March 05, 2013 3:58 PM EST
To coincide with the first live shows of season 12 of "American Idol," here are the top 100 songs by Idols based on chart performance on the Hot 100, with the stories behind the songs, many of them being told for the first time.
The general landscape of male contestants on "American Idol" this season has certainly changed in comparison to previous years. In the past, the show was often dominated by a guy or guys who sang lighter rock or adult-alternative fare and who played guitar. Those guys ended up winning, too; the exception to the rule has been Scotty McCreery, who slots into the country genre.
A lackluster episode last Wednesday preceded the 10 girls who took the "American Idol" stage last night to sing for a spot in the top 20. Though a few singers, like Kree Harrison and Angela Miller, stood out, it wasn't incredibly reflective of the claims that the remaining female contestants were a talented crop, possibly the best chance the gender has had in years of actually winning the entire competition.
On this season of “American Idol,” there are apparently two kinds of contestants: singers and performers. At least, that was the case Thursday night, when 10 of the top 20 boys took to the Vegas stage to proclaim their worth to the judges.
To remember Whitney Houston on the sad anniversary of her passing, watch Jessica Sanchez sing Whitney's 1992 smash "I Will Always Love You" as part of a week-long tribute that also includes Melanie Fiona and Chrisette Michele.
After years of male dominance, "American Idol" may finally have some leading ladies -- Candice Glover and Angela Miller led a night of preliminary solo and group performances, establishing themselves as the front runners of a group at which they were already near the forefront.
For years, "American Idol" has been plagued with the "same old, same old." No matter what year you watch since about season seven, the end result of the show is often the same, with a similar singer making similar music with a similar instrument winning the hearts of many -- or, at least, many teenage girls.