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Season 8

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American Idol Season 8
Wiki

Winner Kris Allen

Coronation Song
Created by
Simon Fuller
Directed by
Bruce Gowers
Ken Warwick
Country of Origin
United States
Channel
Fox
Held from
January 13, 2009 – May 20, 2009
Previous Season
Next Season
The eighth season of American Idol premiered on January 13, 2009. Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson are judges once again, along with Ryan Seacrest as host. This season introduced Kara DioGuardi as the fourth judge on the Idol panel.

Arkansas singer-songwriter Kris Allen was announced the winner of the competition on May 20, 2009, defeating runner-up Adam Lambert after almost 100 million votes, the highest recorded total in the show's history.

The eighth season is also the third season during which both the winner and the runner-up were male contestants, with the second season being the first and the previous season being the second. Additionally, the eighth season is the only season to contain an all-male top 3.

Changes From Season 7Edit

Several changes were planned for season 8. Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly stated that Idol would feature fewer "William Hung-like" contestants and "funny auditions," and would quickly move its focus to the potential singers during the earlier stages of the competition, thus moving the season at a faster pace. Mike Darnell, president of Fox's alternative programming, said the contestants would be more emotional and that viewers would learn more about them and their pasts than they had in the previous season. Songwriter and record producer Kara DioGuardi was added as a permanent fourth judge on the panel. She had previously collaborated with Celine Dion, Hilary Duff, Enrique Iglesias, Leona Lewis and Christina Aguilera, and produced several Top 40 hits. As a songwriter, she had already worked with several American Idol alumni and winners, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, David Archuleta and David Cook. Meanwhile, Ken Warwick became the new executive producer, as Nigel Lythgoe had left the show to focus on So You Think You Can Dance and his new show with Simon Fuller, Superstars of Dance. Idol Gives Back was canceled for season 8, as the ongoing economic crisis and recession, left Idol officials uncomfortable asking financially struggling viewers to donate. The semifinals saw the biggest change as the wild card round returned for the first time since the third season. After voters picked three finalists from each of three groups of 12 semi-finalists, the judges selected eight of the previously eliminated 27 semifinalists to return and perform a song on the March 5, 2009, show. They were judged by the panel, instead of a vote by the viewers, with four advancing to the finals. Although the finals had been billed from the beginning of the season as a set of 12 contestants, the judges announced at the last minute that they would be advancing a thirteenth contestant, Anoop Desai, as well.

Another change in the Idol format, which was revealed on March 11, 2009, is that the judges are eligible to exercise a veto power on one eliminated contestant at any given point of the competition and spare them from elimination for that particular week. This can only be invoked up until the Final 5. The following week two contestants will be eliminated if the save is used because nobody is eliminated on the week that the save is used. The save can only be used once and it must be unanimous.

AuditionsEdit

Auditions were held in the following cities:

  • San Francisco, California: Cow Palace - July 17
  • Louisville, Kentucky: Freedom Hall - July 21
  • Glandale, Arizona: Jobing.com Arena - July 25
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: EnergySolutions Arena - July 29
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico: Coliseo de Puerto Rico - August 2
  • Kansas City, Missouri: Kemper Arena - August 8
  • Jacksonville, Florida: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena - August 13
  • East Rutherford, New Jersey: Izod Center - August 19

Contestants are required to be between the ages 16 and 28 on July 15, 2008 and eligible to work in the United States. Contestants are ineligible if they were part of the top 40 from previous seasons (exception being for those who reached the top 50 from season 7), if they hold recording or management contracts or if they are not U.S. citizens or landed immigrants (i.e. temporary residents).

HollywoodEdit

For this season, the Hollywood round moved to the Kodak Theatre, which was previously used for the season finale from seasons 1 and 3–6, from the Orpheum Theatre. In addition, the Hollywood round was extended to two weeks.

