Google


AI Season 2

[back to top] Contestants

Finalists
Place Name / Hometown #Ep #Pf. Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
1
Studdard RubenRuben Studdard
Birmingham, AL
12 18
62.9
 
90 39 16.8 0 1 9 5 3
2
Aiken ClayClay Aiken
Raleigh, NC
13 19
68.2
 
93 16 16.3 1 1 3 7 7
3
Locke KimberleyKimberley Locke
Hartsville, TN
11 15
63.8
 
91 34 16.3 0 2 3 5 5
4
Gracin JoshJosh Gracin
Westland, MI
10 12
42.6
 
81 9 15.8 3 2 4 2 1
5
TrenyceTrenyce
Memphis, TN
10 11
64.6
 
87 37 17.6 0 1 3 4 3
6
Rasmusen CarmenCarmen Rasmusen
Woods Cross, UT
8 8
28.9
 
52 8 17.4 2 4 2 0 0
7
Caldwell KimKim Caldwell
Katy, TX
8 8
44.8
 
66 16 17.4 1 2 3 2 0
8
Smith RickeyRickey Smith
Keene, TX
6 6
39.8
 
51 19 21.7 1 1 4 0 0
10
Demato JuliaJulia Demato
Brookfield, CT
4 4
38.0
 
70 19 17.8 1 2 0 1 0
11
Grigsby CharlesCharles Grigsby
Oberlin, OH
3 3
36.3
 
54 26 18.3 0 2 1 0 0
12
Olivarez VanessaVanessa Olivarez
Atlanta, GA
2 2
58.0
 
74 42 19.0 0 0 1 1 0
300 DQ
Clark CoreyCorey Clark
San Bernardino, CA
4 4
37.3
 
64 21 20.3 0 3 0 1 0
Place Name / Hometown Avg. Rtg. SF FI Solo Lo1 Growth #Ep. B3 SAge FFact RFact
1
Studdard RubenRuben Studdard
Birmingham, AL
62.9 81.0 61.8 62.9 39.0 -2.21 12 1 28.8 n/a n/a
2
Aiken ClayClay Aiken
Raleigh, NC
68.2 79.0 66.9 68.2 16.0 -1.25 13 0 27.3 n/a n/a
3
Locke KimberleyKimberley Locke
Hartsville, TN
63.8 81.0 62.6 63.8 34.0 -1.08 11 4 28.8 n/a n/a
4
Gracin JoshJosh Gracin
Westland, MI
42.6 81.0 39.1 42.6 9.0 -3.09 10 2 20.5 n/a n/a
5
TrenyceTrenyce
Memphis, TN
64.6 73.0 62.8 64.6 37.0 -1.26 10 4 18.9 n/a n/a
6
Rasmusen CarmenCarmen Rasmusen
Woods Cross, UT
28.9 22.0 29.9 28.9 8.0 -2.15 8 3 18.6 n/a n/a
7
Caldwell KimKim Caldwell
Katy, TX
44.8 55.5 41.2 44.8 16.0 -5.17 8 3 20.5 n/a n/a
8
Smith RickeyRickey Smith
Keene, TX
39.8 46.0 38.6 39.8 19.0 -2.77 6 2 23.0 n/a n/a
10
Demato JuliaJulia Demato
Brookfield, CT
38.0 70.0 27.3 38.0 19.0 -14.20 4 3 24.3 n/a n/a
11
Grigsby CharlesCharles Grigsby
Oberlin, OH
36.3 54.0 27.5 36.3 26.0 n/a 3 1 26.7 n/a n/a
12
Olivarez VanessaVanessa Olivarez
Atlanta, GA
58.0 74.0 42.0 58.0 42.0 n/a 2 1 30.0 n/a n/a
300 DQ
Clark CoreyCorey Clark
San Bernardino, CA
37.3 64.0 28.3 37.3 21.0 -11.90 4 1 26.0 n/a n/a
Place Name / Hometown Avg. Rtg. HTH W L T Pct Strk Solo
1
Studdard RubenRuben Studdard
Birmingham, AL
62.9 30 18 11 1 0.617 8 8
2
Aiken ClayClay Aiken
Raleigh, NC
68.2 23 21 2 0 0.913 12 12
3
Locke KimberleyKimberley Locke
Hartsville, TN
63.8 28 13 15 0 0.464 6 6
4
Gracin JoshJosh Gracin
Westland, MI
42.6 24 18 6 0 0.750 3 3
5
TrenyceTrenyce
Memphis, TN
64.6 25 21 4 0 0.840 4 4
6
Rasmusen CarmenCarmen Rasmusen
Woods Cross, UT
28.9 13 6 7 0 0.462 1 1
7
Caldwell KimKim Caldwell
Katy, TX
44.8 9 6 3 0 0.667 1 1
8
Smith RickeyRickey Smith
Keene, TX
39.8 6 5 1 0 0.833 1 1
10
Demato JuliaJulia Demato
Brookfield, CT
38.0 5 4 1 0 0.800 1 1
11
Grigsby CharlesCharles Grigsby
Oberlin, OH
36.3 5 4 1 0 0.800 1 1
12
Olivarez VanessaVanessa Olivarez
Atlanta, GA
58.0 6 2 4 0 0.333 1 1
300 DQ
Clark CoreyCorey Clark
San Bernardino, CA
37.3 9 3 6 0 0.333 1 1
Semifinalists
Place Name / Hometown #Ep #Pf. Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
200 SF
Adams J.D.J.D. Adams
Burbank, CA
1 1
35.0
 
