) Safe Syesha Mercado "Saving All My Love for You" (Whitney Houston) Safe


David Cook
David Archuleta in parade
David Archuleta
Syesha Mercado
Syesha Mercado
Jason Castro
Brooke White
Brooke White
Carly Smithson in parade
Carly Smithson
Kristy Lee Cook
Kristy Lee Cook
Michael Johns 2
Michael Johns
Ramiele Malubay
Amanda Overmyer
David Hernandez


Top 12 – Lennon–McCartney Songbook

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Syesha Mercado "Got to Get You into My Life" Bottom 3
2 Chikezie "She's a Woman" Safe
3 Ramiele Malubay "In My Life" Safe
4 Jason Castro "If I Fell" Safe
5 Carly Smithson "Come Together" Safe
6 David Cook "Eleanor Rigby" Safe
7 Brooke White "Let It Be" Safe
8 David Hernandez "I Saw Her Standing There" Eliminated
9 Amanda Overmyer "You Can't Do That" Safe
10 Michael Johns "Across the Universe" Safe
11 Kristy Lee Cook "Eight Days a Week" Bottom 2
12 David Archuleta "We Can Work It Out" Safe

Top 11 – The Beatles

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Amanda Overmyer "Back in the U.S.S.R." Eliminated
2 Kristy Lee Cook "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" Bottom 2
3 David Archuleta "The Long and Winding Road" Safe
4 Michael Johns "A Day in the Life" Safe
5 Brooke White "Here Comes the Sun" Safe
6 David Cook "Day Tripper" Safe
7 Carly Smithson "Blackbird" Bottom 3
8 Jason Castro "Michelle" Safe
9 Syesha Mercado "Yesterday" Safe
10 Chikezie "I've Just Seen a Face" Safe
11 Ramiele Malubay "I Should Have Known Better" Safe

Top 10 – Year They Were Born

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Year Result
1 Ramiele Malubay "Alone" (i-TEN) 1987 Safe
2 Jason Castro "Fragile" (Sting) 1987 Bottom 3
3 Syesha Mercado "If I Were Your Woman" (Gladys Knight & the Pips) 1987 Bottom 2
4 Chikezie "If Only for One Night" (Luther Vandross) 1985 Eliminated
5 Brooke White "Every Breath You Take" (The Police) 1983 Safe
6 Michael Johns "We Will Rock You" / "We Are the Champions" medley (Queen) 1978 Safe
7 Carly Smithson "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Bonnie Tyler) 1983 Safe
8 David Archuleta "You're the Voice" (John Farnham) 1990 Safe
9 Kristy Lee Cook "God Bless the USA" (Lee Greenwood) 1984 Safe
10 David Cook "Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson) 1982 Safe

Top 9 – Dolly Parton

Mentor: Dolly Parton

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Brooke White "Jolene" Bottom 3
2 David Cook "Little Sparrow" Safe
3 Ramiele Malubay "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" Eliminated
4 Jason Castro "Travelin' Thru" Safe
5 Carly Smithson "Here You Come Again" Safe
6 David Archuleta "Smoky Mountain Memories" Safe
7 Kristy Lee Cook "Coat of Many Colors" Bottom 2
8 Syesha Mercado "I Will Always Love You" Safe
9 Michael Johns "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right" Safe

Top 8 – Inspirational Music

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Michael Johns "Dream On" (Aerosmith) Eliminated
2 Syesha Mercado "I Believe" (Fantasia) Bottom 3
3 Jason Castro "Over the Rainbow" (Judy Garland) Safe
4 Kristy Lee Cook "Anyway" (Martina McBride) Safe
5 David Cook "Innocent" (Our Lady Peace) Safe
6 Carly Smithson "The Show Must Go On" (Queen) Bottom 3
7 David Archuleta "Angels" (Robbie Williams) Safe
8 Brooke White "You've Got a Friend" (Carole King) Safe

