Good news for former American Idol contestants still dreaming of chart success: There’s life beyond cruise-ship performances and touring productions of Beauty and the Beast. That’s because according to a story in Variety, Artists’ Addiction Records and Rocket Science are teaming up to release a series of four CDs that will ultimately showcase 12 different Idol also-rans non-winners singing three songs each.

The first, due in Wal-Mart and iTunes on Feb. 5, has Ryan Starr (season 1), Jon Peter Lewis (season 3), Stevie Scott (season 5), and A.J. Tabaldo (pictured, right; season 6), while the second, slated for March 4, includes Patrick Hall (season 5), Gedeon McKinney (season 5), Alaina Alexander (season 6), and Rudy “Free Ride” Cardenas (season 6).

As an Idol obsessive, I’m totally stoked about this idea, but only in theory. Problem is, the label seems to be focusing mostly on the series’ most forgettable contestants. Seriously, Alaina Alexander was notable last season only for giving scandal-plagued Antonella Barba a rip-roaring battle in the race for least-talented female semifinalist. (My internal jury remains deadlocked.) And are we sure this Patrick Hall person was an actual semifinalist? Yes, he has an official Idol page and all, but do you really believe everything Fox tells you?

So what’s my dream lineup for one of these discs? Well, to give credit to Artists’ Addiction, I’d include A.J. Tabaldo as well; he really suffered from a lack of airtime last season, and certainly showed more promise than Brandon Rogers or Sanjaya Malakar in his brief time on the show. I’d also include my personal pet Idol, season 2’s Trenyce (at left; I can hear my colleagues Henry Goldblatt and Kristen Baldwin groaning from their offices, but her “Come See About Me” cannot be denied). Also under the heading of “booted before America could realize they were awesome,” I’d pick Lisa Leuschner (season 3) and Aloha Mischeaux (season 4); check out “My Man” on the latter’s MySpace page. She’s on fiyah!

After the jump, YouTube clips to support my picks. Use the comments section below to tell me why I’m wrong, or even better, to tell Artists’ Addiction which four singers you want showcased next!