American Idol (season 6)

American Idol
Season 6
Broadcast from January 16 – May 23, 2007
Judges Paula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Randy Jackson
Host(s) Ryan Seacrest
Broadcaster Fox Broadcasting Company
Finals venue Kodak Theatre
Jordin Sparks

Sparks in the American Idol Experience motorcade at Walt Disney World
Origin Glendale, Arizona, U.S.
Song "This Is My Now"
Genre(s) Pop, R&B
Blake Lewis

The sixth season of American Idol premiered on the Fox Broadcasting Company as a two-night, four-hour premiere special on January 16 and January 17, and ran until May 23, 2007. Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson returned to judge once again, and Ryan Seacrest returned as host. A new record of 74 million votes were cast in the finale round, and a new record of 609 million votes were cast in the entire season (the seasonal total record was surpassed by the tenth season and the finale vote record was broken by the eleventh season). Jordin Sparks won the competition with Blake Lewis as the first runner-up and Melinda Doolittle finishing third. Jordin Sparks is also the youngest winner of the competition, winning at age 17, as well as the first winner from outside the Southern United States. Sparks remained the last female winner until the twelfth season.

Regional auditions

The Auditions were held in the following cities:

Episode Air Date Audition City Date First Audition Venue Callback Date Callback Venue Golden Tickets
January 16, 2007 Minneapolis, Minnesota September 8, 2006 Target Center September 12, 2006 Minneapolis Convention Center[1] 17
January 17, 2007 Seattle, Washington September 19, 2006 KeyArena October 2–3, 2006 W Hotel[2] 14
January 23, 2007 Memphis, Tennessee September 3, 2006 FedEx Forum October 5–6, 2006 Memphis Cook Convention Center[3] 22
January 24, 2007 New York City, New York August 14, 2006 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford August 30, 2006 Chelsea Piers, New York[4] 35
January 30, 2007 Birmingham, Alabama August 21, 2006 Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex September 29–30, 2006 Sheraton Hotel[5] 20
January 31, 2007 Los Angeles, California August 6, 2006 Rose Bowl, Pasadena September 26, 2006 Millennium Biltmore Hotel[6] 40
February 6, 2007 San Antonio, Texas August 11, 2006 Alamodome August 26, 2006 Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center[7] 24
Total Tickets to Hollywood 172

Auditioning contestants were required to be between the ages 16 and 28 on August 6, 2006 (born between August 7, 1977 and August 6, 1990). Guest judges were used for audition this season.[8]

Guest judges
Jewel – Minneapolis audition
Carole Bayer Sager – New York audition
Olivia Newton-John – Los Angeles audition

Many of the people who auditioned had trouble with the double doors, with many often going towards the wrong door on their way out; this was spoofed by Idol later in the season with "audition footage" featuring Tony Bennett. This did not seem to be a problem for the seventh season as both doors were accessible.

An elderly man named Sherman Pore auditioned in Los Angeles this year after a successful petition drive to convince the producers to waive the age-limit rule so he can audition. He explained that he did it to ease the pain and suffering of his female companion who was dying of cancer, but had died shortly before he can audition before the judges.[6] He later released an album for the benefit of cancer research.[9] Another contestant that year was Melissa Sgambelluri, also known as "Fountain girl" for her appearance in the promo and opening sequence celebrating in a fountain after winning her golden ticket.

Jordin Sparks, the eventual winner this season, failed to pass through her audition in Los Angeles,[10] but later won an audition in Seattle as a reward for winning a local Fox-affiliate-sponsored contest called Arizona Idol.[11]

Hollywood week

The Hollywood rounds of the audition process were held over four days in November 2006 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.

The first round consisted of each contestant singing one song a capella of their own choosing in front of the judges and all the other contestants of the same gender. Contestants were then told whether they were moving on or going home, in groups of six. This extended over the first two days, first females, then males.

The second round took place on the second and third day, and consisted of groups of three or four contestants choosing, rehearsing, and then performing one of nine pre-selected songs. Groups were reviewed and contestants were then judged individually as to whether they were moving on or going home.

The third round took place on the fourth day, and consisted of individual contestants performing a song from a pre-selected list, accompanied by a piano and backup singers. Contestants were again informed of whether they had made the cut or not.

Cut down to 24

The final pre-audience voting cut down took place at the Pasadena Civic Center on January 14 or 15, 2007, just before the regional audition shows began airing. Without any further auditioning, but possibly with some audience research having taken place, the 40 remaining contestants were reduced to 24. In a process taking a whole day, contestants wait in a sitting room until one by one, they go up an elevator and take a long walk to the other end of the Center's Gold Room. Then the three judges told them whether they have made it onto the stage show or are cut. Those cut at this phase included the "fountain girl" in the opening credits, Melissa Sgambelluri.

The 24 semi-finalists were announced February 14, 2007.


The semi-finals began on February 20. There were three shows each week for the three weeks of the semi-finals. The February 20 through May 16 shows originated from CBS Television City in Hollywood.

The semi-finals featured the contestants (24 total) divided by gender with the 12 male singers singing on Tuesdays and the 12 female singers on Wednesdays. Each person had the chance to select a song to sing live in front of the judges. Following the show's airing, each U.S. timezone would have two hours to vote by phone or by text-messaging. On Thursday, the two of each group with the lowest amount of votes were eliminated each week until the finals.