Top 7 – Mariah Carey

Mentor: Mariah Carey

Order Contestant Song (original artist when applicable) Result
1 David Archuleta "When You Believe" (Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston) Safe
2 Carly Smithson "Without You" (Badfinger) Safe
3 Syesha Mercado "Vanishing" Bottom 3
4 Brooke White "Hero" Bottom 2
5 Kristy Lee Cook "Forever" Eliminated
6 David Cook "Always Be My Baby" Safe
7 Jason Castro "I Don't Wanna Cry" Safe

Top 6 – Andrew Lloyd Webber

Mentor: Andrew Lloyd Webber

Order Contestant Song (production) Result
1 Syesha Mercado "One Rock & Roll Too Many" (from Starlight Express) Bottom 2
2 Jason Castro "Memory" (from Cats) Safe
3 Brooke White "You Must Love Me" (from Evita) Safe
4 David Archuleta "Think of Me" (from The Phantom of the Opera) Safe
5 Carly Smithson "Superstar" (from Jesus Christ Superstar) Eliminated
6 David Cook "The Music of the Night" (from The Phantom of the Opera) Safe

Top 5 – Neil Diamond

Mentor: Neil Diamond

Each contestant sang two songs.

Order Contestant Song (original artist when applicable) Result
1 Jason Castro "Forever in Blue Jeans" Safe
2 David Cook "I'm Alive" Safe
3 Brooke White "I'm a Believer" (The Monkees) Eliminated
4 David Archuleta "Sweet Caroline" Safe
5 Syesha Mercado "Hello Again" Safe
6 Jason Castro "September Morn" Safe
7 David Cook "All I Really Need Is You" Safe
8 Brooke White "I Am...I Said" Eliminated
9 David Archuleta "America" Safe
10 Syesha Mercado "Thank the Lord for the Night Time" Safe

Top 4 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Each contestant sang two songs.

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 David Cook "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Duran Duran) Safe
2 Syesha Mercado "Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival) Safe
3 Jason Castro "I Shot the Sheriff" (Bob Marley) Eliminated
4 David Archuleta "Stand by Me" (Ben E. King) Safe
5 David Cook "Baba O'Riley" (The Who) Safe
6 Syesha Mercado "A Change Is Gonna Come" (Sam Cooke) Safe
7 Jason Castro "Mr. Tambourine Man" (Bob Dylan) Eliminated
8 David Archuleta "Love Me Tender" (Elvis Presley) Safe

Top 3 – Judges' choice, Contestant's choice & Producer's Choice

Each contestant sang three songs.

Order Contestant Song (original artist) — Judge Result
1 David Archuleta "And So It Goes" (Billy Joel) — Paula Abdul Safe
2 Syesha Mercado "If I Ain't Got You" (Alicia Keys) — Randy Jackson Eliminated
3 David Cook "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Peggy Seeger) — Simon Cowell Safe
4 David Archuleta "With You" (Chris Brown) Safe
5 Syesha Mercado "Fever" (Little Willie John) Eliminated
6 David Cook "Dare You to Move" (Switchfoot) Safe
7 David Archuleta "Longer" (Dan Fogelberg) Safe
8 Syesha Mercado "Hit Me Up" (Gia Farrell) Eliminated
9 David Cook "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (Aerosmith) Safe

Finale – Clive Davis' choice, New Song & Contestant's Choice

Each contestant sang three songs.

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 David Cook "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (U2) Winner
2 David Archuleta "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (Elton John) Runner-Up
3 David Cook "Dream Big" Winner
4 David Archuleta "In This Moment" Runner-Up
5 David Cook "The World I Know" (Collective Soul) Winner
6 David Archuleta "Imagine" (John Lennon) Runner-Up