35 35 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Barber JuanitaJuanita Barber
Memphis, TN
1 1
2.0
 
2 2 6.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Bond RebeccaRebecca Bond
Phoenix, AZ
1 1
33.0
 
33 33 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Chibiliti SylviaSylvia Chibiliti
Sacramento, CA
1 1
19.0
 
19 19 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Cohen SamanthaSamantha Cohen
Boulder, CO
1 1
39.0
 
39 39 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Coleman CandiceCandice Coleman
Toledo, OH
1 1
38.0
 
38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Coleman EquoiaEquoia Coleman
Memphis, TN
1 1
47.0
 
47 47 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
200 SF
Cooney AliceynAliceyn Cooney
Columbus, IN
1 1
61.0
 
61 61 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
200 SF
Days ChipChip Days
Hartsville, SC
2 2
55.5
 
57 54 13.5 0 0 2 0 0
200 SF
Denton MeoshaMeosha Denton
Murfreesboro, TN
1 1
31.0
 
31 31 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Falsone JanineJanine Falsone
Staten Island, NY
1 1
22.0
 
22 22 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Fortson PatrickPatrick Fortson
Terre Haute, IN
1 1
28.0
 
28 28 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
Fuentes JenniferJennifer Fuentes
Homestead, FL
1 1
19.0
 
19 19 20.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Gazzara LouisLouis Gazzara
Folsom, NJ
1 1
25.0
 
25 25 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
200 SF
HadasHadas
Woodland Hills, CA
1 1
54.0
 
54 54 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
200 SF
Hartman AshleyAshley Hartman
Orange County, CA
1 1
16.0
 
16 16 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Kelsey KimberlyKimberly Kelsey
Macon, GA
1 1
56.0
 
56 56 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
200 SF
Lake PatrickPatrick Lake
Athens, GA
1 1
42.0
 
42 42 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
200 SF
Mojica OliviaOlivia Mojica
Royse City, TX
1 1
17.0
 
17 17 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Richardson BettisBettis Richardson
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
1 1
11.0
 
11 11 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Segundo JordanJordan Segundo
Honolulu, HI
1 1
45.0
 
45 45 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
200 SF
Siddall NashekaNasheka Siddall
New York, NY
2 2
34.5
 
46 23 16.0 0 1 1 0 0
200 SF
Smalley Jacob JohnJacob John Smalley
Edmond, OK
1 1
8.0
 
8 8 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
200 SF
Trice GeorgeGeorge Trice
Henderson, TN
1 1
32.0
 
