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And Here I Thought I Just Had to Look for WGWG

By Rich Heldenfels Published: January 16, 2013

"Idol" fans and detractors have noted that the show, which returns tonight, has tended to belong to White Guys With Guitars in recent years. But offered some other stats of note. Their official words:

Most Popular Unnatural Hair Color: Bright Red – Over the past decade, we’ve seen some crazy hair cross the stage on American Idol – neon blues, pinks and even a Cruella De Vil-type dye job in Season 7 (ahem, Amanda Overmeyer). But through it all, there have been an uncanny abundance of finalists who fancy bright red ‘dos, dating all the way back to Nikki McKibbin in Season 1. What better way to say “I’m on fire!” than to look the part?!



Most popular Region: The South – Will Season 12 spark a pop star Civil War?? Just under half of all American Idol finalists were born and raised below the Mason-Dixon Line, with seasons 2 and 5 tied for the most with eight of their twelve top contestants hailing from the South. There’s gotta be something about that Southern charm!




Most Common Audition Artists: Aretha Franklin & Stevie Wonder – The secret to making it on American Idol? Spill your heart out. How? By channeling the king and queen of soul, of course! Over the years, a total of six finalists auditioned with Stevie Wonder jams (including Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, who made his debut with “Superstition”) and ten gained the judges’ R-E-S-P-E-C-T by serenading them with some Aretha Franklin.



Average Age of Finalists: 22 Years Old - Age ain't nothing but a number, unless you're on American Idol. The show limits itself to contestants who are between the ages of 15 and 28 at the time of their initial audition. The youngest American Idol winner ever was Season 6's Jordin Sparks (17), and the oldest was Taylor Hicks, who won at the ripe "old" age of 29. The average Idol finalist is therefore 22 – but as for the average age of the winners, the belief that rabid teen voters only vote for fellow youngins' sort of holds true. The average age of Idol winners is just 19.5 years old.



For more American Idol finalist data, visit: here.

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