Elimination chart

Female Male Top 24 Top 12 Winner
Safe Safe First Safe Last Eliminated
Stage: Semi Finals Finals
Week: 2/21 2/28 3/6 3/12 3/19 3/26 4/2 4/101 4/16 4/23 4/30 5/7 5/14 5/21
Place Contestant Result
1 David Cook Winner
2 David Archuleta Runner-Up
3 Syesha Mercado Bottom 3 Bottom 2 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 2 Elim
4 Jason Castro Bottom 3 Elim
5 Brooke White Bottom 3 Bottom 2 Elim
6 Carly Smithson Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Elim
7 Kristy Lee Cook Bottom 2 Bottom 2 Bottom 2 Elim
8 Michael Johns Elim
9 Ramiele Malubay Elim
10 Chikezie Elim
11 Amanda Overmyer Elim
12 David Hernandez Elim
13-16 Danny Noriega Elim
Asia'h Epperson
Luke Menard
Kady Malloy Bottom 3
17-20 Robbie Carrico Elim
Alaina Whitaker
Alexandréa Lushington
Jason Yeager
21-24 Colton Berry Elim
Joanne Borgella
Amy Davis
Garrett Haley

^Note 1 Due to the Idol Gives Back special airing on the show's regular Wednesday results night, which was April 9. The results show was moved to Thursday, April 10.

Results night performances

During the Hollywood weeks, "Hollywood's Not America" by Ferras played when contestants were eliminated, while "Best Days" by Graham Colton was the elimination song for the semi-finals round. For the finals, season 2 winner Ruben Studdard remade Kenny Loggins' "Celebrate Me Home" as the exit song.

Group song

The contestants also performed medleys of songs from that week's theme.


Other performances

Guest artists may perform songs to promote their work or the show itself, or for charitable purpose. Most performed on the result shows, except for Ruben Studdard at the end of the Top 2 performance show and those on the Idol Gives Back special. Included is a list of those songs with the impact of performance on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs chart for the week. See Idol Gives Back for the list of performances in that special episode.

Week Performer(s) Title Hot 100 Reaction
(chart position)
Hot Digital Songs Reaction[43]
(chart position, sales for week)
Top 24 Paula Abdul
Randy Jackson
"Dance Like There's No Tomorrow"
(video premiere)
62 (+18 - new peak) 36 - 32,215 (+559%)
Top 20 No guest performer
Top 16 Blake Lewis "How Many Words" 128 - 10,182 (+999%)
Top 12 Katharine McPhee
David Foster (piano)
"Something" No legal digital release
Top 11 Kellie Pickler "Red High Heels" Ineligible to re-enter
Top 10 Kimberley Locke "Fall"
Top 9 The Clark Brothers "This Little Light of Mine"
Dolly Parton "Jesus and Gravity"
Top 8 Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown "No Air" 3 (+4 - new peak) 4 - 153,648 (+34%)
Top 7 Elliott Yamin "Free"
Mariah Carey "Bye Bye" 23 (debut) 11 - 60,037 (+999%)
Top 6 Leona Lewis "Bleeding Love" 1 (4th week as number 1) 1 - 235,880 (+30%)
Top 5 Natasha Bedingfield "Pocketful of Sunshine" 8 (+11 - new peak) 4 - 134,830 (+110%)
Neil Diamond "Pretty Amazing Grace"
Top 4 Maroon 5 "If I Never See Your Face Again" 57 (debut) 21 - 42,983 (+999%)
Bo Bice "Witness"
Top 3 Fantasia "Bore Me (Yawn)" No legal digital release
Top 2 Ruben Studdard "Celebrate Me Home" —*
"—" denotes songs that did not chart

*"Celebrate Me Home" was removed from iTunes the day after it was performed. It reached the top 60 before it was removed.

Idol Gives Back

The "Idol Gives Back" initiative returned on April 9 for a second year, with a special start time of 7:30 p.m. ET, running for 150 minutes. Again, proceeds will go to children's charities in Africa and the United States. Unlike "Idol Gives Back 2007" when no finalist was eliminated (and two were eliminated in the following week), Michael Johns was eliminated during "Idol Gives Back 2008."


