'American Idol' Season 5: Taylor Hicks vs. Katharine McPhee

katharine-mcphee-taylor-hicks-american-idol-finale.jpgThe Season 10 premiere of "American Idol" is less than a week away and to make the days go by a bit faster, Zap2it decided to take a stroll down memory lane and re-evaluate the previous nine seasons.

Each day leading up to the premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 19, we will post a retrospective on each season. We're breaking it down into four categories: Best Performance, Worst Performance, Most Underrated Idol and most Overrated Idol. At the end, we will decide how the season stacks up against the rest, rating it as great, good, or not-so-good.

We've looked back at Season 1 ( yay Kelly!), Season 2 ( aww, Clay and Ruben!), the black hole that was Season 3 and one of our favorite Top 2 in Season 4. Now let's get our Soul Patrol on.

Season 5 contestants in order of elimination:

Melissa McGhee
Kevin Covais
Lisa Tucker
Mandisa
Bucky Covington
Ace Young
Kellie Pickler
Paris Bennett
Chris Daughtry
Elliott Yamin
Katharine McPhee
Taylor Hicks (winner)


Best Performance: Katharine McPhee's "Over the Rainbow"

Sure, it's a cliched pick, but we thought that A) it was absolutely gorgeous and B) that Kat had the competition sewn up after she performed it. We're still surprised Taylor Hicks beat her. Nothing against Taylor Hicks, but that was a surprise.





Worst Performance: Kevin Covais, "Part-Time Lover"

This performance still gives us nightmares. We're sure Kevin is a sweet guy, but during this season, he looked like he was about 13 years old. So when he sings a song about being our secret part-time lover, we just feel icky. But to his credit, he seems to be in on the joke and that also makes it kind of awesome.





Most underrated Idol: Lisa Tucker

Does this choice surprise you? Sure, Daughtry went home early (we were hoping for a Daughtry/McPhee showdown in the finals), but Lisa Tucker had a voice far beyond her 16 years. Paris Bennett kind of stole Lisa's thunder for that demographic, but we thought Lisa sang rings around her. Just watch her audition -- her control and tone is out of this world.





Most overrated Idol: Ace Young


We thought Ace was pretty mediocre and was the start of a phenomenon where the cutest boy sticks around far long than he should because only teen girls and middle-aged women actually vote.

How this season stacks up: Good

And actually, we might upgrade that to great. We had forgotten until we started writing these reviews how strong this season was. We had the McPheever, Taylor was fun and both have put out decent albums since "Idol." Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington have had some good country stuff and obviously Daughtry has really found his niche with his band.

Photo/Video credit: FOX