Top 24

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Stephanie Edwards "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" (Alicia Keys) Safe
2 Amy Krebs "I Can't Make You Love Me" (Bonnie Raitt) Eliminated
3 Leslie Hunt "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin) Safe
4 Sabrina Sloan "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" (Aretha Franklin) Safe
5 Antonella Barba "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (Aerosmith) Safe
6 Jordin Sparks "Give Me One Reason" (Tracy Chapman) Safe
7 Nicole Tranquillo "Stay" (Chaka Khan) Eliminated
8 Haley Scarnato "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Pandora's Box) Safe
9 Melinda Doolittle "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone" (Aretha Franklin) Safe
10 Alaina Alexander "Brass in Pocket" (The Pretenders) Safe
11 Gina Glocksen "All by Myself" (Eric Carmen) Safe
12 Lakisha Jones "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (Jennifer Holiday) Safe
Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Rudy Cardenas "Free Ride" (Edgar Winter Group) Eliminated
2 Brandon Rogers "Rock with You" (Michael Jackson) Safe
3 Sundance Head "Nights in White Satin" (The Moody Blues) Safe
4 Paul Kim "Careless Whisper" (Wham!) Eliminated
5 Chris Richardson "I Don't Want to Be" (Gavin DeGraw) Safe
6 Nick Pedro "Now and Forever" (Richard Marx) Safe
7 Blake Lewis "Somewhere Only We Know" (Keane) Safe
8 Sanjaya Malakar "Knocks Me Off My Feet" (Stevie Wonder) Safe
9 Chris Sligh "Typical" (Mutemath) Safe
10 Jared Cotter "Back at One"(Brian McKnight) Safe
11 Aj Tabaldo "Never Too Much" (Luther Vandross) Safe
12 Phil Stacey "I Could Not Ask for More" (Edwin McCain) Safe

Group Performance: Sowing the Seeds of Love" (Tears for Fears)

Guest Performance: Fantasia: "I'm Here" from The Color Purple.

Top 20

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Gina Glocksen "Alone" (i-TEN) Safe
2 Alaina Alexander "Not Ready to Make Nice" (Dixie Chicks) Eliminated
3 LaKisha Jones "Midnight Train to Georgia" (Gladys Knight & the Pips) Safe
4 Melinda Doolittle "My Funny Valentine" (Chaka Khan) Safe
5 Antonella Barba "Because You Loved Me" (Celine Dion) Safe
6 Jordin Sparks "Reflection" (Christina Aguilera) Safe
7 Stephanie Edwards "Dangerously in Love" (Beyoncé) Safe
8 Leslie Hunt "Feeling Good" (Cy Grant) Eliminated
9 Haley Scarnato "Queen of the Night" (Whitney Houston) Safe
10 Sabrina Sloan "All the Man That I Need" (Whitney Houston) Safe
Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Phil Stacey "Missing You" (John Waite) Safe
2 Jared Cotter "Let's Get It On" (Marvin Gaye) Safe
3 AJ Tabaldo "Feeling Good" (Cy Grant) Eliminated
4 Sanjaya Malakar "Steppin' Out with My Baby" (Tony Bennett) Safe
5 Chris Sligh "Trouble" (Ray LaMontagne) Safe
6 Nick Pedro "Fever" (Little Willie John) Eliminated
7 Blake Lewis "Virtual Insanity" (Jamiroquai) Safe
8 Brandon Rogers "Time After Time" (Cyndi Lauper) Safe
9 Chris Richardson "Geek in the Pink" (Jason Mraz) Safe
10 Sundance Head "Mustang Sally" (Mack Rice) Safe

Group Performances: "Joy to the World" (Three Dog Night)

Guest Performance: Kellie Pickler: "I Wonder"

Top 16

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Jordin Sparks "Heartbreaker" (Pat Benatar) Safe
2 Sabrina Sloan "Don't Let Go (Love)" (En Vogue) Eliminated
3 Antonella Barba "Put Your Records On" (Corinne Bailey Rae) Eliminated
4 Haley Scarnato "If My Heart Had Wings" (Faith Hill) Safe
5 Stephanie Edwards "Sweet Thing" (Chaka Khan) Safe
6 Lakisha Jones "I Have Nothing" (Whitney Houston) Safe
7 Gina Glocksen "Call Me When You're Sober" (Evanescence) Safe
8 Melinda Doolittle "I'm a Woman" (Peggy Lee) Safe
Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Blake Lewis "All Mixed Up" (311) Safe
2 Sanjaya Malakar "Waiting on the World to Change" (John Mayer) Safe
3 Sundance Head "Jeremy" (Pearl Jam) Eliminated
4 Jared Cotter "If You Really Love Me" (Stevie Wonder) Eliminated
5 Chris Richardson "Tonight I Wanna Cry" (Keith Urban) Safe
6 Brandon Rogers "I Just Want to Celebrate" (Rare Earth) Safe
7 Phil Stacey "I Need You" (LeAnn Rimes) Safe
8 Chris Sligh "Wanna Be Loved" (dc Talk) Safe

Group Performance: Stealers Wheel" (Stuck in the Middle with You)"

Guest Performance: Carrie Underwood: "Wasted"

Top 12 finalists

The 12 finalists were announced on March 8, 2007. As in past years, the top 12 will appear on the annual compilation album while the top 10 will be the participants in the American Idol summer concert tour. Also as in past years, one finalist was eliminated every week, with the exception of the April 25 show, when all contestants were declared safe. As a result, two of the participants were eliminated on the May 2, 2007 results program.

The following is first in reverse chronological order by elimination date, then in alphabetical order by family name, where applicable.

Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks (born December 22, 1989) is a 26-year-old (17 at the time of the show) from Glendale, Arizona who auditioned in Seattle. She was a contestant on America's Most Talented Kid in 2003 and also appeared on the program's Tournament of Champions, on which she sang the Celine Dion ballad "Because You Loved Me" in her auditions. She is the daughter of former NFL defensive back Philippi Sparks. With her win, Jordin became the youngest Idol yet and joins the ranks of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks by winning without ever appearing in the bottom two or three.

