The American Idol Power Poll: Volume I

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As we prepare for the third week of American Idol auditions, it seems like a good time to break out our first Power Poll of the season.

With four solid episodes under our belt, here's how The Hollywood Gossip staff ranks this year's early contenders:

1) Kristy Lee Cook: Gorgeous Oregonian's ''Amazing Grace'' was highlight of the opening two weeks - but will fans revolt against her one-time record deal with Arista Nashville?

2) Michael Johns: His former band once had a deal with Madonna's music label, but a professional background is par for this year's American Idol course. The Aussie made a strong impression with a tight T-shirt, toned biceps, and a solid Otis Redding cover.

3) David Archuleta: Former Star Search winner has the sympathy vote locked up: he struggled with a paralyzed vocal chord as a child. This year's Sanjaya... with talent?

4) Carly Smithson: Another American Idol hopeful with prior experience â€" she crashed and burned in her major-label debut as Carly Hennessy a few years back â€" this tattooed Irishwoman displayed great range on ''I'm Every Woman.''

5) Colton Swon: We liked his impressive take on Little Big Town's ''Boondocks'' and are extra excited about the rumor that he plays the guitar during the Hollywood round.

6) Kady Malloy: Simon Cowell dubbed her the best audition he'd seen during the opening week after she belted out ''Unchained Melody." We loved her impression of Britney Spears. Singing, that is. Not being insane.

7) Alaina Whitaker: Confident (said Carrie Underwood looks like her!) and with a powerful voice for a 16-year old.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]