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American Idol Past Contestants: What Are They Up To Now?

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I do agree with that.  But I think too that making a living making music as a former Idol contestant (primarily), in whatever form, often beats what these people were doing before the show.  The show probably ups all their options and earnings, at least for the top 5-10.  

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I feel kind of bad for Caleb and Candice. I didn't watch those seasons but I can't say I've even heard them sing. We need to start a "do your goddamn job" movement with the music industry. They can make a star when they want to. Take Adam Lambert for example. Not to say he isn't talented because he is, but the dude was on the cover of two major magazines within months of the AI finale. He's made a few records and now he's fronting Queen. It seems like they don't do a ton of promotion for these kids. The show isn't as popular as it used to be so you can't release an album and expect it to go platinum because they were on Idol.

Its hard to know what to think about Carrie. I think she's one of the only winners who has played the game, so to speak, without complaint. She wanted to do country, so they got her some good songs. She didn't try to co-write and produce everything the first time out. She just sang the heck out of her songs, went back on Idol every time they called, and slimmed down a bit and started dressing sexy. I think a lot of her success is timing and genre. Carrie had the distinction of being the first country winner, and at a time in which the field was looking for someone new. No major label fights, no legal trouble, no public fights. She's seemingly had it easy. She's pretty and can sing. It seems like the entertainment industry has embraced her. and there's momentum. Carrie hasn't taken any significant breaks yet. The industry doesn't allow for long breaks between records like it used to.

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Literally, the only complaint I have about Carrie Underwood is that she sings "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night" (the Sunday Night Football theme song) like she's never heard of Joan Jett.

 

Faith Hill's version:

 

Carrie's version from this year's Super Bowl intro:

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I'm listening to Candice's performances from her season on AI. Maybe she was the best one in a group of clunkers, but...I'm not impressed. She can definitely sing and in a way I haven't heard since maybe Lakeisha (whom I wasn't a huge fan of) from S6, in that she seems to sing almost purely from instinct. She's kind of a belt-by-the-numbers diva, though. She's polished to a certain extent and she has a church-y flair for the dramatic that recalls maybe an off-Broadway gospel revival or an actress/singer in a Tyler Perry play. I actually think Candice would make a better background singer; it's kind of like if you watch a concert and the singer has one of her heavy-set black female singers sing a few bars and they kill it. That's Candice. I think in the pop/R&B landscape she's just another chick. I almost wish she would've released an album of covers instead of original material. For as good a singer as she is, she's a bit anonymous. I think she if she had done an album of covers kind of like Melinda Doolittle, it would've been more in her wheelhouse.

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I think Candice did perform somewhere in Europe last year.  Don't know how long she was there though.

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This is random (and probably offtopic, but I'm desperate): does anybody have Paul McDonald's studio version of "Tracks of My Tears"? I can't find it anywhere, including iTunes.

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I found it on the 1st page of Google search. :p  The site is in a foreign language but don't worry, song is in English.

 

http://m.nhaccuatui.com/bai-hat/the-track-of-my-tears-paul-mcdonald.0okRcyWPRl.html

 

You can listen to the song on the site, or you can download the mp3 by pressing the far-right button, just below the song timer. I don't know what the buttons says, so I just press them to see what happens lol. My anti virus didn't make any fuss, so I guess it's okay.

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I found it on the 1st page of Google search. :p  The site is in a foreign language but don't worry, song is in English.

 

http://m.nhaccuatui.com/bai-hat/the-track-of-my-tears-paul-mcdonald.0okRcyWPRl.html

 

You can listen to the song on the site, or you can download the mp3 by pressing the far-right button, just below the song timer. I don't know what the buttons says, so I just press them to see what happens lol. My anti virus didn't make any fuss, so I guess it's okay.

 

You are amazing, and I am now questioning how I ever wrote a research paper. (I probably skipped the website because I didn't understand what it said, but it ended up being more straight forward than most, so there you have it). Thank you!

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"I may not be Einstein, but I know dumb plus dumb equals you".

 

Why didn't somebody put me up on game with this damn song by Kelly? I've been sitting here making a mental list of chicks I've dated who I need to send this song to. Or maybe I just need to go on FB and start @ing bitches and see if they get the message. I know that's basic as hell but still they need to understand.