Blake Lewis

Blake Lewis (born July 21, 1981) is a 35-year-old (25 at the time of the show) and auditioned in Seattle, and is from Bothell, Washington. He is a former member of the a cappella group KickShaw. Claiming to be the city's beatboxing champion, Lewis sampled a hip hop tune to the judges before rendering Seal's "Crazy". He passed the auditions but Simon commented to him that "you are not as good as you think you are", reminding him not to be cocky and overconfident in the future.

Melinda Doolittle

Melinda Doolittle (October 6, 1977) age 39 (29 at the time of show), auditioned in Memphis, and is from Brentwood, Tennessee. Despite being a professional back-up singer, she admitted she was still tense and nervous about competing in the show. She auditioned with "For Once in My Life" popularized by Stevie Wonder, and was met with universal praise from the three judges on her vocal ability. The judges did express concern about her nerves and told her to believe in herself. Her elimination the week before the finale had Simon Cowell looking disappointed, as he felt that she deserved to be in the finale for "week to week consistency".

LaKisha Jones

LaKisha Ann Jones (born January 13, 1980) a 36-year-old (27 at the time of show) bank teller who performed "Think" by Aretha Franklin, and is originally from Flint, Michigan. Viewers were first introduced to Jones during the "Best of the Rest" episode. After her audition in New York, LaKisha celebrated with her family and cried tears of happiness with her daughter. She is also the runner up of the Houston show, KPRC Local 2 Gimme the Mike, in 2005. She listed Fort Meade, Maryland as home on her application, and also has a Houston following.

Chris Richardson

Chris Richardson (born February 19, 1984) is a 32-year-old (23 at time of show). He is from Chesapeake, Virginia, and auditioned in New York with Leon Russell's A Song for You as interpreted by Donny Hathaway. During Richardson's audition Randy compared him to Justin Timberlake.

Phil Stacey

Phil Stacey (born January 21, 1978) is a 38-year-old (29 at time of show) and serves in the United States Navy. He auditioned in Memphis and is from Jacksonville, Florida. He missed the birth of his daughter, McKayla,[16] to audition for Idol. He performed two songs before getting through to Hollywood: "My Girl" and "Let's Get It On".

Sanjaya Malakar

Sanjaya Malakar (born September 10, 1989) is a 27-year-old (17 at time of show). He auditioned in Seattle with his sister Shyamali, singing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." He is from Federal Way, Washington, the same town as Amy Krebs. After Sanjaya's audition, Simon commented that he had a better voice than his sister. Both made it to Hollywood, but Sanjaya was shown tearfully embracing his sister when he made it to the top 40 in Hollywood and she was cut.

Haley Scarnato (born June 15, 1982) is a 34-year-old (24 at time of show) former wedding band singer. She sang "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt during her audition. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Gina Glocksen

Gina Glocksen (born July 4, 1984) is a 32-year-old (22 at time of show), auditioned in Memphis, and is from Naperville, Illinois. She originally auditioned in Chicago during season five and made it to Hollywood, but she was cut before the Top 40.

Chris Sligh

Chris Sligh (born April 13, 1978) is a 38-year-old (28 at time of show), hails from Greenville, South Carolina, and graduated from North Greenville University. He auditioned in Birmingham and sang "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, after which Paula gave a standing ovation and stated, "I like you very much".

Stephanie Edwards (born November 5, 1987) is a 29-year-old (19 at time of show) and from Savannah, Georgia. She auditioned in Memphis.
Brandon Rogers

Brandon Rogers (born December 11, 1977) is a 38-year-old (29 at time of show). He auditioned in Los Angeles and is from North Hollywood, California. Rogers has been a backup singer to established artists, performing on Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera's 2003 Justified and Stripped Tour and Anastacia's 2005 Encore Tour. After hearing his audition song, the judges (including guest judge Olivia Newton-John) were impressed with his vocals. Simon Cowell later mentioned he was the best auditioner coming from that city.


Top 12 – Diana Ross

Mentor: Diana Ross

Order Contestant Song (original artist when applicable) Result
1 Brandon Rogers "You Can't Hurry Love" (The Supremes) Eliminated
2 Melinda Doolittle "Home" Safe
3 Chris Sligh "Endless Love" (Lionel Richie & Diana Ross) Safe
4 Gina Glocksen "Love Child" Safe
5 Sanjaya Malakar "Aint No Mountain High Enough" (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) Bottom 2
6 Haley Scarnato "Missing You" Safe
7 Phil Stacey "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (Dee Dee Warwick) Bottom 3
8 Lakisha Jones "God Bless the Child" (Billie Holiday) Safe
9 Blake Lewis "You Keep Me Hanging On" Safe
10 Stephanie Edwards "Love Hangover" Safe
11 Chris Richardson "The Boss" Safe
12 Jordin Sparks "If We Hold On Together" Safe

Group Performance: "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love" and "Stop! In The Name of Love" (The Supremes)

Guest Performance: Diana Ross: "More Today Than Yesterday"

Top 11 – British Invasion

Mentors: Peter Noone and Lulu

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Haley Scarnato "Tell Him" (The Exciters) Safe
2 Chris Richardson "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" (Gerry And The Pacemakers) Bottom 2
3 Stephanie Edwards "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (Dusty Springfield) Eliminated
4 Blake Lewis "Time of the Season" (The Zombies) Safe
5 Lakisha Jones "Diamonds Are Forever" (Shirley Bassey) Safe
6 Phil Stacey "Tobacco Road" (The Nashville Teens) Safe
7 Jordin Sparks "I (Who Have Nothing)" (Ben E. King) Safe
8 Sanjaya Malakar "You Really Got Me" (The Kinks) Safe
9 Gina Glocksen "Paint It Black" (The Rolling Stones) Safe
10 Chris Sligh "She's Not There" (The Zombies) Safe
11 Melinda Doolittle "As Long As He Needs Me" (Shirley Bassey) Safe

