Season 10 – where are they now?

Idol reunion 2
Season 10 finalists reunited at the Idol finale

Season 10 was the deepest season in the history of American Idol. No other season, even the first season – when the show was so popular even joke auditions attracted agents – churned out so many records, and so many recording artists. Champion Scotty McCreery is a country superstar, and most of the finalists have found success in mainstream media.

Where are they now: the season 10 finalists

Scotty McCreery
Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery – Scotty is a country superstar, and one of the most successful Idols. His Facebook page has over two million followers, his Twitter feed nearly a million, and his Instagram nearly 300,000. He has sold over two million albums, and recorded 4 top 20 singles. His You Tube videos have reached as many as 20 million hits, and 25 of them have reached a million hits. He is still only 22.

Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina – The polarizing, flirting, stumbling 15 year old season 10 runner-up has morphed into a brassy, sassy country diva – just like everyone envisioned back when she was the world’s th (14)youngest cougar. Her first album sold over 300,000 copies and her latest single (below) became her 5th top 40 country hit. She has over a half a million followers on Twitter, and over a half a million followers on Facebook. Now 21, she is just getting started.

Haley Reinhart
Haley Reinhart

Haley Reinhart – She’s not quite A-list yet, butth (19) she’s working on it. Her first album reached #17 on the Billboard charts, she was part of the Post-Modern Jukebox cover of “All about that Bass,” and she seems to pop up everywhere recording artists gather – sort of like she’s the jazzy Kathy Griffin of pop music. Here’s her brand new single, from her brand new album.

Haley works a lot with Postmodern Jukebox and that crew, which includes Morgan James. Here they are dueting a Beatles song,

th (17)
James Durbin

James Durbin – JD is out touring, kicking ass and taking names. Here’s his latest video:

th (16)Casey Abrams and JD did a gig together recently; here is their tribute to Prince:

Ok, one more … this is JD in concert. The show is over an hour long and the sound quality is really good.

th (20)
Jacob Lusk

Jacob Lusk – He’s still out there, Twittering away and singing in his rubbery voice. He talks about God a lot.

th (21)
Casey Abrams

Casey Abrams – He’s touring, writing, recording, laughing, dancing, and being an all-around weird, crazy, cool guy. As usual. He collaborates with Haley Reinhart quite a bit … they worked together as part of the jazzy performance of “All about that Bass” with Post-Modern Jukebox:

th (22)
Casey and Haley

Morgan James is the blonde stage right with the huge pipes; Telly Savalas’ daughter Ariana is the girl stage left. That video recently went over 14 million hits on You Tube. The video below, Casey’s song “Stuck in London” from his self-titled album, is one of my personal favorites by a former Idol. Once again, Haley came along for the ride.

Ok, I gotta add one more – I found this on James Durbin’s You Tube channel, from a concert they did together:

Stefano Langone
Stefano Langone

th (24)Stefano Langone – He was one of the lowest finishing contestants to return to the show and perform, and he did a couple of national radio tours in support of the singles “I’m on a Roll” and “Yes to Love” in 2012. He also performed at the 2015 Miss USA pageant (video below). He is currently living, writing, and performing in Los Angeles, with an album due out in May, 2016.

Paul McDonald
Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald – Paul’s most notorious th (8)move post-Idol was marrying and divorcing Nikki Reed. He is still making music, running around like a wild man, and living the Dream.

th (1)
Pia Toscano

Pia Toscano – Pia sang in the finale, taking the pimp spot in her group and receiving a standing th (2)ovation. She’s been making the rounds, promoting the single “You’ll be King” that I embedded below. She has over 200,000 Twitter followers and 144,000 Facebook followers.

Thia Megia
Thia Megia
thia with dale watson in yellow rose
Thia with Dale Watson, filming “Yellow Rose”

Thia Megia – I had a hard time finding her anywhere until I stumbled upon a related website about country singer Dale Watson. Thia was cast as the lead in”Yellow Rose,” an independent film also starring Watson. Thia plays a young Filipino singer, so maybe it’s typecasting, but still … she’s starring in a full-length motion picture. Not bad.