32 32 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
Place Name / Hometown Avg. Rtg. SF FI Solo Lo1 Growth #Ep. B3 SAge FFact RFact
200 SF
Adams J.D.J.D. Adams
Burbank, CA
35.0 35.0 n/a 35.0 35.0 n/a 1 0 30.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Barber JuanitaJuanita Barber
Memphis, TN
2.0 2.0 n/a 2.0 2.0 n/a 1 0 8.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Bond RebeccaRebecca Bond
Phoenix, AZ
33.0 33.0 n/a 33.0 33.0 n/a 1 0 17.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Chibiliti SylviaSylvia Chibiliti
Sacramento, CA
19.0 19.0 n/a 19.0 19.0 n/a 1 0 16.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Cohen SamanthaSamantha Cohen
Boulder, CO
39.0 39.0 n/a 39.0 39.0 n/a 1 0 27.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Coleman CandiceCandice Coleman
Toledo, OH
38.0 38.0 n/a 38.0 38.0 n/a 1 0 35.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Coleman EquoiaEquoia Coleman
Memphis, TN
47.0 47.0 n/a 47.0 47.0 n/a 1 0 30.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Cooney AliceynAliceyn Cooney
Columbus, IN
61.0 61.0 n/a 61.0 61.0 n/a 1 0 4.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Days ChipChip Days
Hartsville, SC
55.5 55.5 n/a 55.5 54.0 n/a 2 0 28.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Denton MeoshaMeosha Denton
Murfreesboro, TN
31.0 31.0 n/a 31.0 31.0 n/a 1 0 6.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Falsone JanineJanine Falsone
Staten Island, NY
22.0 22.0 n/a 22.0 22.0 n/a 1 0 19.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Fortson PatrickPatrick Fortson
Terre Haute, IN
28.0 28.0 n/a 28.0 28.0 n/a 1 0 7.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Fuentes JenniferJennifer Fuentes
Homestead, FL
19.0 19.0 n/a 19.0 19.0 n/a 1 0 16.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Gazzara LouisLouis Gazzara
Folsom, NJ
25.0 25.0 n/a 25.0 25.0 n/a 1 0 20.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
HadasHadas
Woodland Hills, CA
54.0 54.0 n/a 54.0 54.0 n/a 1 0 27.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Hartman AshleyAshley Hartman
Orange County, CA
16.0 16.0 n/a 16.0 16.0 n/a 1 0 30.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Kelsey KimberlyKimberly Kelsey
Macon, GA
56.0 56.0 n/a 56.0 56.0 n/a 1 0 7.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Lake PatrickPatrick Lake
Athens, GA
42.0 42.0 n/a 42.0 42.0 n/a 1 0 14.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Mojica OliviaOlivia Mojica
Royse City, TX
17.0 17.0 n/a 17.0 17.0 n/a 1 0 7.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Richardson BettisBettis Richardson
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
11.0 11.0 n/a 11.0 11.0 n/a 1 0 9.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Segundo JordanJordan Segundo
Honolulu, HI
45.0 45.0 n/a 45.0 45.0 n/a 1 0 8.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Siddall NashekaNasheka Siddall
New York, NY
34.5 34.5 n/a 34.5 23.0 n/a 2 0 9.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Smalley Jacob JohnJacob John Smalley
Edmond, OK
8.0 8.0 n/a 8.0 8.0 n/a 1 0 6.0 n/a n/a
200 SF
Trice GeorgeGeorge Trice
Henderson, TN
32.0 32.0 n/a 32.0 32.0 n/a 1 0 38.0 n/a n/a
Place Name / Hometown Avg. Rtg. HTH W L T Pct Strk Solo
200 SF
Adams J.D.J.D. Adams
Burbank, CA
35.0 4 1 3 0 0.250 0 0
200 SF
Barber JuanitaJuanita Barber
Memphis, TN
2.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Bond RebeccaRebecca Bond
Phoenix, AZ
33.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Chibiliti SylviaSylvia Chibiliti
Sacramento, CA
19.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Cohen SamanthaSamantha Cohen
Boulder, CO
39.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Coleman CandiceCandice Coleman
Toledo, OH
38.0 6 0 6 0 0.000 0 0
200 SF
Coleman EquoiaEquoia Coleman
Memphis, TN
47.0 1 0 0 1 0.500 0 0
200 SF
Cooney AliceynAliceyn Cooney
Columbus, IN
61.0 3 3 0 0 1.000 1 1
200 SF
Days ChipChip Days
Hartsville, SC
55.5 5 3 2 0 0.600 2 2
200 SF
Denton MeoshaMeosha Denton
Murfreesboro, TN
31.0 2 1 1 0 0.500 0 0
200 SF
Falsone JanineJanine Falsone
Staten Island, NY
22.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Fortson PatrickPatrick Fortson
Terre Haute, IN
28.0 1 0 1 0 0.000 0 0
200 SF
Fuentes JenniferJennifer Fuentes
Homestead, FL
19.0 5 0 5 0 0.000 0 0
200 SF
Gazzara LouisLouis Gazzara
Folsom, NJ
25.0 4 1 3 0 0.250 0 0
200 SF
HadasHadas
Woodland Hills, CA
54.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 1 1
200 SF
Hartman AshleyAshley Hartman
Orange County, CA
16.0 1 0 1 0 0.000 0 0
200 SF
Kelsey KimberlyKimberly Kelsey
Macon, GA
56.0 2 1 1 0 0.500 1 1
200 SF
Lake PatrickPatrick Lake
Athens, GA
42.0 1 1 0 0 1.000 0 0
200 SF
Mojica OliviaOlivia Mojica
Royse City, TX
17.0 2 1 1 0 0.500 0 0
200 SF
Richardson BettisBettis Richardson
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
11.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Segundo JordanJordan Segundo
Honolulu, HI
45.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Siddall NashekaNasheka Siddall
New York, NY
34.5 3 0 3 0 0.000 0 0
200 SF
Smalley Jacob JohnJacob John Smalley
Edmond, OK
8.0 0 0 0 0 n/a 0 0
200 SF
Trice GeorgeGeorge Trice
Henderson, TN
32.0 3 1 2 0 0.333 0 0

