American Idol 3

American Idol 3 (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The third season of American Idol premiered on January 19, 2004 and continued until May 26, 2004. The third season was won by Fantasia Barrino, who defeated Diana DeGarmo by an approximate margin of 2% (1.3 million votes). The vote total (65 million votes) is the highest recorded vote total in the show's history.


Auditions were held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, and Honolulu.

The early part of the season became well-known for the introduction of William Hung, a University of California, Berkeley student, who became popular following his rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs". His performance as well as his attitude facing judge Simon Cowell's criticisms (which was a stark contrast to other contestants' confrontational, angry reactions) made him instantly popular, and landed him a record deal with Koch Records.


The 32 semifinalists were:

  1. "Some Kind of Wonderful" (Grand Funk Railroad)
  1. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (Whitney Houston, 1987)
  2. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Roberta Flack)
  1. "Sweet Thing" (Chaka Khan)
  1. "Tiny Dancer" (Elton John)
  2. "A Little Less Conversation" (Elvis Presley)
  1. "Chain of Fools" (Aretha Franklin, 1968)
  • Marque Lynche
  1. "Wind Beneath My Wings" (Bette Midler, 1989)
  • Kara Master
  1. "I'm Outta Love" (Anastacia, 2000)
#"Walking in Memphis" (Marc Cohn, 1991)
  1. "When I See You Smile" (Bad English, 1989)
  1. "I Wish" (Carl Thomas)
  1. "New Attitude" (Patti LaBelle, 1984)
  1. "That's What Love Is All About"
  1. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" (Whitney Houston, 1987)
  1. "Don't Know Why" (Norah Jones, 2002)
  1. "Back at One" (Brian McKnight, 1999)
  • Noel Roman
  1. "This I Promise You" (*NSYNC, 2000)
  1. "Crazy" (Patsy Cline)
  1. "Un-Break My Heart" (Toni Braxton, 1996)
  2. "I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor, 1979)
  • Erskine Walcott
  1. "Open Arms" (Journey, 1982)
  • Katie Webber
  1. "Orange Colored Sky"
  2. "So Emotional" (Whitney Houston, 1988)
  1. "Come to My Window" (Melissa Etheridge, 1993)
  • Eric Yoder
  1. "In the Still of the Night"


After a nationwide vote of more than 65 million votes in total--more than the first two seasons combined--Fantasia Barrino won the "American Idol" title beating out Diana DeGarmo. The third season was also shown in Australia on Network Ten about half a week after episodes were shown in the US.

As a nod to the "Did Clay see the card?" controversy in AI2, Ryan Seacrest was instructed to memorize the winner's name and the vote margin and was given a blank card to hold while reporting the results. However, in a post-show interview with USA Today, Diana DeGarmo admitted that she had figured out that she had not won when the contestants were going over the schedule for the finale and she saw she would be singing "I Believe" (the winner's single) before the results were announced; realizing that she would not be scheduled to sing a song she would have to sing again minutes later when the results were announced, she determined that she had lost and Fantasia had won.

At the time of the finale many celebrities voiced their support for Fantasia: Frankie Muniz, Sharon Osbourne, Ray Romano, Amy Yasbeck, Nicole Kidman, Lori Loughlin, Kate Hudson, Andy Richter, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Holly Robinson Peete, Giuliana DePandi, Ben Stiller, Redman (TV Guide), Method Man (TV Guide) Richard Schiff, Kate Hudson (On the Tonight Show), Lea Thompson and Mo'nique.

Henry Winkler said "You've got incredible judges, Simon speaks the truth, I always agree with him. And Ryan is really good at what he does , but Fantasia," he smiles, "there's something in her that is bigger than anything. We voted for her about 250 times!"

Kelly Clarkson is quoted in the June 14th, 2004 People Magazine as saying she voted for Fantasia: "I just hit redial, redial."

Date Theme Guest Judge(s) Bottom Three
March 17 Soul Leah LaBelle Jennifer Hudson Amy Adams
March 24 Country Matthew Rogers Camile Velasco Diana DeGarmo
March 31 Motown Nick Ashford,
Valerie Simpson
Amy Adams (2) Jennifer Hudson (2) LaToya London
April 7 Elton John Camile Velasco (2) Jasmine Trias Diana DeGarmo (2)
April 15 Movies Quentin Tarantino Jon Peter Lewis John Stevens Diana DeGarmo (3)
April 21 Barry Manilow Barry Manilow Jennifer Hudson (3) Fantasia Barrino LaToya London (2)
April 28 Gloria Estefan Gloria Estefan John Stevens (2) George Huff Jasmine Trias (2)
Bottom Two
May 5 Big Band George Huff (2) Jasmine Trias (3)
May 12 Disco Donna Summer LaToya London (3) Fantasia Barrino (2)
May 19 Clive Davis Jasmine Trias (4)
May 26 Diana DeGarmo (4) Fantasia Barrino
Paul Anka made an appearance in the Season Finale.


Major releases

  • American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics
  • "I Believe" (Fantasia Barrino)
  • "Dreams" (Diana DeGarmo)
  • Free Yourself (Fantasia Barrino)
  • Blue Skies (Diana DeGarmo)
  • My Christmas EP! (George Huff)
  • "Come Fly With Me" (John Stevens)
  • Red (John Stevens)
  • Jasmine Trias (Jasmine Trias)
  • Love & Life (LaToya London)
  • Miracles (George Huff)

Minor or independent releases

(This list does not include pre-Idol releases)

  • Love, Lipstick and Poetry (Kiira Bivens)
  • Love, Lana (Lana Phillips)
  • Sing Me Home (Lisa Leuschner)
  • Str8up Band (Dina Lopez)
  • I'll Be Seeing You (John Preator)
  • This is Next Time (Alan Ritchson)
  • Sun Shiney Day (Lisa Wilson)
  • "If I Go Away" / "Man Like Me" (single) (Jon Peter Lewis)
Sources:, CD Baby


  • Both Jennifer Hudson and LaToya London, part of final twelve, were elminated, despite their popularity. After London was elminated, (Hudson was first) many believe that they were kicked off because of racism, despite the fact that a black woman beat a white woman in the final.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "American Idol (Season 3)". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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