  • Season 7 contestant Carly Smithson stirred up controversy due to a prior major label record deal she had with MCA Records. It has been reported that MCA spent over 2 million dollars promoting Smithson's previous album "Ultimate High," which she made under the name Carly Hennessy. The album only sold 378 copies but is now available on iTunes. To further complicate things, Randy Jackson worked for MCA during the same period of time that Smithson was signed. The media noted that several of the other season 7 semi-finalists had previously also had record deals, including Kristy Lee Cook, Brooke White, and Michael Johns (David Cook released an independent solo album and had finished recording a follow-up prior to his audition for the show, but he was never involved with a record label or contract). According to a poll conducted by AOL Television, 63 percent of those polled believed that contestants who have already had record deals should not be contestants on American Idol.[44] However, Idol rules state that contestants are eligible as long as they are no longer under contract when Idol begins, irrespective of any past contracts.
  • David Hernandez was revealed by to have worked as a stripper in Phoenix, AZ. According to the owner of Dick's Cabaret, David's job included a routine featuring full nudity and performing lap dances for male clientele.[45]
  • On the April 29 show, the five remaining contestants each sang two songs. Diverting from their usual format, due to time constraints, the judges' critiques after each performance were instead to be bundled until after both songs were performed. However, after the first round had finished, host Ryan Seacrest asked for comments, and judge Paula Abdul, in discussing Jason Castro, delivered feedback on his second song before he had performed it. This has led to speculation that the show is scripted or rigged.[46] The next day, Abdul claimed on Seacrest's radio show that she listened to the performance in rehearsal and in the rushed atmosphere of the show was confused and thought she was supposed to critique both.[47]
  • The presence of David Archuleta's father was a matter of some discussion and he was banned from providing his son with musical input during his song preparation.[48]



During Season 7, American Idol partnered with iTunes to make available for sale exclusive performance videos, live performance singles of the semi-finalists and full-length studio recordings of the songs that contestants performed on the show. In order to keep the competition fair, these singles were not allowed to appear on iTunes sales charts until after the finale. The contestants' performances during the season were removed from sale soon after the finale.

The winning song, "The Time of My Life", was recorded by David Cook and released on May 22, 2008. The song was certified platinum by the RIAA on December 12, 2008.[49] It was the first winner's song not to be performed during the competition as the Top 2 each selected a different song from a list of 10 entries in song-writing competition to perform instead. Cook performed "The Time of My Life" after Ryan Seacrest announced him as the winner of Season 7.


David Cook's debut album was released on November 18, 2008, on 19 Recordings / RCA Records and was certified platinum by the RIAA on January 22, 2009.[49] Cook teamed with Grammy winning producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Kid Rock) on the album. A single from the album, "Light On", was released and peaked at 20 on the billboard top 100 list.[50] His sophomore album, This Loud Morning, was released on June 28, 2011.

David Archuleta signed with Jive Records and his self-titled debut album was released on November 11, 2008 and debuted at number two. Archuleta's album certified gold. Archuleta's first single, "Crush", debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Digital Songs chart, giving it the highest single debut of 2008 and the highest single debut in 18 months. The song has sold 1.9 million copies as of January 2009.[51]


Personal/Individual Albums


David Cook

David Archuleta

  • "Crush"
  • "A Little Too Not Over You"
  • "Touch My Hand"
  • "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" ft. Charice
  • "Something 'Bout Love"
  • "Elevator"
  • "Falling Stars"
  • "Everything And More"
  • "Wait"

Kristy Lee Cook

Brooke White

  • "Hold Up My Heart"
  • "Radio Radio"
  • "Double Trouble"
  • "Night After Night"

Jason Castro

  • "Let's Just Fall In Love Again"

U.S. Nielsen ratings

Season 7 of American Idol overall was the most watched primetime program in the United States for the fourth consecutive year, during the conclusion of the 2007-2008 television season. The Tuesday episode viewership averaged 27.665 million while the Wednesday episode averaged 26.843 million, taking the top 2 spots for the season.[52] The show helped Fox become the most watched overall television network in the U.S. for the first time in its history (as well as a record first for a non-Big Three major network in American television history), and lead the 18-49 demographic ratings with still-standing largest ever margin since the introduction of the people meter technology in the Nielsen nationwide television tallies during the 1985-1986 television season.[53]