[back to top] Episodes

Pre-finals
Date Episode / Theme #Cn. #Pf. Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
37656 Feb 4, 2003
Open
8 8
45.1
 
70 11 19.3 1 3 1 3 0
37663 Feb 11, 2003
Open
8 8
47.8
 
81 8 16.4 2 2 1 1 2
37670 Feb 18, 2003
Open
8 8
45.5
 
74 25 22.9 0 3 4 1 0
37677 Feb 25, 2003
Open
8 8
40.5
 
81 2 13.1 3 0 3 1 1
37684 Mar 4, 2003
Open
9 9
46.3
 
90 17 15.7 1 3 2 1 2
Date Episode / Theme Avg. Rtg. Solo SR In SR Out CR XFact SAge FFact RFact
37656 Feb 4, 2003
Open
45.1 45.1 n/a 45.1 45.1 n/a 15.1 100% 0.00
37663 Feb 11, 2003
Open
47.8 47.8 45.1 46.4 47.8 n/a 27.3 88% 0.13
37670 Feb 18, 2003
Open
45.5 45.5 46.4 46.1 45.5 n/a 20.4 88% 0.13
37677 Feb 25, 2003
Open
40.5 40.5 46.1 44.7 40.5 n/a 15.9 75% 0.38
37684 Mar 4, 2003
Open
46.3 46.3 44.7 45.1 46.6 -13.67 18.1 78% 0.22
Finals
Date Episode / Theme #Cn. #Pf. Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
12 12
51.3
 
82 29 17.9 0 4 4 2 2
37698 Mar 18, 2003
Movie Hits
11 11
53.6
 
90 19 13.5 1 3 2 2 3
37705 Mar 25, 2003
Country Rock
10 10
46.7
 
80 28 22.7 0 5 3 1 1
37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
8 8
47.5
 
77 9 17.9 2 1 2 3 0
37719 Apr 8, 2003
Billboard #1 Hits
8 8
50.6
 
87 11 18.8 2 0 2 3 1
37726 Apr 15, 2003
Billy Joel
7 7
54.3
 
91 8 14.9 1 1 2 2 1
37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
6 6
48.0
 
73 14 14.3 1 1 2 2 0
37740 Apr 29, 2003
1960s / Neil Sedaka
5 10
60.6
 
93 15 15.2 1 1 3 2 3
37747 May 6, 2003
Bee Gees Songs
4 8
53.4
 
87 20 18.3 0 2 3 2 1
37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
3 9
54.4
 
