It is an odd thing, that a decade of presenting literally hundreds of pop, rock, and country star wannabes to a national audience has not resulted in literally hundreds of hours of holiday music. Because, let's face it, singing old standards, traditional holiday hymns, and modern Christmas classics has got to be an easy set of songs to record. Then there is the fact that there is a ready market for such music each and every year. But there hasn't been a deluge of holiday music from "American Idol" alums. And this year is no different. A few new additions, but just a few.
Season 5 finalist Mandisa started the snowball rolling this year when she re-released her 2008 holiday album, It's Christmas, subtracting three songs and adding four to the 10-track original (11 tracks if it was bought through iTunes) for a 2012 Christmas Angel Edition.
A week later, on October 16, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery dropped his first holiday offering -- Christmas with Scotty McCreery. The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and has remained a consistent bestseller, already topping the 100,000 sales threshold. Scotty's 11-track set not only offered traditional holiday classics but also a couple of newly penned tunes as well. Scotty became the first "Idol" winner and the first "Idol" country singer to release an album of holiday songs.
James Durbin released a Christmas rocker to iTunes the following week, a cover of Elvis Presley's classic, "Santa Claus Is Back In Town." Durbin, who finished three places behind Scotty McCreery in Season 10, told Yahoo Music that the song has always been his favorite Christmas song and he and his bandmates decided to record it while putting together songs for his upcoming sophomore album (due in 2013). "We found this killer, Van Halen-esque punk hybrid sound, and decided to record," he said.
The spirit of the season must have several of the Season 10 finalists at roughly the same time, because finalist Adam Brock, who wowed the judges with his soulful, bluesy voice, also decided to cut a new holiday recording. According to AmericanIdol.com, his 5-track EP, Christmas, was released on iTunes on Nov. 20.
And since she is now part of the "American Idol" family, it should not go unmentioned that rookie judge Mariah Carey has two full sets of Christmas songs, 1994's 5-times platinum-selling Merry Christmas and 2010's gold offering, Merry Christmas II You.
For a list of past "American Idol" alum holiday offerings, take a look at last year's round-up of past "Idol" releases. And there is at least one "Idol" compilation album of holiday songs, "American Idol: The Great Holiday Classics," which features artists from the first two seasons of the hit Fox Television series.
"American Idol" will return to Fox Television in January for its twelfth season.
(photo credit: American Idol, Freemantle North America, Fox Television)