We're off to Hollywood!
As American Idol enters its fifth week of auditions, the show truly begins: contestants are judged in Hollywood and only the best of the best move one. Before they do, however, let's rank the top hopefuls so far in our third Power Poll of the season...
1. Kristy Lee Cook (last week: #1, pictured): Beautiful Oregonian's "Amazing Grace" was highlight of the initial American Idol audition shows - but will fans revolt against her one-time record deal with Arista Nashville? Then again, she certainly isn't alone in having a professional background.
2. Michael Johns (last week: #2): Also referred to as "Michael Lee Johns," the former band member once had a deal with Madonna's music label. The Aussie made a strong impression with a tight T-shirt, toned biceps, and a solid Otis Redding cover.
3. David Cook (last week: #6): Rocker with his sights set on the moniker of "this year's Chris Daughtry," Cook impressed viewers with his vocal range on Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer."
4. David Archuleta (last week: #3): Former Star Search winner has the sympathy vote locked up: he struggled with a paralyzed vocal chord as a child. Might he be this year's Sanjaya Malakarâ€¦ with talent?
5. Amanda Overmyer (new this week): She's a nurse! She's a gothic rocker! She's a talented singer with a unique look, sound and personality.
6. Chikezie Eze (new this week, pictured): Tried out for the show last year. Approved for Hollywood this time around with a rendition of "All the Woman I Need." Handsome, talented.
7. Carly Smithson (last week: #6): 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."
8. Asiah Epperson (new this week): Heartbreaking story of dad passing away mere days before her audition. Powerful voice and presence enabled Epperson to advance to Hollywood for reasons outside of just sympathy.
9. Alex Lushington (new this week): Just 16 years old. Brought her great-grandmother along for her audition, which included a terrific version of "My Funny Valentine." Not at the level of Melinda Doolittle from last season, but it's early.
10. Kady Malloy (new this week): Almost forgotten about since her opening show audition, but Malloy gets out vote for her Britney Spears impression alone. A real cutie.