The fifth season of reality television singing competition American Idol began on January 17, 2006, and concluded on May 24, 2006. Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell returned to judge, and Ryan Seacrest returned to host. It is the most successful season to date ratings-wise, and resulted in 18 contestants (including all of the top 10 and a few semifinalists) getting record deals – nine of them with major labels. It was the first season with a male winner (Taylor Hicks) and a female runner-up (Katharine McPhee), which happened again in seasons 9, 10, 11 and 13. It was also the first season of the series to be aired in high definition.