Fans of "American Idol" had the opportunity to see last season's Top 10 contestants show off their talents during "American Idol Live" Saturday at Chicago's United Center.
The family crowd - there were plenty of tweens, teens and parents in the audience - showed their support for their "Idols" by donning homemade T-shirts proclaiming their favorites or holding up colorful, decorated signs.
The concert starred last season's winner Lee DeWyze, a Mt. Prospect, Ill., native, along with Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Aaron Kelly, Tim Urban, Katie Stevens, Andrew Garcia and Didi Benami.
As expected, the crowd gave an enthusiastic welcome to hometown hero DeWyze, who put in a solid performance with U2's "Beautiful Day," the ballad "Hallelujah," Elton John's "Rocket Man" and the '70s soul hit "Treat Her Like a Lady." DeWyze proved humble as he thanked fans for voting and supporting him.
All of the entertainers performed several selections individually then split into groups for a couple of songs. The finale featured the guys performing Bon Jovi's hit "It's My Life," while the girls delivered "My Life Would Suck Without You," by first "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson.
As with contenders from seasons past, it's not often just the winner of "Idol" who makes the strongest impression overall on audiences.
Third runner-up Casey James proved a real attention-getter with his heavy rockin' guitar playing and gutsy vocals on "I Got Mine" while second place contestant Crystal Bowersox roared on Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart."
Teen Aaron Kelly delivered polished vocals on "Walking in Memphis" and "Somebody Like You," while Michael "Big Mike" Lynche offered an emotional rendition of "This Woman's Work" and a funky version of Justin Timberlake's "My Love."
Katie Stevens, who didn't really demonstrate anything extraordinary during the television contest, proved she can command a stage as she ripped into "Fighter." Andrew Garcia offered his unique take on Paula Abdul's "Straight Up."
As far as theatrical entertainment goes, though, Sioban Magnus is a winner in that category. Donned in a short floppy skirt, fish net stockings, combat boots and done up in sparkly dramatic makeup, Magnus let loose on the Rolling Stones "Paint It Black."
It'll be interesting to see which idols make it big in the recording contract arena.