Naima Adadepo
Naima Adedapo

Naima Adedapo – Naima spends most of her time going back and forth between Nashville, where she is a staff songwriter, and concert dates in her native Midwest. In between her writing and performing work, she and her husband ride herd on their two children. Her website is a tremendous source for pictures, videos, and information on performance dates and tickets.

Karen Rodriguez
Karen Rodriguez

Karen Rodriguez – As we would expect, th (6)Karen is focused on a career in Latin music – and she is doing dammed well so far. As of May 1, 2016, Karen’s Facebook page has 196,099 likes, and her videos often surpass a million hits on YouTube.

th (1)In addition to her singing career, Karen is active in “Living Fabulosa,” which appears to be a Latina mentoring program with over a million members, under the umbrella of something called Orgullosa, which is Spanish for proud. I don’t speak Spanish so I’m not completely sure what it’s all about, but it looks like an impressive undertaking.

th (3)
Ashton Jones

Ashton Jones – She isn’t as active in social media

Ashton Jones

as many of the others are, but she’s been busy. She wrote and performed a song for an album project spearheaded by Michelle Obama, and she has been featured on a Lecrae video that has close to 800,000 views on You Tube. The only recent news I found was that she performed at a Kentucky Derby party (first weekend of May, 2016) hosted by Morris Chestnutt.

She released an album called “Too Much” which can be heard on her website. This video was published August 24, 2013.

 

 

Finals – season 10

Final 13 perform

And then there were 12

Final 12 power rankings and song ideas

Final 12 perform

And then there were 11

Final 11 perform

And still there were 11

Double trouble

And then there were nine

Final nine perform

Pia, Pia, Pia

Final eight power rankings

Final eight perform

And then there were seven

Final seven perform

And then there were six

Final six perform

And then there were five

Final five perform

And then there were four

Final four perform

And then there were three

Stumblin’ Dice

A redneck shindig

Scotty and Lauren perform

Finale “live” bloggin’

 

Awards Show

For some reason my invites to a raft of B-list celebrities got lost in the mail, so I’ll be handing the awards out myself. Let’s skip the teleprompter jokes and get right to it:

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Public Awards

The first bank of awards is based on the results from the public voting, from the semifinals to the Nokia:

Idol: Scotty McCreery

Top Male: Scotty McCreery

Top Female: Lauren Alaina

Survivor award: Haley Reinhart

Flameout “award”: Casey Abrams

Shocker award: Pia Toscano

Those are all self-explanatory, I think. Haley gets the survivor award because she was in the bottom two twice right off the bat, yet “survived” to finish third. Casey was at the top of most power rankings at the beginning of the semis, but needed the save just to make the tour and finished sixth. Pia, I am pretty sure that I don’t need to explain. Hell, I don’t think that I needed to explain the others either, but just in case….

This next bank of awards are purely my opinion, and specifically NOT tied to the voting. They will need more explaining, so I’ll expand as I make the awards up. I’m not kidding. I have three awards in my head so far. I’m going to make the rest up as I go along.

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Most valuable contestant: Scotty McCreery

I almost want to say Haley here, because she kept it so interesting on the show itself with her dynamic performances, her underdog journey and the drama surrounding her disconnect with the judges and the producers. She will get her due down the page. Scotty is the main reason why the ratings were so high this season, more than any other contestant. He was the frontrunner all season, and he was personally responsible for more watchers and voters than any other contestant.

Past winners:

Season 7- David Archuleta

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Most controversial contestant: Lauren Alaina

Lauren was discussed like she was naked in a glass room (and everyone had an opinion on what they were looking at) all season long, from the Steven flirting at her audition to the strained vocal chords at the finale. She didn’t even get to fade off there. After the finale twitter blew up with “Are Scotty and Lauren Dating?” Let’s see, what would be a top 10 list of Lauren topics? In no particular order:

1- Its creepy how she flirts with Steven Tyler

2- Is she dating Scotty?

3- Can she sing with sprained vocal chords?

4- Why isn’t she getting criticized, ever?

5- Hey, can we see that clip where she falls down the stairs again?

6- She is too young

7- She doesn’t act young enough

8- She is a cry-baby

9- She doesn’t cry enough, doesn’t she care?

10- Why is Nigel trying so hard to get her into the finale?