88 16 17.7 1 0 4 3 1
37761 May 20, 2003
Finale
2 6
54.0
 
86 39 15.8 0 2 3 0 1
Date Episode / Theme Avg. Rtg. Solo SR In SR Out CR XFact SAge FFact RFact
37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
51.3 51.3 45.1 46.5 57.9 -13.79 38.3 83% 0.25
37698 Mar 18, 2003
Movie Hits
53.6 53.6 46.5 47.7 56.5 -4.29 17.4 100% 0.00
37705 Mar 25, 2003
Country Rock
46.7 46.7 47.7 47.6 55.9 -11.79 14.0 100% 0.00
37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
47.5 47.5 47.6 47.6 58.1 -12.94 25.0 88% 0.13
37719 Apr 8, 2003
Billboard #1 Hits
50.6 50.6 47.6 47.8 57.0 -7.43 14.6 100% 0.00
37726 Apr 15, 2003
Billy Joel
54.3 54.3 47.8 48.3 58.7 -5.12 22.4 100% 0.00
37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
48.0 48.0 48.3 48.3 59.5 -13.06 6.5 100% 0.00
37740 Apr 29, 2003
1960s / Neil Sedaka
60.6 60.6 48.3 49.4 64.5 -5.00 34.4 100% 0.00
37747 May 6, 2003
Bee Gees Songs
53.4 53.4 49.4 49.6 62.6 -11.08 29.5 100% 0.13
37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
54.4 54.4 49.6 50.0 66.5 -14.88 34.9 89% 0.11
37761 May 20, 2003
Finale
54.0 54.0 50.0 50.1 66.2 -13.78 31.0 83% 0.17

[back to top] Ratings Distribution

Total of 136 performances
  4
 
12
 
13
 
18
 
19
 
22
 
16
 
13
 
14
 
5
 
 
  9- 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90+  

[back to top] Top Performances

Highest-Rated Performances
Highest-Rated Performances
1
Build Me Up Buttercup0001Build Me Up Buttercup
93
 
2
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92
 
3
New York State Of Mind0001New York State Of Mind
91
 
4
Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me0001Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
90
 
A Whole New World0001A Whole New World
90
 
6
Band Of Gold0001Band Of Gold
88
 
7
I Have Nothing0001I Have Nothing
87
 
Kiss And Say Goodbye0001Kiss And Say Goodbye
87
 
To Love Somebody0001To Love Somebody
87
 
10
Bridge Over Troubled Water0001Bridge Over Troubled Water
86
 
Lowest-Rated Performances
Lowest-Rated Performances
1
What About The Children0001What About The Children
2
 
2
Anytime0001Anytime
8
 
And So It Goes0001And So It Goes
8
 
4
Celebration0001Celebration
9
 
5
Thank You0001Thank You
11
 
Call Me0001Call Me
11
 
7
Thats When Ill Stop Loving You0001That's When I'll Stop Loving You
14
 
8
Bad Blood0001Bad Blood
15
 
9
Touch Me In The Morning0001Touch Me In The Morning
16
 
Everything I Do I Do It For You0001(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
16
 
Vincent0001Vincent
16
 

[back to top] Summary

Was American Idol's successful first season a sign that the producers were on to something big, or was it just a one-shot anomaly from a bored America looking for anything decent to watch on summer TV?  Season Two would hold the answers.

The producers assembled an eclectic cast of 32 semifinalists, drawn from widely-attended auditions in seven cities.  Controversy erupted almost immediately: early fan favorite Frenchie Davis was dismissed after the Hollywood round for having once posed for explicit photos that appeared on an adult website.  Davis's spot in the Final 32 was taken by Juanita Barber, whose rendition of What About The Children on the Group 4 Semifinal episode remains a memorable part of both Idol and WhatNotToSing.com lore...though perhaps not for the best of reasons.

None of the pre-finals episodes rated at 50 or higher.  Group 2 was notable for producing 5-star performances from Ruben Studdard and Kimberley Locke, thus relegating the third-highest rated performer that evening...a geeky North Carolinia special-ed teacher named Clay Aiken...to the wildcard episode.  Whereupon, more controversy ensued.  Rather than bring back only Top 32 contestants, the producers invited four Hollywood eliminees – all young, pretty, and female – to join five returning semifinalists.  Though the Idolsphere felt that Aliceyn Cooney was clearly tops among the four newcomers that evening, Simon Cowell unexpectedly chose Carmen Rasmusen to advance, joining Kim Caldwell (Randy's choice), Trenyce (Paula's choice) and Aiken (voters' choice) in the Top 12.

Pink-haired Vanessa Olivarez was eliminated on Motown Week, in which Aiken and Trenyce became the first pair of contestants to post 5-star ratings in back-to-back weeks, a feat that wasn't duplicated until Season Six.  Amazingly, they turned the trick again on Movie Songs Week, a feat that might not be duplicated until Season Gazillion.  Studdard joined them at 5-stars, and in fact the three performances were sequential – the first instance of back-to-back-to-back 5-star numbers on the Idol stage (it would be five years before it happened again.)  Charles Grigsby was voted off.  Locke's I Can't Make You Love Me highlighted a lackluster Country Rock Week in which Julia DeMato was sent home.

