Got an “American Idol” diehard you have to buy for this Christmas or as your Secret Santa recipient? There are some really hard core “American Idol” fans out there that like to keep up with the latest goings-on in the Idolverse but occasionally miss a single or album release, so this list will most likely help you out with an “Idol” fan that already has the Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Alaina, James Durbin, David Cook, Jennifer Hudson, and Scotty McCreery albums. And although it is unlikely that a new album came out in 2011 by an “American Idol” alum that they don’t know about, there might have been one or two that passed under their radar.
From most recent release to oldest:
Josh Gracin: Redemption — After searching around for a label for over two years, this Season 2 fourth-place finalist and bona fide country music star (four Top 10 hits, one No. 1) finally found a home for his album. Unfortunately, it already has four songs that have been released as singles (but that doesn’t mean they can’t be re-released). Gracin’s current single, “Long Way To Go,” has entered the Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 20. Redemption was released Nov. 8.
Kendra Chantelle: Unthinkable — This Season 10 Wild Card Finalist (which placed her in the Top 16) will always be remembered for her “Blackbird” duet with eighth-place finisher Paul McDonald. Her first album dropped on Nov. 7.
Tim Halperin: Rise & Fall — This north Texas “Idol” finalist from Season 10 made it to the Top 24 before being cut. His first album was released on Sept. 27, the day after his contract with “American Idol” expired. It debuted at No. 1 on iTunes Singer/Songwriters chart.
Kimberly Caldwell: Without Regret — Although “American Idol” fans have seen Caldwell on television (TV Guide Channel’s “Idol Tonight”) quite a bit since her seventh-place finish in Season 2, it wasn’t until April 19, 2011, that she released her first album.
Mandisa: What If We Were Real — The fourth album from this contempory gospel singer has been a sleeper on the charts for much of 2011 after debuting at No. 66 (release date: April 5). But strong radio play on Christian stations and a No. 1 single (“Stronger”) on the Christian Adult Contemporary chart have kept the album a steady seller for the Season 5 ninth-place finalist.
Watch Mandisa’s “Stronger” video.
Several “American Idol” finalists — like Season 7’s Brooke White and Season 8’s Anoop Desai — also released EPs this past year as well.
And there’s the Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Scotty McCreery round-up of 2011 big releases (See that complete list of “Idol” albums here). It wouldn’t hurt to check to make certain they don’t have one or a few of those…
Of course, if you do happen to have that hard core “American Idol” fanatic to buy for, you might be able to find a holiday album of actual Christmas music by a former “Idol” finalist — like David Archuleta, Elliott Yamin, and Kimberley Locke — they don’t currently have in their collection. But if they’re that into the hit Fox Television show, you might have to go the “X Factor” (Susan Boyle) or “America’s Got Talent” (Jackie Evancho) back-up route.