Pia’s early ouster would also be a good choice here. I have other places to give Pia her 15 minutes of award show fame.

Season 7- Carly Smithson

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus

Most polarizing contestant- Lauren Alaina

It’s a fine distinction between controversial and polarizing, but I see a difference even though I am picking the same person for both awards. Lauren was the one contestant all season who most divided the country, with an almost 50-50 split among those who loved her, and those who hated her.

Season 7- Jason Castro

Season 8- Danny Gokey

Season 9- Tim Urban

Best looking contestant (male)- Scotty McCreery

This is based on what I hear from my female friends who follow the show, but I don’t think it’s a blow-out. Paul McDonald would get more than one vote from my small pool of readers, and JD wouldn’t get shut out either. Stefano, even Casey have their fans.

Season 7- Jason Castro

Season 8- Kris Allen

Season 9- Casey James

Best looking contestant (female)- Pia Toscano

Probably a no-brainer, but this was a very attractive group of Idol females. I personally might have gone with Kendra Chantelle or Karen Rodriguez, and like with the fellas my small pool of readers would give votes to several different contestants.

Season 7- Brooke White

Season 8- Adam Lambert (just kidding) Kristen McNamara

Season 9- Didi Benami

Best pure voice (male)- James Durbin

I could make a case for a few others, including a couple who didn’t even make the finals, but JD is the obvious choice to me.

Season 7- David Archuleta

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Lee Dewyze

Best pure voice (female)- Pia Toscano

Easy choice. My number two would be “other” Lauren Turner, with Haley a strong third.

Season 7- Carly Smithson

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Best looking and best pure voice, gender undefined as long as they still do those operations in Helsinki- Jacob Lusk

Hell, maybe a sex change would help him stay in tune. Honorable mention to Brett Loewenstern and Ashley Sullivan

Most entertaining also-ran (male)- Carson Higgins

Honorable mention to Jacee Badeaux

Most entertaining also-ran (female)- Ashley Sullivan

I skipped “past award winners” for the last few. I don’t remember enough from the early shows to have a real clue.

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Performance Awards:

Most creative- Casey Abrams

Honorable mention to James Durbin and Naima Adedapo.

Season 7- David Cook

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus

Most thrilling peak that didn’t last- Pia Toscano

Season 7- Chekeze Eze

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus

Most consistent- Scotty McCreery

Scotty got off to a blah start, but he was consistently what he needed to be for the last 10 weeks. I would give the second spot to Lauren Alaina.

Season 7- David Archuleta

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Best live performer (male)- James Durbin

JD was inconsistent as a singer, but he was very consistent as a dramatic performer. He pulled out the stops, week after week.

Season 7- David Cook

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Casey James

Best live performer (female)- Haley Reinhart

Only Pia (who was limited to five performances) is in the ballpark for sheer edge of your seat anticipation of what in the hell she was going to do next.

Season 7- Carly Smithson

Season 8- Allison Iraheta

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Flameout award (male)- Robbie Rosen

This isn’t really fair to Robbie, who deserved to be in the final thirteen, but he was my number one from the beginning and he didn’t make the finals. Honorable mention goes to Scott Dangerfield, for whom I gave standout status after his audition. He didn’t even go toHollywood, because he was more invested in his teaching career. I’m not blaming him for quitting, but going from standout to gone is a pretty big flameout.

Season 7- David Hernandez

Season 8- Jorge Nunez

Season 9- Andrew Garcia

Flameout award (female)- Paris Tassin

Her audition made my list of the top 40 videos, but she was wildly out of tune twice and got knocked out on group night. I don’t know what happened to her, honestly. Did she just have that one magical moment, or was there something wrong with her later? We’ll never know.

Season 7- Amanda Overmeyer

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Ashley Rodriguez

Best audition (male)- Casey Abrams

The melodica, the manic “I don’t need no doctor”, and the pied piper persona made this audition the highlight of the early shows for me. Honorable mention to Scotty, Stefano, James and Jacee Badeaux.

Season 7- no clue

Season 8- Danny Gokey

Season 9- Andrew Garcia

Best audition (female)- Paris Tassin

Honorable mention to Lauren Alaina’s wildly over-hyped but very sweet and entertaining audition, Victoria Huggins’ “yo-yo dawg”, Harvard girl Molly DeWolf’s sultry “Sitting on the dock of the bay” and the long lost Kardashian sisters Kenzie Palmer and Melinda Ademi.