Right on cue came this month's annual installment of controversy: Corey Clark was disqualified for allegedly failing to disclose to the producers that he'd been arrested in December following a domestic disturbance.  That necessitated two straight Final 8 episodes to remain on the series' schedule.  No one was eliminated on Disco Week, although a Bottom 3 was announced: Locke, Rasmusen, and Trenyce.  Then, on Billboard #1 Hits Week, America voted off Rickey Smith even though both Caldwell and Rasmusen turned in 1-star numbers.

Billy Joel was the featured artist the following week, which featured one of the highest-rated performances in Idol history, Locke's New York State Of Mind, at 92.  Rasmusen, meanwhile, survived her second consecutive one-star performance as Caldwell was sent home.  The Utah native's rating improved during Diane Warren Week, but her luck finally ran out as she became the seventh finalist eliminated.  The Final 5 would be Aiken, Locke, Studdard, Trenyce, and Joshua Gracin, USMC.

Aiken had been on a long run of good but not great performances, but that was about to change.  During 1960s / Neil Sedaka Week, he busted out with two showstoppers: an uncharacteristically energetic Build Me Up Buttercup, and a dramatic, near-flawless Solitaire.  Coming in at 94 and 92 respectively, Aiken remains the only contestant to break 90 twice in the same week.  Although Trenyce had two 4-star numbers herself, she was suprisingly sent home the next night.  Gracin was eliminated during Bee Gees Week   despite taking To Love Somebody to a solid 68, his first 4-star performance in almost two months.  Aiken had sung the same song to an 88 earlier in the episode, but his nightcap performance, Grease, was rather less well received.

Aiken and Studdard were the clear front-runners at this point and were in the midst of a string of seven consecutive episodes in which they were chosen for the anchor (show-closing) performance...a fact that didn't sit well at all with fans of Locke.  At 89, her Band Of Gold was the highest-rated performance of Final 3 Week.  Studdard, meanwhile, had three songs rating around average, while Aiken let loose a painful, lyrics-challenged rendition of Vincent that came in at a shocking 15.  No matter – Locke was eliminated, and Aiken and Studdard moved on to the Finale.

"Ruben vs. Clay": 25 million people tuned in to watch the AI2 Finale.  The first five performances were all rated at 3-stars or close, but Aiken's final number, Bridge Over Troubled Water, complete with choir, closed the show with a strong 86.  Naturally, AI2 couldn't get through its final few hours without one last controversy for the road: though 24 million votes were cast, vastly more were dropped owing to overloaded circuits.  (Wikipedia cites the ratio at six drops for every one completed call.)  And by a margin of 130,000 votes, the second American Idol was Ruben Studdard.

What We Thought

Quite honestly, the many controversies surrounding Idol this season kind of wore us down by the end.  We didn't even mention the rumored backstage fights and feuds, the alleged near-mutiny by the finalists over their contracts, the usual outrage about some of the voting results, and a bunch of other nonsense then and since that we'll leave to the tabloids and gossip sites.

Through it all, though, Team Turmoil delivered a solid season of performances.  Season Two owns the highest average approval rating of the first seven years.  Aiken's 68.5 average rating led the way, with Locke, Studdard, and Trenyce also coming in (deservedly, we'd say) with 4-star averages.  Even the four contestants who finished with 2-star figures – Clark, Demato, Grigsby, and Rasmusen – seem to us a slight cut above other seasons' also-rans.  Each of the Final 12 turned in at least one above-average rated performance.  You might think at first that's nothing special, but it didn't happen again until Season Seven.

For what it's worth, we consider it a tossup between Studdard's "A Whole New World" and Locke's "New York State Of Mind" as the best of the season.  Aiken earns a special achievement award for his twin triumphs in the Final 5; we have a feeling that his 93 average in a multi-song week will stand as the record for a very, very long time.

WhatNotToSing.com copyright © 2007-2017, The WNTS Team.  All rights reserved.  Use of this website implies that you accept our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.  American Idol is a registered trademark of 19 TV Ltd.  We are not affiliated in any way with American Idol, Fox Television, FremantleMedia North America, or any of their parent or subsidiary companies.