by Mischalova at . Comments

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

With six 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 three weeks - but will fans revolt against her one-time record deal with Arista Nashville?

2) Michael Johns: Also referred to as "Michael Lee Johns," the former band member 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 Malakar… with talent?

4) Samantha Sidley (pictured, new this week): Young beauty played along when Ryan Seacrest and Paula Abdul swapped duties during her audition. She proceeded to deliver a restrained, lovely version of ''Don't Know Why.''

5) 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."

6) David Cook (new this week): If you cover Bon Jovi during an audition like Cook did, we'll give you props. This is another Chris Daughtry-type, who hopes to become the first rocker to win American Idol.

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

by Mischalova at . Comments

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.

Carly Smithson Biography

Carly Smithson is an Irish singer who tried out for American Idol - and released an album - under the name of Carly Hennessy. She's... More »
Full Name
Carly Smithson
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