Michael Slezak and Jessica Shaw
February 22, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

They?ve anointed the top 24, and we?re anointing our personal favorites.

Carly Smithson

WHY WE LOVE HER She’s a power vocalist who doesn’t succumb to fits of melisma.

REMINDS US OF Sinéad O’Connor by way of Ann Wilson

SHOULD SING Christina Aguilera’s ”Beautiful.”

PLEASE AVOID Whitney Houston’s ”I Have Nothing.” After five straight seasons, the tired track needs a rest.

Michael Johns

WHY WE LOVE HIM He has that sensitive rocker style that makes us swoon.


SHOULD SING The Wallflowers’ ”One Headlight.”

PLEASE AVOID Any song that Constantine covered. ”Bohemian Rhapsody” was enough. You don’t want to end up in Grease, do you?

Brooke White

WHY WE LOVE HER She’s the contestant of choice for viewers who prefer subtlety to bombast. And the hippie-chick vibe is infectious.

REMINDS US OF Sophie B. Hawkins.

SHOULD SING Lisa Loeb’s ”Stay.”

PLEASE AVOID Anything by a singer with bigger vocals. Skip the Celine, hon!

Amanda Overmyer

WHY WE LOVE HER Unlike Nikki McKibbin and Gina Glocksen, we think the ”rock & roll nurse” could be the real thing.

REMINDS US OF Grace Slick.

SHOULD SING Led Zeppelin’s ”D’yer Maker.”

PLEASE AVOID Too much hard rock. Even Extreme changed it up with ”More Than Words.”

Syesha Mercado

WHY WE LOVE HER Big voice, supermodel looks — doesn’t Syesha scream pop star?

REMINDS US OF Des’ree and season 4’s Nadia Turner.

SHOULD SING The Rolling Stones’ ”Gimme Shelter.”

PLEASE AVOID Aretha Franklin. You’ve covered her twice. It’s time for new inspiration.

David Archuleta

WHY WE LOVE HIM Cuter than Chicken Little, less creepy than John Stevens…he’s this season’s minor — with major promise.


SHOULD SING Backstreet Boys’ ”I Want It That Way.”

PLEASE AVOID Lyrics that convey emotional complexity beyond your 17 years.

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