Guest Performances: Peter Noone: "There's a Kind of Hush" and Lulu: "To Sir, With Love"

Top 10 – No Doubt/Songs That Inspired Gwen Stefani

Mentor: Gwen Stefani

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Lakisha Jones "Last Dance" (Donna Summer) Safe
2 Chris Sligh "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" (The Police) Eliminated
3 Gina Glocksen "I'll Stand by You" (The Pretenders) Safe
4 Sanjaya Malakar "Bathwater" Safe
5 Haley Scarnato "True Colors" (Cyndi Lauper) Bottom 2
6 Phil Stacey "Every Breath You Take" (The Police) Bottom 3
7 Melinda Doolittle "Heaven Knows" (Donna Summer) Safe
8 Blake Lewis "Lovesong" (The Cure) Safe
9 Jordin Sparks "Hey Baby" Safe
10 Chris Richardson "Don't Speak" Safe

Guest Performance:"The Sweet Escape" (Gwen Stefani and Akon)

Top 9 – American Classics

Mentor: Tony Bennett

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Blake Lewis "Mack The Knife" (Louis Armstrong) Safe
2 Phil Stacey "Night And Day" (Fred Astaire) Bottom 3
3 Melinda Doolittle "I Got Rhythm" (Ethel Merman) Top 3
4 Chris Richardson "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Duke Ellington) Safe
5 Jordin Sparks "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (John Cullum) Top 3
6 Gina Glocksen "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin) Eliminated
7 Sanjaya Malakar "Cheek to Cheek" (Fred Astaire) Safe
8 Haley Scarnato "Ain't Misbehavin" (Fats Waller) Bottom 2
9 Lakisha Jones "Stormy Weather" (Ethel Waters) Top 3

Guest Performance: Michael Bublé: "Call Me Irresponsible"

Top 8 – Latin

Mentor: Jennifer Lopez

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Melinda Doolittle "Sway" (Dean Martin) Safe
2 Lakisha Jones "Conga" (Gloria Estefan) Safe
3 Chris Richardson "Smooth" (Santana) Bottom 3
4 Haley Scarnato "Turn the Beat Around" (Vicki Sue Robinson) Eliminated
5 Phil Stacey "Maria Maria" (Santana) Bottom 2
6 Jordin Sparks "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (Gloria Estefan) Safe
7 Blake Lewis "I Need to Know" (Marc Anthony) Safe
8 Sanjaya Malakar "Bésame Mucho" (Andy Russell) Safe

Group Performance: "Bailamos" (Enrique Iglesias)

Guest Performance: Akon: "Don't Matter" and Jennifer Lopez: "Qué Hiciste"

Top 7 – Country

Mentor: Martina McBride

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Phil Stacey "Where the Blacktop Ends" (Keith Urban) Safe
2 Jordin Sparks "A Broken Wing" (Martina McBride) Safe
3 Sanjaya Malakar "Something to Talk About" (Bonnie Raitt) Eliminated
4 Lakisha Jones "Jesus, Take the Wheel" (Carrie Underwood) Bottom 2
5 Chris Richardson "Mayberry" (Rascal Flatts) Safe
6 Melinda Doolittle "Trouble Is a Woman" (Julie Reeves) Safe
7 Blake Lewis "When the Stars Go Blue" (Ryan Adams) Bottom 3

Group Performance: "I'm Alright" (Jo Dee Messina)

Guest Performance: Fergie: "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Martina McBride: "Anyway"

Top 6 (first week) – Inspirational Songs (Idol Gives Back)

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Chris Richardson "Change the World" (Eric Clapton) Safe
2 Melinda Doolittle "There Will Come a Day" (Faith Hill) Safe
3 Blake Lewis "Imagine" (John Lennon) Safe
4 Lakisha Jones "I Believe" (Fantasia) Safe
5 Phil Stacey "The Change" (Garth Brooks) Safe
6 Jordin Sparks "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Carousel) Safe

Top 6 (second week) – Bon Jovi

Mentors: Jon Bon Jovi and David Bryan

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Phil Stacey "Blaze of Glory" Eliminated
2 Jordin Sparks "Livin' on a Prayer" Safe
3 Lakisha Jones "This Ain't a Love Song" Safe
4 Blake Lewis "You Give Love a Bad Name" Safe
5 Chris Richardson "Wanted Dead or Alive" Eliminated
6 Melinda Doolittle "Have a Nice Day" Safe

Guest Performance: Robin Thicke: "Lost Without U" and Bon Jovi: "(You Want to) Make a Memory"

Top 4 – Barry Gibb

Mentor: Barry Gibb

Order Contestant Song (original artist when applicable) Result
1 Melinda Doolittle "Love You Inside Out" Safe
2 Blake Lewis "You Should Be Dancing" Safe
3 Lakisha Jones "Stayin' Alive" Eliminated
4 Jordin Sparks "To Love Somebody" Safe
5 Melinda Doolittle "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" Safe
6 Blake Lewis "This Is Where I Came In" Safe
7 Lakisha Jones "Run to Me" Eliminated
8 Jordin Sparks "Woman in Love"(Barbra Streisand) Safe

Group Performance: medley of Barry Gibb songs

Guest Performance: Pink: "Who Knew" and Barry Gibb: "To Love Somebody"

