'American Idol' roundup: Phillip Phillips releases song previews, Jessica Sanchez goes 'Glee,' and 'Skyfall' gets a killer cover by... Syesha?

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JAMES DURBIN: The Season 10 rocker released a preview of his take on the Elvis Presley Christmas song “Santa Claus is Back in Town,” which will be available at iTunes on Nov. 13.

KRIS ALLEN: And wouldya look at that? Another Idol alum getting all Christmas-y! The Season 8 winner is wasting no time getting new music out there after his split with RCA. Allen tweeted the cover of his upcoming Christmas EP, saying, “This will be coming soon.”

JASON CASTRO: The dread-locked Season 7 contestant has made a nice career for himself in the Christian music world (as has Season 5 alum Mandisa, whose latest disc What If We Were Real has sold 225,000 copies so far). He recently released a video for his new single “Only A Mountain” (below) and is currently on the Winter Jam tour with chart-topper TobyMac.

COLTON DIXON: The Season 11 rocker is also entering the Christian scene. His debut album is scheduled to come out in January, and he will hit the road with veteran band Third Day for their Miracle Tour, which kicks off in February. Dixon’s first official single “You Are” (below) is impacting Christian radio now.

SYESHA: Remember Syesha? (Apparently, she dropped the Mercado.) The Season 7 contestant was treated like a total non-factor during her run on the show despite delivering stunning (if somewhat soulless) vocals each week. Yet she made it all the way to third place (behind David Cook and David Archuleta), becoming the veritable Wonder Woman of her season. In the years since, Syesha traveled the country as Deena Jones in a touring production of Dreamgirls, and it seems that the years of performing experience have done her well — at least based on this utterly gorgeous cover of Adele’s “Skyfall” that she posted this morning. Those notes! It’s a totally awesome, totally random surprise.

PAUL McDONALD: Season 10’s raspy-voiced charmer and his wife, Twilight star Nikki Reed, released a five song EP on Oct. 29. The couple (who also share a duet on the new Twilight soundtrack) have produced a few videos for their songs, including this one, released back in March:

Which Idol contestants do you still have on your radar? Which ones are you glad to see sticking around in the industry? What do you think of all this new music? And are you as excited for this new season of Idol as I am?

Read more:
Phillip Phillips’ ‘Home’ certified double platinum
Jessica Sanchez announces she’s signed to Interscope
Colton Dixon releases ‘You Are’

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