Episode list
Show Episode Air date Week
Rating/Share 18-49
1 "Philadelphia Auditions"[54] January 15, 2008 3 17.7 / 26 13.8 / 32 33.415
2 "Dallas Auditions"[54] January 16, 2008 4 16.7 / 25 12.6 / 30 30.437
3 "San Diego Auditions"[55] January 22, 2008 1 16.2 / 24 11.8 / 29 29.274
4 "Charleston Auditions"[55] January 23, 2008 2 15.1 / 23 10.9 / 28 27.091
5 "Omaha Auditions"[56] January 29, 2008 4 15.7 / 24 11.1 / 28 28.223
6 "Miami Auditions"[56] January 30, 2008 5 14.4 / 22 10.1 / 26 25.573
7 "Atlanta Auditions"[57] February 5, 2008 1 15.7 / 23 11.2 / 28 27.914
8 "Best of the Rest"[57] February 6, 2008 2 14.6 / 23 10.5 / 26 26.278
9 "Hollywood Round, Part 1"[58] February 12, 2008 1 16.6 / 25 12.3 / 29 29.962
10 "Hollywood Round, Part 2"[58] February 13, 2008 2 14.3 / 22 9.8 / 26 24.752
11 "Top 12 Men Perform"[59] February 19, 2008 2 16.4 / 25 11.3 / 27 29.006
12 "Top 12 Women Perform"[59] February 20, 2008 3 16.1 / 24 11.2 / 27 28.885
13 "Top 24 Results"[59] February 21, 2008 4 13.4 / 21 8.5 / 22 23.374
14 "Top 10 Men Perform"[60] February 26, 2008 1 16.0 / 24 11.1 / 27 28.592
15 "Top 10 Women Perform"[60] February 27, 2008 2 15.7 / 24 10.5 / 27 27.553
16 "Top 20 Results"[60] February 28, 2008 3 14.9 / 23 9.1 / 24 26.232
17 "Top 8 Men Perform"[61] March 4, 2008 1 15.9 / 24 10.6 / 26 28.463
18 "Top 8 Women Perform"[61] March 5, 2008 2 16.0 / 25 10.4 / 27 28.324
19 "Top 12 Revealed"[61] March 6, 2008 3 15.0 / 23 9.4 / 24 26.502
20 "Top 12 Perform"[62] March 11, 2008 1 16.9 / 26 11.0 / 28 29.884
21 "Top 12 Results"[62] March 12, 2008 2 15.8 / 24 10.3 / 26 27.127
22 "Top 11 Perform"[63] March 18, 2008 1 15.2 / 23 10.4 / 26 27.338
23 "Top 11 Results"[63] March 19, 2008 2 15.3 / 24 9.8 / 25 26.078
24 "Top 10 Perform"[64] March 25, 2008 2 14.0 / 21 9.7 / 25 24.758
25 "Top 10 Results"[64] March 26, 2008 1 15.2 / 24 9.8 / 25 25.742
26 "Top 9 Perform"[65] April 1, 2008 1 14.7 / 23 9.6 / 26 26.117
27 "Top 9 Results"[65] April 2, 2008 2 14.8 / 22 9.4 / 23 24.839
28 "Top 8 Perform"[66] April 8, 2008 1 14.2 / 22 9.2 / 24 24.668
29 "Idol Gives Back"[66] April 9, 2008 6 10.4 / 16 6.8 / 18 17.751
30 "Top 8 Results"[66] April 10, 2008 2 12.0 / 19 7.0 / 19 20.133
31 "Top 7 Perform"[67] April 15, 2008 1 13.9 / 22 8.8 / 23 23.646
32 "Top 7 Results"[67] April 16, 2008 2 13.4 / 21 8.8 / 22 23.339
33 Top 6 Perform"[68] April 22, 2008 1 14.2 / 22 9.0 / 25 24.740
34 "Top 6 Results"[68] April 23, 2008 2 13.7 / 21 8.6 / 21 23.196
35 "Top 5 Perform"[69] April 29, 2008 1 14.5 / 23 9.0 / 24 25.094
36 "Top 5 Results"[69] April 30, 2008 2 13.6 / 21 8.4 / 21 22.800
37 "Top 4 Perform"[70] May 6, 2008 2 12.6 / 20 8.4 / 23 21.755
38 "Top 4 Results"[70] May 7, 2008 1 13.9 / 21 8.2 / 21 22.867
39 "Top 3 Perform"[71] May 13, 2008 2 14.4 / 23 9.0 / 25 24.772
40 "Top 3 Results"[71] May 14, 2008 1 14.6 / 22 9.2 / 22 24.863
41 "Top 2 Perform"[72] May 20, 2008 2 15.1 / 24 10.1 / 28 27.061
42 Season 7 Finale"[72] May 21, 2008 1 17.7 / 28 11.4 / 30 31.661