Top 3 – Judges' Choice, Producers choice, Contestants Choice

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Jordin Sparks "Wishing on a Star" (Rose Royce) Simon Cowell's song choice Safe
2 Blake Lewis "Roxanne" (The Police) Paula Abdul's song choice Safe
3 Melinda Doolittle "I Believe in You and Me" (Whitney Houston) Randy Jackson's song choice Eliminated
4 Jordin Sparks "She Works Hard for the Money" (Donna Summer) Safe
5 Blake Lewis "This Love" (Maroon 5) Safe
6 Melinda Doolittle "Nutbush City Limits" (Ike & Tina Turner) Eliminated
7 Jordin Sparks "I (Who Have Nothing)" (Ben E. King) Safe
8 Blake Lewis "When I Get You Alone" (Robin Thicke) Safe
9 Melinda Doolittle "I'm a Woman" (Peggy Lee) Eliminated

Guest Performances: Elliott Yamin: "Wait for You" and Maroon 5: "Makes Me Wonder"

Top 2 – Contestant Choice, Previous Song, Winning Song

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Blake Lewis "You Give Love a Bad Name" (Bon Jovi) Runner-Up
2 Jordin Sparks "Fighter" (Christina Aguilera) Winner
3 Blake Lewis "She Will Be Loved" (Maroon 5) Runner-Up
4 Jordin Sparks "A Broken Wing" (Martina McBride) Winner
5 Blake Lewis "This Is My Now" (Jordin Sparks) Runner-Up
6 Jordin Sparks "This Is My Now" (Jordin Sparks) Winner

Guest Performance: Daughtry: "Home"

Grand Finale

The Grand Finale of season 6 aired on May 23, 2007, live from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordin Sparks was announced as the winner at 10:05pm EDT (the show ran over its allotted time), with Blake Lewis as the runner-up.

Guest performers included Smokey Robinson, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Gladys Knight and Tony Bennett. Every past winner of Idol also performed, except for Fantasia Barrino who was appearing in The Color Purple in New York City.

After Carrie Underwood performed "I'll Stand by You", Clive Davis gave a speech extolling the state of "the American Idol album franchise", then presented Underwood with a special award for achieving 6 million U.S. album sales for her album Some Hearts.


Elimination chart

Note: Bottom 2 indicates that the contestant was 'saved' last. This may or may not indicate his or her actual vote rank. Sometimes, Seacrest will announce that the contestant is in the bottom 2, sometimes he will not. On the March 22 show, only the bottom 2 were announced.

Female Male Top 24 Top 12 Winner
Safe Top 3 Safe First Safe Last Eliminated
Stage: Semi-Finals Finals
Week: 2/22 3/1 3/8 3/14 3/21 3/28 4/4 4/11 4/18 4/251 5/2 5/9 5/16 5/23
Place Contestant Result
1 Jordin Sparks Top 3 Winner
2 Blake Lewis Bottom 3 Runner-Up
3 Melinda Doolittle Top 3 Elim
4 LaKisha Jones Top 3 Bottom 2 Elim
5-6 Chris Richardson Bottom 2 Bottom 3 Elim
Phil Stacey Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 2
7 Sanjaya Malakar Bottom 2 Elim
8 Haley Scarnato Bottom 2 Bottom 2 Elim
9 Gina Glocksen Elim
10 Chris Sligh Elim
11 Stephanie Edwards Elim
12 Brandon Rogers Elim
13-16 Sundance Head Elim
Sabrina Sloan
Antonella Barba
Jared Cotter
17-20 Leslie Hunt Elim
A.J. Tabaldo
Alaina Alexander
Nicholas Pedro
21-24 Rudy Cardenas Elim
Nicole Tranquillo
Amy Krebs
Paul Kim

^Note 1 During the week of April 25, there was no eliminated contestant. This was due to Idol Gives Back telethon performance so that Top 6 remained intact for another week. That week's votes were added to the votes for the week of May 2, and the bottom two were then eliminated on the May 2 results show. It was never noted who received the lowest number of votes, although Stacey was announced as the first to leave, and Richardson second.

"The Crying Girl"

Ashley Ferl, shown crying during Sanjaya Malakar's performance

Ashley Ferl, the then 13-year-old girl, became known for crying during Sanjaya Malakar's and other contestants' performances on the Top 11 episode of American Idol 6. Ferl's family, who are from Riverside, California, obtained tickets on a website to attend the dress rehearsal of the program. Since Ferl cried a great deal at the rehearsal, producers offered her family seats for the final taping of the episode.[17]

Ferl started to cry not long after Malakar began his performance of "You Really Got Me", and because of this, Sanjaya came down to give her a hug after his performance. She was also shown crying for several more contestants. She admitted that she not only liked Sanjaya but also many other contestants. She has been asked who her favorite contestant is but replies that she has several favorites. At the end of the show, she went on stage a second time, and got a chance to hug and get autographs[18] from all of the contestants and was introduced to the judges; she received a pair of earrings from Paula Abdul before the show began. Television vans from E!, Access Hollywood and Fox were waiting outside of her house the next day, and, that evening, NBC paid for Ferl's entire family to fly to the taping of the Today Show. She subsequently gave several other radio and news interviews to sources such as MSNBC, Fox News Channel, and Entertainment Tonight.[19]

Saturday Night Live spoofed both Malakar and Ferl following the former's elimination. Kristen Wiig portrayed Ferl in the sketches. Ferl has also been spoofed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Regis and Kelly and Family Guy, as well as mentioned on Best Week Ever and The Soup and shown on Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Ashley Ferl returned during Malakar's performance in the finale and was again crying. She was briefly spoofed on Meet the Spartans.

