See where singers from the Atlanta and ''Best of the Rest'' episodes fit on Michael Slezak's list, then pick your fave

”Idol” week 4: Power rankings

1. Kristy Lee Cook

Gorgeous Oregonian’s ”Amazing Grace” was the hands-down highlight of the American Idol audition season, and Internet backlash about her one-time deal with Arista Nashville hasn’t stopped her from scoring high in our weekly reader polls. (Last week: No. 1)

2. David Cook

Beat-down fauxhawk aside, this congenial rocker proved his smarts (studying Daughtry tapes before auditioning), fashion sense (rocking a cool argyle sweater vest), and vocal ability (delivering a unique take on ”Livin’ on a Prayer”) in one fab audition. (Last week: No. 3)

3. Amanda Overmyer

Looks like this season’s resident rocker grrrl, but unlike previous Idol incarnations (Gina Glocksen, anyone?), this laid-back, motorcycle-riding nurse seems well-suited to the label, as her rendition of CCR’s ”Travelin’ Band” had bark and bite. (New this week)

4. Samantha Sidley

Demure beauty played along gamely when Ryan and Paula swapped duties during her audition, then delivered a restrained, lovely version of ”Don’t Know Why.” If, as we suspect, she’s more than a Norah Jones copycat, she’s one to watch. (Last week: No. 2)

5. Chikezie Eze

Came off as slightly smug for someone who didn’t make it past the audition room in season 6, but his strong and straightforward ”All the Woman I Need” proved the handsome fellow has talent to back up his bravado. (New this week)

6. Michael Johns

Another ”semi-pro” (he once had a deal with Madonna’s label), this Aussie made a splash with a tight T-shirt and a decent Otis Redding cover. Still, a couple wobbles on the big notes have us wondering how he’ll hold up on the Big Stage. (Last week: No. 11)

7. David Archuleta

Former Star Search winner who once struggled with a paralyzed vocal cord botched his lyrics and hit a couple rough notes in his audition, but the judges loved him, and he finished second in our week 2 reader poll. Have we forgotten Sanjaya already? (Last week: No. 4)

8. Leo Marlowe

Openly gay Iowan made a great first impression with his ”homecoming queen” crack, scoring a big laugh from Simon and a cry of ”touchdown!” from Paula. Yet while his cover of ”A Song for You” was potent, it won’t have Elliott Yamin losing sleep. (Last week: No. 7)

9. Amy Flynn

Abstinence advocate. Dance-team captain. And middling interpreter of Christina Aguilera ballads. We wish the judges had given this teen two more years to develop her vocals, but Idol‘s never been a show to pass on polarizing contestants. (Last week: No. 10)

10. Danny Noriega

Speaking of teenagers with, um, strong personalities, this skinny spitfire came on like the singing version of Project Runway‘s Christian, snapping and strutting his way through ”Proud Mary.” Will he get Idol fans speed-dialing, or prove to be 1-800-TOO-MUCH? (New this week)

NEXT PAGE: Nos. 11-20, and your chance to vote for your favorite so far


11. Josiah Leming

Teary eyed, mop-topped teen with a pleasant albeit quavering voice scored a golden ticket with a self-penned tune, but would he be as memorable without the ”I live out of my car” backstory and penchant for singing with a slight British accent? Perhaps not. (New this week)

12. Jason Rich

One of two male contestants to play the ”farm-boy charm” card this season, this Iowa native showcased Daughtry-esque vocal power on Keith Whitley’s ”When You Say Nothing at All.” Too bad it took him four tries to remember the lyrics. (Last week: No. 12)

13. Carly Smithson

Another diva with prior experience — she flopped in her major-label debut as Carly Hennessy a few years back — this tattooed Irishwoman displayed power pipes (and a case of Mariah-itis) on ”I’m Every Woman.” Those post-audition tears were moving, though. (Last week: No. 16)

14. Asia’h Epperson

Impossibly pretty teen kept her date with the judges despite the death of her dad just 48 hours prior, and her ”How Do I Live” was the season’s most moving audition. Still, the vocals got wobbly, and the harrowing first impression could come back to haunt her at voting season. (New this week)

15. Brittany Wescott

Got Simon’s attention with some heavy-duty flirting, but kept it with a smooth, jazzy rendition of ”My Guy.” Plus, her on-camera antics with pal Corliss Smith proved she knows how to get the most out of a few minutes of airtime. (Last week: No. 5)

16. Kady Malloy

Simon went bonkers over her steady cover of ”Unchained Melody” in week 1, and despite the fact that viewers haven’t seen her since mid-January, she’s held her own in our reader poll. Still, wasn’t her spot-on Britney imitation the most interesting thing about her? (Last week: No. 8)

17. Jeffery Lampkin

Still not sure of his solo vocal prowess, as he dueted with sister Michelle at his Charleston audition, but no one can top this flamboyant funnyman when it comes to personality. As Jeffery himself noted, he’s got the ”Owww factor!” Preach it! (Last week: No. 9)

18. Drew Poppelreiter

Simon voted no and Paula saw ”no wow factor” in his George Strait cover, and yet he’s on to Hollywood — with no lack of viewer buzz. See what a piece of hay between the teeth and a couple glamour-tractor shots can do? (Last week: No. 13)

19. Alexandrea Lushinton

Her adorable great-grandmother and her silky take on ”My Funny Valentine” were memorable. But something about the 16-year-old’s delivery reminded us why we always wish young girls would wait a couple years to audition, and add emotional depth to their power vocals. (New this week)

20. Panda the Pomeranian

He didn’t yip a single note, and didn’t score a golden ticket to Hollywood. But despite being accompanied by a couple of dim-bulb twins and a talentless but confident blond owner, we still wanted more screen time for this adorable ball of fluff. Mr. Muggles, watch your back! (New this week)

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Episode Recaps

American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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