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Chris Daughtry
It’s hard to watch American Idol most days and take anyone on that stage seriously. Between the caricaturish judges and the line-up of mostly forgettable voices, it takes a genuine spark to make a lasting impression. Sure, fans might vote for their favourite contestants during a season, but the loyalties of the audience can be transferred into the real world only if you truly have something to give them.

The best case in point is 2005 participant, Chris Daughtry. On American Idol, he was merely a fourth place finalist. Since then he’s done a bit better, to put it mildly. Daughtry’s debut release sold over one million copies after just five weeks of release. The album outsold debut albums by some of his fellow season five contestants and even that of the season winner Taylor Hicks.

Here is a 5-step look at how Chris Daughtry went from being just another Idol contestant to real-life rock star.

1. While On The Show, Just Stick To Singing Really Good Songs.

You can experiment with hairstyles, painstakingly shaped facial hair, earrings ~ Sanjaya Malakar is partying with supermodels these days, by the way, so you can stop laughing ~ but the trick to building a reputation as a good singer is to, quite simply, sing some good songs! The single most standout factor of Daughtry’s performance each week on the show was his choice of song ~ Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive, Fuel’s Hemorrhage (In My Hands), Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground, Bryan Adams’s Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman and Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World make up just a partial list and you can immediately tell that these are all performances that you as a viewer would want to watch.

2. Never Mind The Judges.

Idol contestants have their own special ways of dealing with the judges, especially the acid-tongued Simon Cowell ~ some try extra hard to please, others go the opposite route with an overdose of nonchalance while the rest try either humour, helplessness and when all else fails, aggression. Quite frankly, none of it really matters. Daughtry sidestepped all the games to focus on the best job he could do with a song. It paid off because the fans tuned in each week to watch him sing and when he got eliminated, they continued to support him by buying his music.

3. Move On Once You Get Eliminated.

It’s still a mystery as to why Daughtry got eliminated off the show. He was a clear favourite and a deserving candidate for the title. There have been rumours about a voting error, but the fact remains that Daughtry made it only to the final four. It was his approach to things after the elimination that made all the difference. He said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Of course I'm devastated. But I'm trying to look at the bigger picture. You know, life goes on. I can't say I'm happy about it. It's definitely a very big disappointment for me. But I'm going to keep on plugging.”

You can read the rest of our feature on Chris Daughtry in the May 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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