by Mischalova at . Comments

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 Malakar… 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.

Continue Reading...

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

He's not related to Kristy Lee Cook.

Unless you're simply going by the impressive audition and rumor that he's made it to the top 24 on this year's American Idol, just like the aforementioned early favorite on the show.

But David Cook has a fresh look and sound, as proven last night when he turned Bon Jovi's classic "Livin on a Prayer" into his own, unique serenade of the judges.

It worked. Simon, Randy and Paula all moved David on to Hollywood, anointing him as the only serious contender from an otherwise lackluster group of auditions in Omaha.

David Cook wants to be the next Chris Daughtry. It's early, but: so far, so good.

As American Idol auditions move to Miami tonight, we yearn for a better crop of singers and/or weirdos. Last night didn't have enough of either.