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Katharine McPhee (season 5, second place)
McPhee could sing like a bird. She shone on standards like ”Come Rain or Come Shine” and ”Over the Rainbow” (the tune that become her moment and signature song). That’s why her fans were not shocked when she sailed past popular contestants like Chris Daughtry and Elliott Yamin. But despite stellar vocal performances, she lost to gray-haired Taylor Hicks, who Katharine’s fans felt not only fell short in vocal ability, but looked like he could be Kat’s father. Blame Taylor’s massive legion of mostly female soul patrollers who voted their fingers off for their man, leaving some to wonder if a female contender could win in an Idol demographic that was becoming increasingly female.
Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox
March 28 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT