Some might argue that the past winners of American Idol did not really deserve to win. Runners up, in many cases were argued to be the better contestant. Let us look back at previous American Idol Runners ups to determine, based upon their post Idol careers. Should they have been to Idol winners?
Justin Guarini from season 1 was a teenage heartthrob and sent all the girls hearts a-twitter. But was he robbed of the title by a less deserving Kelly Clarkson? NO. His post Idol career started strong with an Album, The Midnight Voices already under his best. But his 2003 Idol album timed to for simultaneous release with his movie “From Justin to Kelly” made a large slapping noise when it summarily flopped. While the movie stinker hit Justin like a brick wall, Kelly just shrugged it off and kept going. Since his Idol days, Justin has composed music and lyrics, and recorded the song Everlasting, which is on his Album Strange Things Have Happened (2006). He is also involved acting, and had done some independent film projects.
Clay Aiken from season 2 lost to Ruben Studdard, whose post Idol career has been iffy at best. Clay Aiken on the other hand, has managed to stay in the limelight, but in a more infamous way. He has had seven tours, authored a best selling book, and hosted a Christmas Special. He has made numerous talk show appearances, and has taken Regis Philbin’s place on Regis and Kelly. The result of his last co-hosting was not good. He has released three Albums’; Measure of a Man, Merry Christmas with Love, and A Thousand Different Ways. Clay also won several American Music and Billboard Awards. Yes, perhaps he should have won. But personally, I still like Rueben more.
Diana DeGarmo from season 3 lost the Idol title to Fantasia Barrino. The American Idol message boards went crazy. Her fans were adamant that she should have won. But was she good enough? I think not. Her post Idol proves that she was not robbed. While Diana DeGarmo’s , “Dreams”, debuted at #2, and went to #1 on the Billboard US Singles Sales Chart, her momentum faltered. She did however, find her showbiz niche, on Broadway. Diana has starred in Hairspray, and BKLYN (Brooklyn), and has won several local Georgia Awards.
Bo Bice in season 4 is said to have happily lost his bid for the Idol award. Should he have won the American Idol title? Probably not. If there were a Rock Idol title, it would have been his though. He released an Album, The Real Thing in 2005 that peaked at #4 and went Gold. He is now set to release See The Light. While his music is very good, it does not have universal appeal like his opponent who is not doing well in country and the pop charts.
Katherine McPhee in Season 5 lost to Taylor Hicks. I am not sure why. She sang like a bird and had universal mass appeal where Hicks had more of a cult following. Still his personality was at least more interesting than hers was, and his career is more active. I think it could have gone either way. McPhee has released one self titled album, which debuted at #2, and the first single “Over it” hit #1 on TRL and the VH1 Countdown. She has also been working on several acting roles.
Blake Lewis in Season 6 lost to Jordin Sparks. Both singers were wildly popular and had mass appeal, but the final assigned song choice only flattered Jordin. Was beat-boxing Blake robbed, or did his performances become too gimmicky? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Blake’s album “Audio Day Dream” is set to release soon and his single from the show “You Give Love a Bad Name” reached #4 in iTunes releases and #18 on the U.S. Hot 100.