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Jason Castro (Season 7) is launching a new group with his siblings, and they've released a video with an acoustic version of a song from their upcoming album:

 

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Tori Kelly will be performing "Nobody Love" on The Late Late Show with James Corden tomorrow night...she was on Fallon one night last week so she's definitely reaching peak label pimpage...

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Has there ever been a good post-Idol first album? I'm sure mileage varies.

 

I thought David Cook's first post-Idol album was really good.

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I thought Carrie, Fantasia and Adam's post-Idol albums were all really good. Carrie was the biggest surprise for me because as a good a singer as she was, I thought she was such a bore. But that was a solid debut album that stills holds up today, more than a decade later.

Fantasia was also a surprise for me as I'm typically not a fan of R&B, but I really enjoyed her album. And with Adam, I think he suffered with some, due to some expectations that he would be or should be doing some kind of classic rock type album. But Adam pretty much stated right after Idol ended, that he was interested in making a pop album. And I thought it was a really solid and fun album.

Edited by truthaboutluv
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Has there ever been a good post-Idol first album? I'm sure mileage varies.

 

 

I bought Clay Aiken's CD as soon as it came out and loved it. I still listen to it, all these years later! 

 

I do remember buying Blake's CD, listening to it several times and then discarding it. I can't recall his last name; that should say something right there. I did enjoy him as a contestant, though.

 

I also bought Bo Bice's first CD; it was just meh for me. I still have it but don't listen to it anymore. 

 

I thought Chris Daughtry's first CD was quite good and when those songs come up on my iPod, I still enjoy them if I'm in the right mood. 

Edited by Biggie B
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Adam's first album was really good, and his second album was even better.  I'm looking forward to his next, The Original High, which is due to come out June 16th. 

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Oh man, I bought a bunch of first CDs - Taylor Hicks (not bad but he wasn't current), David Cook (awesome), Bucky Covington (LOVED it), Kelly Pickler (great), Phillip Phillips (loved this one too)

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I bought Justin Guarini's and Chris Daughtry's CDs.  Loved both of them.

 

I forgot about LaToya London.  I liked a couple of songs but that's about it.

Edited by Ohwell
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And with Adam, I think he suffered with some, due to some expectations that he would be or should be doing some kind of classic rock type album. But Adam pretty much stated right after Idol ended, that he was interested in making a pop album. And I thought it was a really solid and fun album.

I didn't expect Adam to do classic rock type music, just something edgier or more creative than he did.  I mean, the single was great (Whataya Want From Me) but the rest of it I didn't like.  It seemed like watered down mush.  So I never bought anything else from that company.  

 

I should've bought David's but I didn't like the single (Leave the Lights On), and figured if that was the best of the lot, I wouldn't like the rest.  I really like a lot of the songs he did on the show, though.  I need to purchase those, I suppose.  

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Taylor Hicks' first album.....I have it too. I liked Taylor a lot at that point (and still do) but the studio stuff wasn't quite as good as some of his live recordings.

 

Philip Phillips first outing was great. I may be biased because I'm a huge Dave Matthews fan, and there's some obvious similarity between the two, but PP is no clone - he's a very legit artist in his own way. Very solid stuff.

 

Enough good artists have come out of this show that I've always hoped nobody (as in critics and bigwigs) would be biased against an artist because they're an Idol alum.

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Taylor Hicks' first album.....I have it too. I liked Taylor a lot at that point (and still do) but the studio stuff wasn't quite as good as some of his live recordings.

 

Philip Phillips first outing was great. I may be biased because I'm a huge Dave Matthews fan, and there's some obvious similarity between the two, but PP is no clone - he's a very legit artist in his own way. Very solid stuff.

 

Enough good artists have come out of this show that I've always hoped nobody (as in critics and bigwigs) would be biased against an artist because they're an Idol alum.

I liked Taylor's first post-Idol album, but his Under The Radar was better.  His simpler sound on that self-released album is more sincere and emotionally effective than all the studio production.

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Philips' and Cook's debut albums were more "quiet" than most. I like hearing "real" voices, and music that sounds like it comes from the artist, not the handlers. Daughtry's debut album came from that place, too.

