Ready, Set, Sing!
FANTASIA BARRINO, 19
Sounds Like: Macy Gray
Memorable Moment: The High Point, N.C., native's boast that "My lips are big, but my talent is bigger."
Mommy's Girl: The single mom of Zion, 2, says her daughter "likes to sing the songs I sing. [But] she's going to be a rapper!"
DIANA DEGARMO, 16
Sounds Like: a young Christina Aguilera ("back when she was nice," as Simon put it)
Memorable Moment: Defending her bubblegum-hued garb. "I'm not giving up on pink!"
Her Heart Will Go On: The Snellville, Ga., native turned 16 with a visit to Celine Dion's Vegas show. Afterward, "She said that no matter how hard I work, it'll pay off."
LATOYA LONDON, 25
Sounds Like: a young Whitney Houston
Memorable Moment: Randy and Paula giving her a standing ovation for "All By Myself"
On the Job Training: The Oakland, Calif., wedding singer – who is married to Danny Cox, 33, a baker – says her former gig was good practice: "The bride and groom have requests, and I would have to sing it whether I like it or not."
JASMINE TRIAS, 17
Reminds You Of: Last season's innocent, Carmen Rasmusen
Memorable Moment: Flaunting her hula dancing skills for Simon
Flower Power: The Mililani, Hawaii, high school senior also plays the ukulele and always sports a flower in her hair: "I want it to be my signature."
GEORGE HUFF, 23
Reminds You Of: Rickey Smith, from last season's AI
Memorable Moment: Nearly fainting when Simon chose him as his wild-card pick
Eggstra Special: While a University of Oklahoma student, Huff cooked omelets in the school cafeteria, paving the way for AI: "I think the Lord said, 'Okay, George, since you are grateful in that, here you go.' "
JOHN STEVENS, 16
Reminds You Of: Conan O'Brien
Memorable Moment: Squeaking through to the finals even after bungling the words to "Tell Her About It"
Retro Flair: The East Amherst, N.Y., high school junior says of his Sinatra-esque sound, "I bring something so old that it's new."
JENNIFER HUDSON, 22
Sounds Like: Jennifer Holiday
Memorable Moments: The silver jumpsuit, the pink ruffles, Simon telling her to find a stylist who can see. "My sister is my worst [fashion] critic. Simon has a lot of catching up to do."
Cruise Control: Pre-AI, the Chicago native crooned aboard a Disney cruise ship: "They said, 'You're too good to be here.' "
JON PETER LEWIS, 24
Reminds You Of: A cross between Beck and Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell
Memorable Moment: His fevered dance to "A Little Less Conversation." (Think Frodo on Red Bull.)
Hitting the High Notes: A pre-med student at BYU-Idaho, "JPL" is an early favorite on fan Web sites. He also boasts classical music training: "If I have to do an aria, I can."
CAMILE VELASCO, 18
Sounds Like: Lauryn Hill
Memorable Moment: Simon singling her out for praise during one particularly bad semifinals round
Pancake Past: Velasco took a break from waitressing at an IHOP on her native Maui (her parents own the eatery) when AI came calling.
AMY ADAMS, 24
Reminds You Of: Cyndi Lauper
Memorable Moment: Simon telling her, "I look at you and I think Cabaret Idol."
Take Two: Rejected by producers last season, the Bakersfield, Calif., hairstylist tried again – after reading Simon's book: "It was helpful."
MATTHEW ROGERS, 25
Reminds You Of: Garth Brooks
Memorable Moment: The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native donned a pink ribbon for his mom, Sam, who is battling breast cancer.
Go to the Tape: A former college football player, he TiVos every AI "because I like to run back and watch the competition."
LEAH LABELLE, 17
Sounds Like: Mary J. Blige
Memorable Moment: Simon telling her "You're like a beautiful designer dress, and when you take it home, there is a slight rip in it." Huh?
Name Game: LaBelle is a Seattle high school junior whose full name is Leah LaBelle Vladowski; her parents were singing stars in their native Bulgaria.