Whatâ„¢s the difference between winning american idol and simply placing? Itâ„¢s massive when it comes to radio airplay. Iâ„¢ve been playing around with Mediabase numbers all week, trying to find the different stories they can tell. And this one's a doozy: Iâ„¢ve ranked last seasonâ„¢s 12 finalists according to the radio play theyâ„¢ve received. Naturally, David Cook, David Archuleta and Kristy Lee Cook outpace the other nine, since they had major-label record deals and a corresponding level of promotion. But the amount of fall-off between the not-really-successful Cook and the next-most-played finalist is simply staggering.