Carrie probably had the most overall professional-feeling debut. Solid music, that didn't read "talent show winner" obligatory album. The gal oozes STAR quality now-a-days.

Clarkson's debut was a mish mash of genres, mostly recycled. Later albums had really great individual pop songs. Of course, I like the less bombastic/less produced songs like "Sober", "Dark Skies". Hated the most popular ones, "Miss Independent", "SUBG", "Stronger". The voice is too enhanced on those, too. Probably the strongest catalog of good songs though. Excluding last album.

Not a debut album, but I respected Justin Guarini's 2nd album (Jazz). Pure vocals and music, by a gifted vocalist working with sophisticated musicians in a quiet music-driven way. "Sing" is so simple, but the delivery pulls at the heart.

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It would be stupid and ignorant at this point for any critic or other musician to discredit someone just because they're an Idol alum. Some of the biggest stars in the music industry came from this show and most people have probably forgotten they came from Idol (Kelly, Carrie, JHud, Adam) I mean, it was kind of surprising a band like Queen wanted Adam to front for them, so if they don't have an issue with an Idol alum, then neither should anyone else. Talent is talent, regardless of how they were discovered. Miranda Lambert, one of the biggest females in country music right now, started out on Nashville Star. One Direction came from The X Factor. At this point, only stuck up snobs who want to seem cool actually care anymore about where artists came from. Because they just don't get it that stars don't get discovered playing in bars anymore. The game has changed. 

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Not a debut album, but I respected Justin Guarini's 2nd album (Jazz). Pure vocals and music, by a gifted vocalist working with sophisticated musicians in a quiet music-driven way. "Sing" is so simple, but the delivery pulls at the heart.

I've got that one, too.

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I dont think anyone would care where the talent came from if the talent was good. If it wasnt good thats another story. Just winning a talent show but not being that great a singer or stage presence in the end could certainly make any critic or person question the winner being worthy of the "stardom"

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I do remember buying Blake's CD, listening to it several times and then discarding it. I can't recall his last name; that should say something right there. I did enjoy him as a contestant, though.

 

Do you mean Blake Lewis, the beatboxing Season 6 runner-up to Jordin Sparks?

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Do you mean Blake Lewis, the beatboxing Season 6 runner-up to Jordin Sparks?

 

Yes - I completely blanked on his last name.

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Have any other Idol contestants landed major TV gigs other than Katharine McPhee? ("Smash")

 

She's also in "Scorpion" in a non-singing role.

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Justin Guarini is Li'l Sweet in the Diet Dr. Pepper commercials.  I love them!

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Oh man, I bought a bunch of first CDs - Taylor Hicks (not bad but he wasn't current), David Cook (awesome), Bucky Covington (LOVED it), Kelly Pickler (great), Phillip Phillips (loved this one too)

 

 

Oh my.  Bucky Covington.  That was a blast from the past! 

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The CDs I own from Idol alum are:

 

Kelly Clarkson - Thankful and Breakaway

 

Jon Peter Lewis - Stories From Hollywood, Break the Silence, and Jon Peter Lewis EP

 

Carrie Underwood - Blown Away

 

Daughtry - Daughtry and Leave This Town

 

Lee DeWyze - So I'm Told, Slumberland, Live It Up, and Frames

 

Scotty McCreery - Clear As Day and Christmas with Scotty McCreery

 

Lauren Alaina - Wildflower

 

Haley Reinhart - Listen Up! (Deluxe Edition)

 

Casey Abrams - Casey Abrams (Walmart Exclusive Version)

 

Caleb Johnson - Testify (Target Edition)

 

Soundtracks:

Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics

Season 5: Encores

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I have all of Kelly, Carrie (copies), Kellie Pickler, Archuleta, Cook (copies), Bo Bice, Jordin, JHUD, Kris Allen, Daughtry (first two), Katharine McPhee, and Adam Lambert. I own a few debuts and one-offs by some others from over the years, like Candice, Clay, Fantasia, Diana Degarmo, Ruben, Haley Reinhart, Brooke White, Michael Johns, Jason Castro, and Kimberly Locke. And Angela Miller's and Sam Woolf's EPs. But some of these were bought by my mother years ago when the show was big.