Season 7- No idea

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Didi Benami

Best short audition (male)- Paul McDonald

I pretty much stamped him as a top ten contestant based on about ten seconds of “Maggy May”. Honorable mention to Carson Higgins, who’s audition wasn’t even aired until Hollywood week.

Season 7- pass

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Lee Dewyze

Best short audition (female)- Lara Johnston

There weren’t very many, and none of them made the live shows. Lara is Doobie Brothers singer Tom Johnston’s daughter.

Season 7- nope

Season 8- not sure

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Best Hollywood performances (male): Casey Abrams

By a landslide. I also really enjoyed Tim Halperin and Brett Loewenstern, and of course Jacob’s “God Bless the Child”.

Season 7- didn’t watch it, apparently David Hernandez was the one

Season 8- Danny Gokey

Season 9- Andrew Garcia

Best Hollywood performance (female)- Lauren Turner

Idol gave her to us in small doses, but each dose was amazing.

Season 7- didn’t watch, but Carly Smithson got a lot of press

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Lilly Scott slightly over Crystal Bowersox

Best live show single performance (male)- James Durbin

As much as I loved this crop of males, they really underwhelmed by this standard during the live shows. JD had several dynamic stage shows, but his Carole King song was his only really remarkable vocal performance. Casey never recaptured the magic of his Hollywood Week performances. Stefano sang scared, Jacob sang wildly out of tune. Paul was fine, but this isn’t his game. Scotty had a couple of nice moments, which I would give honorable mention (“Gone”, and “You Got a Friend”). Robbie’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” might be my number two, and it didn’t even get him a spot. If this had been season 8, and Adam was going up against all of them by himself, he would rank number one through about number ten before we got to JD. Nobody was terrible, they were all good, but there was a huge lack of amazingness.

Season 7- Chekeze “She’s a woman”

Season 8- Adam Lambert “Satisfaction”

Season 9- Casey James “Jealous Guy”

Best live show single performance (female)- Haley Reinhart

You pick it between “House of the Rising Sun” and “What is and Never Should Be”. The females would rank about one through – well, let’s see:

1- Haley, “House”

2- Haley, “Led Zep”

3- Pia, “All in Love is Fair”

4- Haley, “Benny and the Jets”

5- Pia, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”

6- This could be JD, so I would give the top 5 to the ladies this season.

Season 7- Carly Smithson “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Season 8- Allison Iraheta “Someone to watch over me”

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox “Up to the Mountain”

Best judging moment- J-Lo turning to Randy in Hollywood, and telling him “we almost cut her yesterday!!” during Haley’s third round performance.

Worst judging moment- J-Lo, every other time that she opened her mouth when Haley was on the stage.

No, this was the worst judging moment- Randy, during the final four, calling the race a tie between everyone but Haley, right before she had to sing.

Ok, this was absolutely THE WORST judging moment- The entire judging panel, during the final nine performance night, calling every singer great other than taking several moments to single Pia out for not moving well on stage after Gwen Stefani dressed her in a gunnysack. 24 hours later Idol had a serious problem.

I don’t know what award I would give it, but the largest judging mistake was NOT giving James, Lauren, Casey, Jacob and Scotty any constructive criticism or usable tips for their singing.

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THE BIG THREE AWARDS

Enough preamble; it’s time to give out my three major awards for Idol’s tenth season: The ALLIE, the CHEKEZE, and the ADAM. I didn’t do this last year (or the year before) so I’ll do some catching up for the lost years.

I’ll talk about them as if they are important, mainstream awards; but I’m just making them up. Some day, if they catch on, you heard (read) it here first.