Ferl appeared on the show yet again during season seven, crying over contestant Jason Castro.[20]

At 16 years old, Ferl auditioned for season 9 of the show, but did not make it to Hollywood.[21][22]

Two years later Ashley Ferl auditioned for Season 11, and once again did not make it to Hollywood.

Idol Gives Back

Main article: Idol Gives Back

On the March 8, 2007 results show, Ryan Seacrest announced an initiative to give back to people in poverty in both Africa and the United States (including those affected by Hurricane Katrina). The event took place over two episodes of the series. For every vote cast immediately following the April 24, 2007 broadcast, many sponsors donated funds to the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund. The fund will distribute the money raised to many charities in the US as well as in Africa.[23] News Corporation pledged to donate 10 cents for every vote made to the show for the first 50 million calls, that is, up to $5 million. MySpace created a special profile page for the event in order to spread the word. Donations from viewers were accepted by phone and website during the April 25, 2007 results show, in a manner similar to a telethon. Near the end of the broadcast, Seacrest announced the show raised 30 million US dollars, with the final tally coming on May 1, 2007. As of May 1, 2007, over $70 million has been raised as a result of Idol Gives Back.

Between contestant performances, video vignettes showing the judges and Seacrest visiting and observing squalid conditions in Africa and the United States were aired. Similar vignettes were aired during the results show. For this special, the voting period was doubled to four hours following the show, rather than the usual two. In response to the anticipated call volume, each contestant was assigned two toll free numbers. Over 70 million votes were cast.

The results show was broadcast from two locations—the regular American Idol stage and Walt Disney Concert Hall—and included many celebrity actors and personalities. The show also included numerous performers; for a full list of performances, see the main article. Ellen DeGeneres co-hosted the event from the Disney Hall stage. Proceeds from ticket sales benefited the fund. Videos of the results show's performances are available for purchase on iTunes, with proceeds going to charity.

Due to the "charity" theme of the show, no contestant was eliminated on the April 25 results show. This was a surprise both to viewers, to whom Seacrest promised the "most shocking elimination ever", and to the contestants. When Ryan Seacrest was about to eliminate Jordin Sparks he said since it was a charity night none of the contestants were voted off, and the votes from that week were added to the votes from the following week to eliminate two singers. Both weeks saw a two-hour extension of the regular two-hour voting window, and in the end, the two-week combined voting totaled 135 million votes.

American Idol songwriter contest

On the April 3, 2007 show, Ryan Seacrest announced the first American Idol Songwriter: a songwriting contest. Following an open online submission process where over 25,000 submissions were received, twenty songs were selected for competition by Simon Fuller and A&R representatives of his 19 Entertainment. Beginning May 2, 2007 and ending May 8, 2007, with "one online vote per fan", the American public were able to listen to snippets from each song and rated them on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) on the American Idol Songwriter website. On the May 22, 2007 show, the two finalists performed the winning song, "This Is My Now." The song was released as a single by Jordin Sparks, the winner of American Idol Season 6.[24]

The titles of the twenty songs are:[25]

  • "Close to Me" – Michael Doane and AnneMarie Milazzo
  • "Forever Starts Today" – Erin Boheme and CJ Vanston
  • "If You Ask Me To" – Jennifer Hamady and Shedrick Mitchell
  • "I'm Going to Be Me" – Lane Lenhart
  • "In Your Eyes" – Colin Armstrong
  • "I Saw Stars" – Reed Waddle
  • "Lost (Without You)" – Cal Harris, Jr.
  • "Love Me till the Lonely's Gone" – Michael Patzig and Tracey Naples
  • "The Next Big Thing" – Ray Grant and Sam Sims
  • "One Night" – Kelley Hill

  • "Right Here with Me" – Kelli Trontell and Don Gatlin
  • "Secrets and Lies" – Drew Yowell and Byron Zanos
  • "Send Me on My Way" – Matthew Rogers and Scott Young
  • "Someday" – Nelson Kole
  • "This Is My Now" – Jeff Peabody and Scott Krippayne – Contest Winner
  • "Tonight" – Kelly Corsino
  • "Waking in a Dream" – R. J. Martinez and Stacy Hogan
  • "When You Need a Moment" – Christie Leigh
  • "With All the Love Your Heart Can Hold" – Robin Randall and Diana De Witt
  • "You Never Gave Up on Me" – Billy Aerts and Burton Collins


Other Idol contestants

Six of the contestants from different seasons auditioned for the subsequent season and made into the Top 24.

US Nielsen ratings

American Idol ended the season as the top show of the 2006–2007 TV season. Its Wednesday episodes ranked first with an average of 30.02 million viewers, followed by the Tuesday episodes which averaged 29.54 million. The premiere episode became the series' highest rated debut episode, viewed by 37.44 million viewers and receiving a 15.8/36 Nielsen rating in the Adult 18-49 demographic.[33]