In the first round, the 147 contestants each sang a short solo performance of any song. The next part had the remaining 107 contestants performing in a group performance. The 72 contestants that passed group day, performed one more solo song, and then the judges split them into four groups, and only left 54. The final 54 then went to the "judges' mansion" in Los Angeles for the final results, and the Top 36 were announced. Some contestants had a sing-off to determine who would go through the top 36.

SemifinalsEdit

The following contestants were Season 8's Top 36 contestants. The Top 36 had to sing a song from the Billboard Hot 100 to earn a spot in the Top 13.

Jackie Tohn Ricky Braddy Alexis Grace Brent Keith Stevie Wright Anoop Desai Casey Carlson Michael Sarver
Ann Marie Boskovich Stephen Fowler Tatiana Del Toro Danny Gokey Jasmine Murray Matt Giraud Jeanine Vailes Nick Mitchell
Allison Iraheta Kris Allen Megan Joy Matt Breitzke Jesse Langseth Kai Kalama Mishavonna Henson Adam Lambert
Von Smith Taylor Vaifanua Alex Wagner-Trugman Arianna Afsar Ju'Not Joyner Kristen McNamara Nathaniel Marshall Felicia Barton
Scott MacIntyre Kendall Beard Jorge Núñez Lil Rounds

Wild Card RoundEdit

During the Wildcard rounds, the Judges picked eight originally eliminated contestants from the Semifinals rounds to compete for four extra spots. Jesse Langseth, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Tatiana Del Toro, and Anoop Desai were the eight contestants competing in the wild card round. In the end, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Jasmine Murray, and Anoop Desai were the four advancing to the Top 13.

Top 13Edit

The following contestants were Season 8's Top 13.

American-idol-season8-top13-2009

The Finalists; Back Row: Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai & Scott MacIntyre; Middle Row: Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta & Jorge Núñez; Front Row: Megan Joy, Jasmine Murray, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Kris Allen & Michael Sarver

FinalsEdit

Top 13 performEdit


During the first round of the finals, the Top 13 performed a song from Michael Jackson for a spot in the Top 11.

Eliminated ContestantsEdit

Jasmine Murray

Jasmine Murray was one of the two eliminated contestants bringing the total down to 11 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 11, 2009.

Jorge Núñez



Jorge Núñez was one of the two eliminated contestants bringing the total down to 11 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on March 11, 2009.

Top 11Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 11.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "I Want You Back/ABC Medley" by The Jackson 5

Top 11 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 11 performed a song from the Grand Ole Opry for a spot in the Top 10.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Alexis Grace

Alexis Grace was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 10 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 18, 2009.

Top 10Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 10.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" by Travis Tritt

Top 10 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 10 performed a song from Motown for a spot in the Top 9.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Michael Sarver

Michael Sarver was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 9 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on March 26, 2009.

Top 9Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 9.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes/"You're All I Need to Get By" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell/"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Top 9 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 9 performed a popular iTunes Downloaded song for a spot in the Top 8.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Megan Joy

Megan Joy was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 8 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on April 1, 2009.

Top 8Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and remained in the Top 8.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey

Top 8 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 8 performed a song from the year they were born for a spot in the Top 7.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Scott Macintyre

Scott MacIntyre was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on April 8, 2009.

Top 7Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 7.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "Can't Get You out of My Head" by Kylie Minogue

Top 7 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 7 performed a songs from movies for a spot in the Top 5.

Saved ContestantEdit

Matt Giraud

Matt Giraud was supposed to be the eliminated contestant on April 15, 2009. Due to the Judges' save, he stayed which kept the total at 7 contestants.