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The Allie

– The Allie award goes to the contestant the most embodies the spirit of Allison Iraheta; a contestant that took the worst that the judges and the voters could throw at her and, instead of getting scared and timid, got stronger and tougher as the year went on. By the time Allie got bounced even the judges that kept trying to get rid of her were standing and cheering her, and desperately trying to get a piece of her as she left in triumph. The “Allie” winner should be the one contestant that ended up the furthest ahead of where they started, and the one contestant that will be most missed by the judges, the other contestants, and the watching public. A true “Allie” will inspire outrage from the internet, which represent the wishes of the watchers more than the voting totals that are slanted by the speed dialers. The “Allie” will get a disproportionately large share of the finale compared to his or her finish on the show, and a much longer interview with Mike Slezak than what would be expected from his or her finish. By these criteria, here are the “Allie” award winners from season 7 to season 9:

Season 7- Brooke White. She finished fifth, but got a long Slezak interview and a full duet with Graham Nash on “Teach Your Children”

Season 8- Um, Allie? Allie got the second longest interview (behind Adam) and a duet with Cyndie Lauper on “Time After Time”

Season 9- Siobhan- She didn’t get the big finale song, but she got to sing solo on four different group performances and her Slezak interview was the longest one that he’s done to date, over 40 minutes. Even Adam, who had the second longest, got just over 20 minutes.

Ok, drum roll…..

ALLIE AWARD-

Haley Reinhart

The voters, all 382 of them, voted for Haley unanimously. Ok, it was just me, but this one was as easy as any award that I’ve given out. Haley got the longest Slezak interview of the season and she made the largest move forward of any Idol contestant ever from the early rounds to when she got bounced. The judges were out to lunch this year, but the audience and the contestants were all on her side at the end. Shin DIG!!!!

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The Chekeze

– The Chekeze award is almost a prestigious as the “Allie”, and the statue is the same size (statue?). The Chekeze award is for the most electrifying live show performance of the season:

Season 7- Chekeze, “She’s a Woman”

Season 8- Adam Lambert- “Satisfaction”

I listen to a lot of Idol performances on Youtube, and I am not sure that there has ever been a more dominating performance than this one. Adam announced himself that night as the guy that would, eventually, prove to be the most dynamic performer in the history of the show.

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus- “Paint it Black”

If she can nail one song in her post-Idol career like she nailed this one, she will be a superstar.

Drum roll…….

CHEKEZE AWARD

Pia Toscano, “All in Love is Fair”

This was a year of consistently high level performances, but fewer huge peaks. Frankly, the true Chekeze moment of the season was probably Casey’s “Georgia”, but it doesn’t qualify because it was before the live shows. I would probably put Haley and Lauren’s “Gunpowder and Lead”, Casey and Haley’s “Moanin’” and Haley’s swan song performance of “Benny and the Jets” ahead of Pia, but none of them were under the pressure of a performance night show. Pia shouldn’t have to apologize. She was spectacular, and it was this performance that made it so hard on us when we had to deal with her early ouster. I’m pretending that it wasn’t the outfit that she wore on elimination night that caused all the angst. Just go with it.

Plus it would be strange to give all three awards to Haley, who didn’t even make the finale.

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The Adam

– The Adam award is for the “moment-maker” of the season; the contestant that delivered the most “wow” performances.

Season 7- David Cook

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Drum roll…..

ADAM AWARD

Haley Reinhart

It’s no coincidence that the finale performance show was down in the ratings. This was the third consecutive year that the consensus “best performer” didn’t win. Idol needs to fix their voting system, or it will keep happening.

Where Are They Now?

These are in order of finish, for the most part, from when I started listening (season 7 top 12) to the end of season 9. I didn’t take too much time on the Idols who are in the mainstream (David Cook, Adam Lambert, etc.) and I played favorites. This explains why I wrote more about Siobhan than the rest of the contestants combined.

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Season 7:

David Cook– Cookie is touring like a madman, and doing very well. He set a raft of billboard chart records with his debut album and a rash of I-tunes recordings just after he was crowned Idol in 2008. He’s about to release his second album.

David Archuleta– After some early success (his first solo album debuted at number 2 on the billboard album charts and sold 750,000 copies, and he’s had nearly 2 million I-tunes downloads) he is currently unsigned, and regrouping. He won’t turn 21 until the end of this year.

Syesha Mercado– Toured with “Dreamgirls” for over a year, performing the lead role. She recently completed filming of her movie debut, in an independent film called “Dreams” (not related to “Dreamgirls”). No album out so far, but she is reporting that she is working on one.