Episode list
Show Episode Air date Week
Rating/Share 18-49
(in millions)
1 "Minneapolis Auditions"[34] January 16, 2007 3 20.3 / 29 15.8 / 36 37.44
2 "Seattle Auditions"[34] January 17, 2007 4 20.1 / 30 15.5 / 36 36.94
3 "Memphis Auditions"[35] January 23, 2007 2 18.0 / 26 13.3 / 33 32.60
4 "New York Auditions"[35] January 24, 2007 1 18.9 / 28 14.1 / 35 33.87
5 "Birmingham Auditions"[36] January 30, 2007 4 18.6 /28 13.5 / 33 33.65
6 "Los Angeles Auditions"[36] January 31, 2007 5 18.0 / 27 13.7 / 32 31.85
7 "San Antonio Auditions"[37] February 6, 2007 1 18.4 / 27 13.5 / 33 33.36
8 "Best of the Rest"[37] February 7, 2007 2 15.9 / 23 12.0 / 27 27.91
9 "Hollywood Round, Part 1"[38] February 13, 2007 1 17.4 / 25 13.0 / 31 31.20
10 "Hollywood Round, Part 2"[38] February 14, 2007 2 16.2 / 24 12.2 / 29 28.89
11 "Top 12 Men Perform"[39] February 20, 2007 3 16.5 / 25 11.8 / 30 29.53
12 "Top 12 Women Perform"[39] February 21, 2007 2 17.2 / 26 12.3 / 31 30.46
13 "Top 24 Results"[39] February 22, 2007 6 14.1 / 21 9.1 / 23 24.44
14 "Top 10 Men Perform"[40] February 27, 2007 1 17.1 / 26 12.2 / 30 30.65
15 "Top 10 Women Perform"[40] February 28, 2007 2 17.5 / 27 11.9 / 30 29.78
16 "Top 20 Results"[40] March 1, 2007 3 15.5 / 23 10.5 / 26 27.39
17 "Top 8 Men Perform"[41] March 6, 2007 2 15.9 / 24 10.9 / 29 27.95
18 "Top 8 Women Perform"[41] March 7, 2007 1 16.7 / 26 11.2 / 30 28.55
19 "Top 12 Revealed"[41] March 8, 2007 3 16.0 / 25 10.4 / 28 27.52
20 "Top 12 Perform"[42] March 13, 2007 1 17.1 / 27 11.7 / 31 29.83
21 "Top 12 Results"[42] March 14, 2007 2 16.2 / 26 10.1 / 26 26.18
22 "Top 11 Perform"[43] March 20, 2007 1 17.9 / 27 11.8 / 30 29.96
23 "Top 11 Results"[43] March 21, 2007 2 18.0 / 27 10.4 / 27 27.08
24 "Top 10 Perform"[44] March 27, 2007 1 16.2 / 26 11.0 / 30 28.18
25 "Top 10 Results"[44] March 28, 2007 2 16.2 / 25 10.9 / 28 26.89
26 "Top 9 Perform"[45] April 3, 2007 1 15.7 / 25 10.4 / 29 26.67
27 "Top 9 Results"[45] April 4, 2007 2 15.5 / 24 9.9 / 26 26.10
28 "Top 8 Perform"[46] April 10, 2007 2 15.6 / 24 10.3 / 29 26.78
29 "Top 8 Results"[46] April 11, 2007 1 16.5 / 25 11.1 / 27 28.56
30 "Top 7 Perform"[47] April 17, 2007 2 15.4 / 24 10.2 / 28 26.55
31 Top 7 Results"[47] April 18, 2007 1 17.2 / 26 11.2 / 28 28.93
32 "Top 6 Perform"[48] April 24, 2007 2 15.7 / 25 10.0 / 28 26.55
33 ""Idol Gives Back"[48] April 25, 2007 1 15.6 / 25 10.2 / 27 26.93
34 "Top 6 Performs again"[49] May 1, 2007 2 15.7 / 25 10.2 / 29 26.73
35 "Top 6 Results"[49] May 2, 2007 1 17.0 / 26 11.0 / 28 28.75
36 "Top 4 Perform"[50] May 8, 2007 2 15.1 / 25 9.3 / 28 25.47
37 "Top 4 Results"[50] May 9, 2007 1 16.9 / 26 10.8 / 28 28.20
38 "Top 3 Perform"[51] May 15, 2007 2 14.1 / 23 9.4 / 26 24.23
39 "Top 3 Results"[51] May 16, 2007 1 16.5 / 25 10.8 / 28 28.05
40 "Top 2 Perform"[52] May 22, 2007 2 14.9 / 24 9.7 / 27 25.33
41 Season 6 Finale"[52] May 23, 2007 1 17.8 / 29 11.5 / 29 30.74

UK edition

For the UK back-to-back repeat of the performance and results shows on the following Friday night on ITV2, Cat Deeley presents additional sections preceding and following each commercial break, and follows the end of the show with a short interview with that week's eliminated contestant.[53]


Major releases

Unlike previous seasons the top 12 compilation album did not come out while the show was airing. The top 12 recorded studio versions of each of the songs they sang on the show. The songs were available for purchase on as digital downloads through the night of the finale. Sparks' and Lewis' songs (except Sparks' "Livin' on a Prayer") remained available on the Idol website and iTunes Store through June 20, 2007,.[54]

Originally, a collage of the finalists' head shots from the top 24 photo shoot was used as album art on, with the title American Idol 6: Greatest Moments; at present, the covers of Sparks' and Lewis' EPs are used instead. The American Idol: Season 6 – "Greatest Hits" & "The Collector's Edition" were eventually released on June 12, 2007 on iTunes/ This is the only season that the season's collection is not distributed by Sony BMG/RCA Records.

Sparks' first non-American Idol single was the top hit (peaking at number eight) "Tattoo", which received platinum certification. Her second single was the Billboard Hot 100 number three hit "No Air" with Chris Brown. The song went to number one in several countries, and also topped Billboard's Pop Airplay chart. "No Air" had been certified platinum in April but recently passed the 3 million copies mark. It stands as the best-selling single by any Idol contestant. Sparks released a third single off her album, "One Step at a Time", which peaked at number 17. "One Step at a Time" has so far sold over a million copies and is certified platinum. Sparks released her second album Battlefield in July 2009. The album's title track became Jordin's fifth top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 10. This makes Jordin Sparks the only American Idol contestant to have their first five singles become Top 20 Hits.