Top 7Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and remained in the Top 7.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

  • Allison Iraheta - "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith (Armageddon)
  • Anoop Desai - "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
  • Adam Lambert - "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf (Easy Rider)
  • Matt Giraud - "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" by Bryan Adams (Don Juan DeMarco)
  • Danny Gokey - "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross (Endless Love)
  • Kris Allen - "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová (Once)
  • Lil Rounds - "The Rose" by Bette Midler (The Rose)

Group Performance:

  • "Maniac" by Michael Sembello (Flashdance)

Top 7 perform (redux)Edit


During this round of the finals, the Top 7 performed a disco song for a spot in the Top 5.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Lil Rounds

Lil Rounds was one of the two eliminated contestants bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on April 22, 2009.

Anoop Desai



Anoop Desai was one of the two eliminated contestants bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on April 22, 2009.

Top 5Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 5.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" by The Jacksons

Top 5 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 5 performed a song from Rat Pack Standards for a spot in the Top 4.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Matt Giraud

Matt Giraud was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 4 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on April 29, 2009.

Top 4Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 4.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

  • Kris Allen - "The Way You Look Tonight" by Fred Astaire
  • Allison Iraheta - "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Gertrude Lawrence
  • Matt Giraud - "My Funny Valentine" by Mitzi Green
  • Danny Gokey - "Come Rain or Come Shine" by Sy Oliver with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
  • Adam Lambert - "Feeling Good" by Cy Grant

Group Performance:

  • "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" and "I Got Rhythm"

Top 4 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 4 performed a Rock n' Roll song for a spot in the Top 3.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Allison Iraheta

Allison Iraheta was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on May 6, 2009.

Top 3Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 3.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performances on performance night:

  • Kris Allen & Danny Gokey - "Renegade" by Styx
  • Adam Lambert & Allison Iraheta - "Slow Ride" by Foghat

Group Performance on results night:

  • "School's Out" by Alice Cooper

Top 3 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 3 performed a song picked by the Judges and a song of their choice for a spot in the Top 2.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

Danny Gokey

Danny Gokey was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 2 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on May 13, 2009.

Top 3Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 2.

PerformancesEdit

(The first round of performances were chosen by the judges and the second round was the contestant's choice). The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 2 performEdit


Main Article: Season 8 Finale

During the final round of the finals, the Top 2 performed a song picked by Simon Fuller, a song of their choice, and their winner single for a spot as Season 8's American Idol.

Runner-upEdit

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert was the runner-up of Season 8. Kris Allen being the winner.

PerformancesEdit

(The first performance was a song from their favorite performances, the second was a song chosen by their personal idol, and the last was their winner single). The contestants performed in the following order:

WinnerEdit

Kris Allen

Kris Allen was the winner of American Idol Season 8 on May 20, 2009.

Results PerformancesEdit

Notable past Idol contestantsEdit

  • Jamar Rogers, who auditioned in Kansas City along with best friend Danny Gokey, was cut in the "green mile" round. In 2012, he tried out for season 2 of The Voice and made it to the semi-finals with his idol, R&B star Cee Lo Green, as his mentor before being eliminated.
  • Emily Valentine, who was cut in Hollywood week, later auditioned for season 1 of The Voice with R&B star Cee Lo Green as her mentor. She was eliminated in the Battle Rounds.

ControversiesEdit

  • Joanna Pacitti, who was originally selected as a semi-finalist, created controversy due to her being previously signed to A&M and Geffen Records. Later, she was found to have been having a "private relationship" with 19 Management. She was later disqualified, and replaced by Felicia Barton.
  • Due to a mix up, Alexis Grace's phone number during the top 11 preformances was actually a call in sex hotline. This was changed during the end of the episode, but she was eliminated anyway.
Season 8
Finalists
Kris Allen · Adam Lambert · Danny Gokey  · Allison Iraheta · Matt Giraud · Anoop Desai · Lil Rounds · Scott MacIntyre · Megan Joy · Michael Sarver · Alexis Grace · Jorge Núñez · Jasmine Murray
American Idol
Seasons
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15
Judges
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)
Hosts
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-15) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Winners
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon
Runners-up
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae
Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling"
Spin-offs
From Justin to Kelly · Juniors · Christmas

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