Now that 'American Idol' is once again down to the top two, we'll be seeing a lot of those 'Idol' lists. Most successful 'Idols,' most album sales, fan favorites. There's only so many times we can read about Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, no?

Well 'Idol' success comes in lots of shapes and sizes. You have the Carrie and Kelly set. They've each sold over 10 million albums and reached superstar status.

There's the Chris Daughtry business model, which involves consistently churning out good albums that sell well to a certain group of fans. It's more modest than Kelly and Carrie's model, but it has still made Daughtry a household name and a millionaire many times over. Then there's the Taylor Hicks business model.

Hicks is often unfairly derided for the path he has taken after 'Idol.' Last year, the New York Times kicked off a story about 'Idol' success using Hicks as a cautionary tale. "It is doubtful that any of the remaining 24 contestants on 'American Idol' hope that they will be playing the Teen Angel in a touring production of 'Grease' in Milwaukee three years from now. But that's what Taylor Hicks, the 2006 'American Idol' winner, is doing. And it shows that winning the most popular talent competition in the country is no guarantee of superstardom," the Times wrote.

And it's true that winning 'Idol' is no guarantee of superstardom, but I think any of the 'Idol' constestants would be pleased as punch to be pulling in, according to insiders, the $3.5 million that Hicks has brought in during the past 18 months for his tour, album and merchandise sales and appearance fees.