'American Idol' fantasy smackdown

Thousands line up at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Thousands line up at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas for a chance to become the next "American Idol." (Aug. 26, 2011) Photo Credit: FOX

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One of the best ideas to revive "American Idol" ratings, before producers decided to draft Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, was to have a season of "Idol All-Stars," with previous winners returning to compete against each other. That was scrapped, reportedly the result of lack of interest from the more successful winners. But what if it actually happened?

Here's how we think the first 10 winners would rank:

1. Kelly Clarkson The original "Idol" is still the best. She has a distinctive voice that can handle a variety of styles well and is probably still the most likable of the group. So far, none of the winners has a signature hit as potent as "Since U Been Gone."

2. Carrie Underwood She comes close to Clarkson on nearly every score (and surpasses her on sales). Their battle would result in quite the finale.

3. David Cook He's the most inventive "Idol," by far, in terms of arranging and rearranging songs for his radio-friendly voice.

4. Fantasia When she's on, she's hard to beat, and it's hard to match her passion on the right material. However, she should be a way bigger star than she is -- man, is "Bump What Ya Friends Say" ready for a remake -- and somehow doesn't have the connection with fans that she should.

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5. Jordin Sparks The sweetheart of the bunch has a great voice and personality, but is still struggling to find where she fits in the pop scene.

6. Scotty McCreery "This Big" is destined for big things, as he revives the very specific Garth Brooks-style country star mold.

7. Ruben Studdard "The Velvet Teddy Bear" is in the midst of a comeback of sorts, tapping into an old-school R&B style with his warm delivery.

8. Kris Allen He was certainly likable and his Jason Mraz-zy delivery was certainly timely, but he has yet to connect with music fans on a larger scale.

9. Taylor Hicks His larger-than-life persona and big, unusual voice made him unique, if not necessarily popular.

10. Lee DeWyze Being a nice guy with a nice voice hasn't quite translated into a big following, despite the huge "Idol" platform.

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