“American Idol” fans, we need your help. As new judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie step behind the desk for the first time on ABC’s reboot of the reality TV singing show, we want to know who YOU think is the best winner of all time. Is it Season 1’s Kelly Clarkson, who now coaches “The Voice”? How about Season 4’s Carrie Underwood, who gave the intro to Sunday’s season premiere? What about country star Scotty McCreery, whose low voice enraptured America in Season 10? Familiarize yourself with all 15 winners in our photo gallery above, and then vote for your favorite in our poll below.
In all, male champs have dominated the series with 10 overall victories, including eight of the past nine. They are: Ruben Studdard (Season 2), Taylor Hicks (Season 5), David Cook (Season 7), Kris Allen (Season 8), Lee DeWyze (Season 9), Scotty McCreery (Season 10), Phillip Phillips (Season 11), Caleb Johnson (Season 13), Nick Fradiani (Season 14) and Trent Harmon (Season 15).
Candice Glover (Season 12) was the fifth and final female winner, following the triumphs of Kelly Clarkson (Season 1), Fantasia Barrino (Season 3), Carrie Underwood (Season 4) and Jordin Sparks (Season 6).
While it’s tough to measure one person’s success against another, it’s worth noting that only three “American Idol” winners have been honored with the most prestigious prize in music: a Grammy Award. Clarkson won two Grammys in 2005 (“Breakaway” and “Since U Been Gone”) and another in 2012 (“Stronger”). Barrino prevailed for “Bittersweet” in 2010. And Underwood has taken home a whopping seven trophies, including Best New Artist of 2006.
There are many worthy winners to pick from over the past 15 seasons but you can only vote for one, so choose wisely. “American Idol” continues airing Sundays and Mondays on its new home ABC.