Blake Lewis's first single was "Break Anotha!", which failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. His second single, "How Many Words", also failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 25 in the Bubbling Under chart (Hot 100 equivalent = 125). Shortly afterward, Lewis confirmed that he had been dropped by Arista records. His album sales are just over 300,000. The drop also canceled his apparent plans for a third single release.


"This Is My Now" as performed by Jordin Sparks was released as a radio single. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 15.

iTunes/ EPs

On May 24, 2007, the winner Jordin Sparks and runner-up Blake Lewis released five-song EPs on iTunes Store; though only iTunes calls them "EPs", they are also available as "bundles" for the same price on through June 20, 2007.

Sparks' EP contained the winner's single, "This Is My Now", as well as four songs she performed on Idol: "I (Who Have Nothing)", "A Broken Wing", "To Love Somebody", and "Wishing on a Star".

Lewis' EP did not contain "This Is My Now"; all of the tracks were songs he performed on the show: "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Time of the Season", "I Need to Know", "Love Song", and "When the Stars Go Blue".

On June 12, 2007, Apple released five song EPs for the rest of the top 12 finalists (Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Chris Richardson, Phil Stacey, Sanjaya Malakar, Haley Scarnato, Gina Glocksen, Chris Sligh, Stephanie Edwards and Brandon Rogers) along with the compilation album as a collector's edition of the season's songs. Each of the songs are also available for individual purchase.[55]

Individual albums

Minor or independent releases

Phil Stacey, tied for fifth place with Chris Richardson, is now signed to Lyric Street and has released his first single "If You Didn't Love Me". Richardson recently produced his first single, "All Alone." Tenth place finalist Chris Sligh recently released a Christian album after signing with Brash Music.

Note: this does not include pre-Idol releases

Source –

Related shows

TV Guide Channel brought back a second season of Idol Tonight, the live pre-show to American Idol, which aired on Wednesdays starting in March. The show features former Idol runner-up Justin Guarini as a correspondent along with Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez. Additionally American Idol Extra, a behind-the-scenes show, also returned for a second season, corresponding with the start of the finals in March. It aired Thursdays on Fox Reality.

See also


  1. Simon and Co. like a little of what they hear; The "American Idol" judges, who were in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, found Minnesotans a little loony
  2. Cowell to Seattle: 'Absolutely atrocious'
  3. "'American Idol' judges are in town to do a little whittling". October 6, 2006. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  4. Cowell & co. seek Pier-less singers
  5. Birmingham auditions on 'Idol' agenda for Jan. 30
  6. 1 2 Sherman Pore
  7. 'American Idol' hopefuls line up for shot at superstardom
  8. "Randy Jackson confirms guest judges." (audio). Archived from the original on 10 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-28.
  9. 64 Year Old Sherman Pore to Release Album
  10. Jordin Sparks interview
  11. Is Jordin Sparks American Idol's Next Controversy
  12. 'Sloan Rangers'
  13. Countdown with Keith Olbermann – February 26, 2007
  14. "Former American Idol Contestant Antonella Barba Becomes Spokesperson for ElectionMall's Voter Space". Send2Press. 2008-03-04. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  15. Morand, J.T. "District 97 has mysterious ring to it." Oak Leaves (Oak Park, Illinois). Sun-Times News Group. 23 Sep Accessed 29 May 2013 (subscription required)
  16. 'Phil Stacey Gets Navy's OK for Idol Tour'
  17. LA Times – requires sign-up
  18. MSNBC
  20. Ashley Ferl, Crazy Crying Girl, Now Loves Jason Castro – The Hollywood Gossip
  21. Ashley Ferl tried out for Idol-->
  22. 'Crying Girl' Ashley Ferl Auditions for American Idol, Access Hollywood
  23. American Idol News Blog, "$60 Million and Counting!"
  24. American Idol Songwriter
  25. American Idol: Songwriter
  26. Mocked 'American Idol 6' hopeful a Special Olympics participant
  27. 'American Idol' and Special Olympics respond to cruelty allegations
  28. Racy Web Photos Linked To 'Idol' Singer
  29. | Buh-Bye-Ya, Sanjaya!
  30. Gunther, Erik (March 28, 2007). "Yahoo! Buzz". Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  31. ABC News
  32. ''Idol'' producer: ''We made mistakes'
  33. Ratings Wrapup: CBS and FOX Win, Again
  34. 1 2 TV week Jan 21, 2007
  35. 1 2 TV week Jan 28, 2007
  36. 1 2 TV week Feb 4, 2007
  37. 1 2 TV week Feb 11, 2007
  38. 1 2 TV week Feb 18, 2007
  39. 1 2 3 TV week Feb 25, 2007
  40. 1 2 3 TV week Mar 5, 2007
  41. 1 2 3 TV week Mar 11, 2007
  42. 1 2 TV week 03-18-2007
  43. 1 2 TV week 03-25-2007
  44. 1 2 TV week 04-01-2007
  45. 1 2 TV week 04-08-2007
  46. 1 2 TV week 04-15-2007
  47. 1 2 TV week 04-22-2007
  48. 1 2 TV week 04-29-2007
  49. 1 2 TV week 05-06-2007
  50. 1 2 TV week 05-13-2007
  51. 1 2 TV week 05-20-2007
  52. 1 2 TV week 05-27-2007
  53. Digital Spy: "Cat Deeley to front UK Edition of American Idol"
  54. American Idol Download Store
  55. Macworld | iTunes offers American Idol Collector's Edition
  57. 1 2 "American Idol's" Sarah Burgess Inks Record Deal, Records First Single: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

External links

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