Contestants who appeared in other talent shows/seasons

  • Julie Dubela, who originally auditioned in Miami, but did not advance past through the Hollywood Round, competed in American Juniors and eliminated in the semi-final stage.
  • Mishavonna Henson, auditioned in season 7 and got cut during the Hollywood rounds, returned for the eighth season and made it in the top 36.
  • Colton Swon, who originally auditioned in Dallas, but he was cut in the last day of Hollywood Week, competed in the fourth season of The Voice with his older brother Zach as The Swon Brothers. They finished third.
  • Chris Watson, who originally auditioned in Philadelphia, but was cut in Las Vegas, returned for the twelfth season and made it in the top 40.
  • Danny Noriega would later compete on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race as Adore Delano in 2014 where he was runner-up. In 2016, Danny returned for the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars where he quit the competition in the second episode placing him ninth overall.


Michael Johns

Finalist Michael Johns died in Tustin, California on August 1, 2014.[73][74] On November 18, 2014, the coroner reported that Johns had died of dilated cardiomyopathy, which inhibited the flow of blood to his body and also caused his heart to enlarge.[75] A fatty liver also contributed to his death.[36]

Joanne Borgella

In October 2013, Semi-Finalist Joanne Borgella posted a video stating she had been diagnosed with cancer.[76] She said she was suffering from severe headaches and, upon going to the emergency room to determine the cause of those headaches, discovered that cancer had spread to her brain. Borgella died early on October 18, 2014, at age 32.[77]

See also


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  11. ^ American Idol Auditions - Charleston, SC
  12. ^ Fame, we're gonna live forever
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  16. ^ Making Miami Their Own
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  20. ^ American Idol: Glitter Girl Gets a Makeover!
  21. ^ Driver Charged for Killing American Idol Contestant in Hit-and-Run
  22. ^ American Idol: Journalist Richard Rushfield Pens "Idol" Tell-All Book
  23. ^ Riley, Heather (2008-03-17). "Danny Noriega Goes Cruising With Rosie O'Donnell". National Ledger. Archived from the original on 2008-04-29.
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External links

2008 in Philippine television

The following is a list of events affecting Philippine television in 2008. Events listed include television show debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel launches, closures and rebrandings, as well as information about controversies and carriage disputes.

A Little Too Not Over You

"A Little Too Not Over You" is the official second single by American Idol season 7 runner up David Archuleta, taken from his self-titled debut album. It released to radio on January 6, 2009.

On the Radio Disney Music Mailbag, this song got 99% of the votes to pick it.

Archuleta confirmed the song's release on his official MySpace page. The song charted on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles at number 14, having sold a total of 247,000 copies as of March 4, 2010.


Axium was a Missouri-based band once headed by American Idol season 7 winner David Cook. Their sound was described as Alice in Chains meets Tantric.