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Can someone please tell me why David Cook isn't a success? After Idol, when they released "Time of My Life," I really thought that he would make it, similar to the success of (maybe) Daughtry. He has a great voice (IMO) and is a relatively talented songwriter. He is also personable and pretty good looking.

 

Every now and again I'll hear him on the radio, one of his post TOML songs that never quite caught on in the same way. I know he has a new album coming out. Is it too late for him?

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Can someone please tell me why David Cook isn't a success? After Idol, when they released "Time of My Life," I really thought that he would make it, similar to the success of (maybe) Daughtry. He has a great voice (IMO) and is a relatively talented songwriter. He is also personable and pretty good looking.

 

Every now and again I'll hear him on the radio, one of his post TOML songs that never quite caught on in the same way. I know he has a new album coming out. Is it too late for him?

 

 

I'm a huge fan of his and I don't get it either.  I think the first album did fine, and his tour did fantastic.  I really think a big part of the problem was lack of promotion and bad decisions by  RCA.  The music was there, but I don't think it was promoted properly.  I think the first RCA album, they could have released more singles, which would have kept with new songs on the radio longer, and for the second, it was doing well when it was released, and then there was no other promotion for 3 months.Also, the single that was released didn't represent the rest of the album.   The reason I think it's the label is because similar things happened with other Idols.

 

I don't think it's too late for him, he definitely still has a strong following,

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I was never a huge David Cook fan - I thought he absolutely deserved his idol win and was brilliant on the show but found his post-show material quite boring. That being said, without question RCA is a shit label as evidenced by many of the other idol contestants who have been screwed over by them. However, I also remember reading comments by his fans, who felt that he toured too long and took too long to put out his sophomore album and that partly hurt him. And I can understand that argument. 

 

Idol fanbase was/is a very fickle thing, particularly because a year later after discovering and loving one contestant, a whole new crop of contestants would pop up, drawing some fans' attention away. Obviously contestants have their die-hards who will love them no matter what but that's rarely enough to sustain a career and be truly successful. The hugely successful artists are the ones with a lot of casual fans. And that's why many people would talk about the "idol bubble" and contestants needing to break out of that to be really successful. Kelly and Carrie were the ultimate examples of this and not surprisingly why they were the most successful. 

 

The Breakaway album put Kelly on the map in a big way where she was no longer just the girl from Idol and same with Carrie. Carrie's first album was amazing and garnered her a lot of respect from people who were naturally skeptical of the "singing competition winner" and a slew of non-Idol watching fans. I don't think David ever achieved that crossover and so once he was gone from radio for awhile, many moved on and his subsequent albums just weren't amazing enough to truly impact. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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I was never a huge David Cook fan - I thought he absolutely deserved his idol win and was brilliant on the show but found his post-show material quite boring. That being said, without question RCA is a shit label as evidenced by many of the other idol contestants who have been screwed over by them. However, I also remember reading comments by his fans, who felt that he toured too long and took too long to put out his sophomore album and that partly hurt him. And I can understand that argument. 

 

 

 

The majority of fans enjoyed the tour, though.    And the timing of the second album wasn't that much different than for some other artists.  But most of the delays were because of the label, he has said that they pushed him to write with cowriters that he wouldn't have written with, and wrote over 80 songs that we wouldn't hear because they didn't reflect him, and also there was a lot of compromises.  Also, when the second album did come out,  the first week, it was high on the charts, but then there was no promotion for about 3 months.   He said he is much happier having the freedom with this album, and I think he still has enough fans to do well with it, hopefully it will break through. 

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Have any other Idol contestants landed major TV gigs other than Katharine McPhee? ("Smash")

Not prime time but Diana DeGarmo was on The Young and the Restless for six months (2011-2012).
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Jennifer Hudson was on last season's "Empire". 

 

I forgot I downloaded Casey Abrams' CD off Itunes. I LOVED it. 

 

Alex Preston just put out a new song he recorded that's on the charts at Itunes. 

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Alex Preston just put out a new song he recorded that's on the charts at Itunes. 

 

I was curious, so I looked--it's currently #18 in iTunes Singer/Songwriter. (10 of the 17 ahead of it in that category are Ed Sheeran. Goodness!)  It sounds good.

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