Jason Castro– Touring below the radar, with his brother Michael as his opening act. His debut album made it to 18 on the billboard charts, and his follow-up EP made the top 100 despite virtually no label promotion. He is gradually morphing into a Christian music artist now, working spiritual songs into the mix with his more eclectic songs. He married his college sweetheart, and they are expecting their first child this fall. I’ve heard a couple of his songs, and they are pretty good. If you like Jason, you should hunt them up on youtube.

Brooke White– Working like crazy in several fields of the entertainment industry. She has sold roughly 100,000 albums total from her 2 releases (one prior to Idol), starred in a Fox TV movie, and done some hosting work including on the TV guide network. She has one single that made it to number 47 on the billboard charts.

Carly Smithson- Currently touring with her Goth-Rock band “We are the Fallen”; opening for “Saving Abel”. They are a really good band, very dramatic and intense, but so far they haven’t gotten much mainstream attention.

Christy Lee Cook– Her debut album reached number 8 on the billboard country charts and her first single reached number 28 despite the fact that, as a seventh place finisher, she got virtually no promotional push from the Idol machine. She is currently a signed artist on Broken Bow records, but she is mostly busy with hosting duties on the Outdoor Channel, with 2 shows. She wrote Lauren Alaina’s first single, “Like My Mother Does”, and that might get her a push back into theNashville recording world. She could have been just another talented kid that got the back of Simon’s hand, so I’m really impressed by what she has been doing.

Michael Johns– Sang all but one of the ten vocal tracks on Shaun White’s “Don’t Look Down” documentary in 2009; Reached 12 on theUS indy album chart, 97 on the Billboard album chart with his debut album. Reached 22 on the adult contemporary chart with his single, “Heart on my Sleeve”.

Ramiele Malubay– Nothing recent, though she was said to be Syesha Mercado’s best friend in a recent article. She expressed a desire, a couple of years ago, to move to the Phillipines to pursue her career. She is part Filipino, and she was born inSaudi Arabia.

Chekeze Eze- He did some hosting on TV Guide channel, toured with other Idol alums, and seems to be involved in every post-Idol get-together. He got into some trouble with the law using a stolen credit card last summer, but I think the case was eventually dropped and it was deemed to be a misunderstanding.

Amanda Overmeyer– One of my favorite non-contenders, Amanda is still writing, performing, and riding her Harley. Here is her Website.

David Hernandez– The third David of season 7 (for chrissakes, Idol, why couldn’t you handle 2 Laurens this year?) has been very busy. He tours constantly, and he seems willing to perform for anyone, at any time. He tours frequently with former Idol alums Gina Glocksen and Alexis Grace, and he is working with the Black Eyed Peas’ Printz Board on his first single, coming soon.

Season 8:

Kris Allen– His debut album reached 18 on the billboard charts and has sold 328,000 copies to date. His single “Live Like You Were Dying” was certified platinum, selling over 1.6 million copies. Kris is touring like crazy and working like a fiend, but his post-Idol career is losing traction. His last two singles failed to chart after his first 2 both made it into the top 20. He is, as are a couple of other Idol alums, heavily involved in charity work.

Adam Lambert– His debut album reached 3 on the billboard charts and has sold 817,000 copies to date. His song “Whaddya Want from Me” reached 10 on the billboard charts, and “If I had You” reached 30. He sold out his entire “Glam Nation” tour last summer, and a DVD release from the tour hit number one on the Billboard video charts. He is close to releasing his second album, which is reported to be more of a rock album than the techno mess that his first one was. TMZ is still sorting through his garbage, so he is on another level compared to most Idol alums.

Danny Gokey– His debut album reached 3 on the country charts and 4 on the billboard charts, selling 204,000 copies to date. He opened for Sugerland last year, and he is currently opening for Taylor Swift. He has a pair of top 40 singles so far. He is just getting started.

Allison Iraheta– Her debut album has sold 104,000 copies to date and reached 35 on the billboard charts. None of her singles charted, and she was dumped by her label. She is still signed with 19, though, and working on her second album. She opened for Adam Lambert on his sold out tour last summer. Allie said, in a recent interview, that her next album “Won’t be a lotta pop crap like the last one. I’m writing the songs this time, and I’m writing stuff that matters to ME.” There were a couple of good songs on her first album (Scars is amazing), but she needs to channel her Tina Turner and blow out some angsty blues stuff. I’m hopeful. Hell, I’m excited.