Chapter 6 (band)

Chapter 6 is a professional, all-male, a cappella, vocal ensemble which predominantly tours the United States. Composed of six vocalists and one arranger, Chapter 6 is the only vocal ensemble to win both the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (2001) and The National Harmony Sweepstakes (2004). Chapter 6 was featured on American Idol Season 7 in conjunction with bandmate Luke Menard’s “Top 16” run.Having received numerous A cappella Community Awards, including “Favorite Jazz Group,” Chapter 6 emerged from the collegiate entertainment industry, where The Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities’ audiences named the band "Entertainer of the Year" (2005), at the same time the band broke the all-time booking record for the National Association of Campus Activities. Prior to landing an agent, Chapter 6 made its start as the premiere a cappella ensemble at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois before winning its first competition in 2000.Since 2004, Chapter 6 has performed in theatrical pops programs with a variety of major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with the Symphonic Pops Consortium and Maestro Jack Everly.Their self-produced albums include two collegiate recordings and three professional recordings: “A cappella 101” (1999), “Chapter 6: Live” (2001), “ChristmasTime” (2002), “Swing Shift” (2004) and “With the Windows Down” (2008). Their "Wizard of Oz Medley” earned them a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (2005).In 2008, the band made its Asian debut in Hong Kong.Chapter 6, based in Illinois, is: Chuck Bosworth, Mark Grizzard, Jarrett Johnson, Luke Menard, John Musick, Nathan Pufall, and A.D. Stonecipher. Luke Menard was in the top 24 for American Idol Season 7, and made it to the top 16 before being eliminated.


Chikezie Ndubuisi Eze (; born September 11, 1985) is an American singer and the tenth place finalist on the seventh season of the television series American Idol.

Come Back to Me (David Cook song)

"Come Back to Me" is the second official single released from American Idol season 7 winner David Cook's major label debut studio album, David Cook (2008). It was released as a joint double-A single with "Bar-ba-sol".

David Hernandez (singer)

'David Anthony Hernandez (born May 31, 1983) is an American singer and the twelfth place finalist of FOX's seventh season of the television series American Idol. He moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue his music career after his time on American Idol.


Ferras Alqaisi ( fə-RAHSS; born July 2, 1982) is an American singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. He is well known for his single "Hollywood's Not America" from his debut album Aliens & Rainbows, which was featured as the exit song during the semi-final round of American Idol season 7. He is signed with Unsub Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records founded by Katy Perry, being the first artist to sign with her label. In June 2014 he released his self-titled EP through the label.

Heart on My Sleeve

"Heart on My Sleeve" is a song written by James Morrison and John Shanks. It was first released by American Idol season 7 contestant Michael Johns from his post-Idol album, Hold Back My Heart. The single was released on iTunes, on 14 April 2009. The song was later recorded by Olly Murs and released on 6 March 2011 as his third single from his debut album Olly Murs.

Heartbreak Express

Heartbreak Express in the twenty-fifth solo studio album by Dolly Parton. It was released on March 29, 1982, by RCA Records. The album returned Parton to a more fully realized country sound (a process she had begun on the previous year's 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs), after her late 1970s pop recordings. The album's first single, "Single Women", a slow-tempo honkytonk ballad about a singles bar, was written by Saturday Night Live writer Michael O'Donoghue, and had previously appeared in an SNL skit in late 1980. The single provided a top ten single for Parton. The title cut also was a top ten hit for her. "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" (a song Parton had written in the early 1970s but had never officially recorded) appeared as a double-A-sided single (along with Parton's rerecording of "I Will Always Love You" from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Soundtrack), and reached #1 on the country charts in August 1982.

"Hollywood Potters", Parton has explained to interviewers, came out of her experience filming the movie Nine to Five, as Parton watched many of the film's extras and bit players, who had worked very hard at acting through the years, but with very little success.

The song, "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind," was performed by American Idol (season 7) finalist Ramiele Malubay in 2008. She sang the song during the Dolly Parton tribute week. A studio version of her cover was released on the iTunes Store as "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (American Idol Studio Version) - Single" in 2008. Heartbreak Express was re-released in digital format in 2013.

The album is now out of print.

