Forget The Competition — ‘Idol’ Top 12 Unite For ‘Encore’ Comp

May 23 release will highlight contestants' top performances.

When country-rocker Bucky Covington found out he had to sing a Stevie Wonder song the first week of the “American Idol” finals, he figured he was toast.

“Then I came across ‘Superstition’ and I was like, ‘We can knock this out,’ ” he recalled. “And now that’s going to be on the compilation album.”

Many would say that was Bucky’s best performance, which is exactly the theme of this year’s “Idol” album, American Idol Season 5 Encores.

Ace Young, for instance, recorded what he said a few weeks ago was definitely his favorite performance, “Father Figure.”

“I’ve always fit the niche of being a crossover artist and that’s been something that helped me and hurt me,” he said. “And that’s exactly what I would say about George Michael, so I thought it was fitting.”

The album, due May 23 — the same day as the final “Idol” performance night — also features Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” sung by Lisa Tucker, and several other soul favorites: Mandisa’s “I’m Every Woman” (a hit for both Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston), Katharine McPhee’s take on Aretha Franklin’s “Think” and Paris Bennett’s rendition of the Gladys Knight & the Pips staple “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

On the rock side, Chris Daughtry recorded Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Taylor Hicks took on the Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It to the Streets” and Melissa McGhee turned to Heart’s “What About Love.”

 ‘Idol’ Season Five Performances

  Photos Of The 12 Finalists

Three oldies round out the album: Kellie Pickler singing the Patsy Cline classic “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Kevin Covais crooning the Nat King Cole fave “When I Fall in Love” and Elliott Yamin tackling James Moody’s “Moody’s Mood for Love.”

The first four “American Idol” compilations have sold a combined total of 2.4 million copies, contributing to the 19 million albums sold featuring “Idol” veterans.

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