Matt Giraud– What does Matt have that Adam doesn’t have? A number one single on the billboard charts! Matt recorded a duet with Anna Wilson (You Don’t Know Me) that hit number one on the jazz charts. I found some video of them working the song out, and it’s totally awesomely cool. Matt has a couple of albums out from before he was on Idol but he hasn’t yet released anything post-Idol because he’s been so busy supporting Anna Wilson, but I expect something very cool to come out eventually. The guy oozes music.

Anoop Desai– ‘Noop Doggie has been busy, below the radar. He writes like crazy, and he is working with seemingly half of the Atlanta Mafia to get his songs released. He’s been touring, collaborating, and generally working his butt off since he finished the Idol Tour in late 2009. His website is easy to navigate, and his songs are terrific. I have no clue if he’s going to ever get any attention from the national music industry, but his stuff is really cool. He reminds me of the oldPhiladelphia street sound; lots of sweet and thick harmonies behind a sweet high baritone lead voice.

Lil Rounds– Nothing has gone right for Lil since her audition. She was signed to do an album, but it got pushed back and she eventually “left a bad contract” and is now planning to release an album independently. I hate to say it because I liked Lil, but someone is giving her bad advice and ruining any chance that she has at a career. She is very long odds to ever be seen again.

Scotty MacIntyre- Scotty released 5 albums of widely varying styles before he was on Idol (the first one when he was 11), and he has continued to produce music on a consistent schedule since he left the show, and he tours non-stop. While he might never reach mainstream success, he is doing just fine at the level below. He didn’t need us nearly as much as we needed him.

Megan Joy– I have no clue what’s going on with her, which pleases me no end. She has been posting songs on her facebook page for a couple of years, and she keeps threatening to release an album. She played a bit part in a Farrelly Brothers movie, and Stevie Nicks is reportedly shilling for her to play her in a biopic. She keeps getting new tattoos, and she is engaged to some obscure musician. We don’t see what’s going on, because it’s all below the radar, but this girl isn’t living a boring life.

Michael Sarver– He actually got signed, and his debut album reached 50 on the country charts. He hasn’t charted any singles, but he’s out there slogging. Good luck to him.

Alexis Grace– I’ve seen her referenced a good dozen times on other Wikipedia pages, so I was stunned that she doesn’t have her own wiki page. She is touring like crazy with David Hernandez and Gina Glocksen, as far as I know. She co-hosted an Idoloonies episode with Mike Slezak this season, and they didn’t talk about her career at all. I’m clueless.

Jorge Nunez, Jasmine Murray– Nothing cooking, as far as I can find. I’m sure that they are doing something. Jazzie is in school, but I don’t know about Jorge.

Season 9:

Lee Dewyze– Lee has struggled mightily compared to past Idol winners. His debut album sold just 141,000 copies to date and his only chart single was his Idol single, “Beautiful Day”, which debuted at 24 and then disappeared. He is young and still working on it, but he has been hurt by the lack of buzz surrounding his Idol title.

Crystal Bowersox– Her debut album did a bit better than Lee’s, reaching the 2 spot on the US Rock charts and selling 197,000 albums to date. She scored a nationally televised commercial campaign with BB King, selling a diabetes related product. She made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in February.

Casey James– He signed with Sony Nashville, and his album will be out later this year. He opened for Sugarland this spring, and I think that he toured with another big name act as well. I’ve heard a couple of his originals; they are signature Casey and very cool.

Michael Lynche- Big Mike has been busier than I thought he would be musically, recording several tracks towards an album. It’s good stuff, though he hasn’t been signed to a contract yet. He is also working on a reality show, the hook being his family.

Aaron Kelly– Aaron is inNashville, working on an album. He is signed to a major talent agency, but as yet unsigned to a label. I expect that he will be signed by the end of the year. He is working with some big-wigs.