Hold Up My Heart

"Hold Up My Heart" is the first single from American Idol season 7 contestant Brooke White's post-Idol album, High Hopes & Heartbreak. It was released on iTunes on February 25, 2009. White performed the song on the second results show of the 8th season of American Idol. It debuted at number 47 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Light On

"Light On" is the first official single released from American Idol season 7 winner David Cook's major label debut studio album, David Cook (2008). It was released through RCA Records on September 30, 2008. The song reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Michael Johns

Michael Johns may refer to:

Michael Johns (policy analyst) (born 1964), American business executive, federal government official and writer

Michael Johns (singer) (1978–2014), Australian singer/songwriter and American Idol season 7 finalist

Murray High School (Utah)

Murray High School is the only high school in the Murray City School District in Murray, Utah. Murray High School is one of the smallest high schools in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area with 1,465 students enrolled in the 2016–17 school year. The school enrolls students in grades 10–12. The school's mascot is the Spartan, and the school colors are orange and black. Murray High is a 5-A school in Utah's 6 Division high school sports leagues (1A being the smallest, and 6A being the largest). The Disney Channel reality show High School Musical: Get in the Picture was shot on the Murray High campus in 2008, and American Idol season 7 runner-up David Archuleta attended the school. The school also offers the highest number of Salt Lake Community College Concurrent Enrollment classes in the state of Utah.

Renaldo Lapuz

Renaldo (Reynaldo) Lapuz (born December 18, 1962) is a Filipino-American who auditioned on the seventh season of the television series American Idol, singing the self-written song "We're Brothers Forever."

Selma, Oregon

Selma is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Josephine County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 695. It is located in the ZIP code of 97538.

Shattered Dreams

"Shattered Dreams" is a song by English group Johnny Hates Jazz. Written by the band's lead singer Clark Datchler, their major-label debut single was a worldwide hit.

"Shattered Dreams" entered the UK Singles Chart in March 1987 at #92 but gained popularity through extensive radio play and video rotation on MTV and quickly climbed the charts, peaking at #5 in May 1987, spending three weeks at that position and a total of 16 weeks in the chart. It went on to become a top 20 hit throughout Europe, and even reached the top 10 in some countries.

The song fared even better the following year in the U.S. There, "Shattered Dreams" was released early in 1988 with a totally different music video, shot entirely in black and white and directed by David Fincher, which Datchler actually preferred. The single peaked at #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for one week and #2 for three non-consecutive weeks on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, kept from the top spot by "Anything for You" by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine and also "One More Try" by George Michael (both of which topped the Adult Contemporary chart themselves, for three weeks each). A midtempo club remix of the track was released on 12" vinyl.

Billboard magazine ranked "Shattered Dreams" as the #26 song of the year 1988 in their December 31 issue.Clark Datchler and the group would soon part, and Datchler released an acoustic version of the song as a track on his 1990 Virgin solo single "Crown of Thorns." He later re-recorded a slower version on his 2007 album "Tomorrow" in C minor.

The song has been covered by boyband Ultra, on its UK Top 40 eponymous album in 1999; by House artist Jaybee in 2005; by Russian pop star Sergey Lazarev in 2007; and in 2009 by Quentin Elias, former singer for French boyband Alliage, House artist Vibelicious and by American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook during his Declaration tour.

The Last Song I'll Write for You

"The Last Song I'll Write for You" is a song recorded by American Idol season 7 winner and singer-songwriter David Cook. It was released independently as a single through Cook's imprint Analog Heart Music on May 4, 2012, following his departure from RCA Records.

Ultimate High

Ultimate High is the debut album of Irish-born singer Carly Smithson, released under her maiden name Carly Hennessy in 2001 by MCA Records. It failed to find an audience despite getting good reviews and MCA Records spending over $2 million on the production and promotion of the album, and became a textbook example for the economics of today's music industry.

The song "Just Missed the Train" was later covered by American Idol season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson in her debut album Thankful. Oddly enough, Hennessy later auditioned for American Idol season 7 under her husband's last name Smithson, finishing in 6th place.

Two singles were released off the album: "I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind" and "Beautiful You".

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