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When it came to flawless phrasing and vocal control, no season 6 contestant — heck, maybe no Idol contestant ever — could match third-place finisher Melinda Doolittle. Her acclaimed debut CD, Coming Back to You (released just over a year ago), showcases that effortless perfection on retro-soul jams like ''Declaration of Love.''
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High Hopes and Heartbreak, Brooke's 2009 debut set, is filled with gorgeous, stripped-down melodies that sound like they'd have dominated AM radio back in the '70s. None, however, will have you reaching for the Kleenex faster than the season 7 contestant's ironically titled, piano-driven ballad ''Smile.''
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The season 8 crooner's lack of a major-label deal still prompts cries of #SignMattGiraud on Twitter. But until that day arrives, you can tide yourself over with ''You Don't Know Me,'' his duet with Anna Wilson, which hit No. 1 on iTunes' jazz chart back on Jan. 28.
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In perhaps the biggest miscarriage of justice in Idol history, dynamic diva Davis was booted from the show before the season 2 semifinals over a photo ''scandal'' that seemed silly back then, and utterly infuriating today. But who's getting the last laugh now that ''You Are,'' Davis' collaboration with DJ Tony Moran, reached the top 10 of Billboard's dance charts earlier this year?
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Our only explanation for season 8's red-headed rocker not already going platinum with her Dec. '09 debut release, Just Like You? Apparently, America either has terrible taste, or is tragically unaware of Allison's addictive, full-throttle performances like ''Holiday.'' Press play for yourself and see if you don't agree!
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The mellow, slightly goofy demeanor he displayed during his fourth-place run on Idol's seventh season has given way to a more confident, mature vibe that permeates his 2010 Love Uncompromised EP. ''You Can Always Come Home,'' Jason's duet with Atlantic label-mate Serena Ryder, is a heartbreaking tale of clinging to lost love.
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It's taken Season 2's husky-voiced finalist almost seven years to complete her debut disc (due April 6), but guitar-driven tracks like the ear-candy lead-single ''Mess of You'' make it definitely worth the wait.
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The season 6 runner-up switched from 19 to Tommy Boy for his 2009 sophomore release, and the move to a smaller label resulted in incredibly catchy dance-floor gems like ''Left My Baby for You.'' Give it a listen and tell us this guy shouldn't get an invite from Idol to perform during a season 9 results show.
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She scored maybe 10 minutes of total airtime as a season 8 semifinalist, but Mishavonna's 2007 From the Edge of the World EP reveals a confident country vocalist who deserved to go a lot further in the competition than she did. How exactly did she get excluded from that maddening Wild Card episode?