Siobhan Magnus– I’ve been keeping close tabs on Sha-Von. She had a couple of label offers, but she decided to strike out on her own and keep her stylistic options open. In her words: “I think that I need to de-Idol my image a little bit, so that I can be myself. I was offered a chance to do a bubble-gum teenybopper album, but I didn’t think that it would be a good idea”. Yeah, not a good idea considering that she is about as “pop” as Annie Lennox. Hell, Annie Lennox is way more pop than Siobhan on her most normal day.

She shaved one side of her head again, and she spent most of the winter touring with her pre-Idol band Lunar Valve. They are maybe best described as “Post- New Wave Punk Funk and Industrial Soul with a little bit of Karen Carpenter thrown in to mess with everyone’s heads”. Let’s just say that they are very musical, kind of loud, occasionally wild, exceedingly cool, and really weird. The screams are primal, and Sha-Von’s outfits are insane. Think Led Zeppelin’s craziest songs sung by Courtney Love’s sober but insane little sister, with a saxaphone. It ain’t pop. I honestly don’t know what the hell it is, but it ain’t pop.

The more normal face of Siobhan has her first single out, and she is working on a full album inNashville(definitely NOT country) with some formidable producers. She just performed her first full concert last weekend that included some of her original songs as a solo artist. Lunar Valve opened the show (with Siobhan on lead vocals), performing a pair of original songs along with “White Rabbit”. Siobhan took the middle part with a backup band, playing several of her Idol songs as well as her first three original solo songs. They closed with her Uncle’s band (a really good band, not some bar band, a 13 piece band with a full chorus) where Siobhan sang a couple of leads but she mostly was part of the chorus. I have listened to a few of the songs. The reviews of the show have been very positive, but mostly from local pundits. The recordings are not slick, but Sha-Von sounded terrific. She has grown as a singer in leaps and bounds since she left the show.

Can she make it big? The odds are that she won’t, but she is barely 21 years old and she can sing her butt off. She is working incredibly hard, but right now she is divided in her intentions. The recording business isn’t kind to those who try to do everything. My guess is that she will have to take her talents to Broadway before she gets another 15 minutes of fame unless she can convince a major artist (Adam, maybe?) to let her open for them.

Tim Urban– Tim released an EP (decent stuff), but he is mostly getting hosting gigs. His future is probably more likely to be as a cable TV host, with the chance to build on that. People really like him, so he’ll get his chances. I don’t envision any top 40 songs, but you never know. He’s not much of a live singer, but he records very well.

Katie Stevens– Ask me in five years. Katie is finishing up High School, and she is enrolled in a high profile performing arts college. I am pretty sure that we will hear from her again, but it’s going to be awhile.

Andrew Garcia– Touring and playing whenever and wherever he is asked at this point, and he just released an EP. He is best friends with Lee Dewyze, so I expect that he will open for Lee sometime soon.

Didi Benami– Last year’s Pia but with Simon’s back of the hand instead of internet outrage, Didi got knocked out too soon to get serious label attention. She is slogging forward, playing whenever and wherever she can, and she has some Youtube videos of original songs out there. Her voice is very radio friendly and she can write, so I believe that we will get some positive news in the next year.

Paige Miles– She released an EP, and she starred in a 60’s musical called “Beehive” in her hometown. She is living in LA, and hanging with Didi and several other former Idols while they all chase their dreams. She looks terrific by the way, very glamorous compared to her Idol look. I thought that she might just go home and go back to teaching, but she is going after it. Good luck to her. She has a terrific voice, and her Idol run ended early because of vocal illness, not vocal inability. She has a shot.

Lacey Brown– She has her EP in the tank, but it hasn’t been released yet. Lacey has been touring like crazy since she left the show, and working out ofNashville. Her EP is, as she describes it, a blend of bluegrass and the Beatles. She wrote all of it herself. I heard just a short snippet, and my take is that she sounds like a very young Stevie Nicks singing very old Marianne Faithful songs. I want to hear the rest.

Alex Lambert– He scored a gig on an internet reality show, and amid rumors of homelessness after the show ended (complete bull, he was just on the road touring) Alex has been very busy and very productive. This is a link to a video of his original “I Didn’t Know”. It’s a terrific song, and well worth taking the time to listen to. Keep in mind that he’s still too young to get into a bar.

Lilly Scott– She has been touring with her band Varlet since she got bounced, and she is barely 21 herself despite looking like she is older.