Semifinalist, Season 6
Jared’s most memorable performance involved him dramatically sweeping his hand over his face while singing ”Let’s Get It On,” but his post-Idol career has been far less ignominious. After scoring a VJ gig on the Fuse network, he went on to co-write the Billboard chart-topper ”Down” with British R&B star Jay Sean (inset).
Sixth place, Season 4
Constantine certainly had a flair for the theatrical during his Idol run — remember his ”Bohemian Rhapsody”? — and put it to good use by earning a 2009 Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for Broadway’s Rock of Ages. (FYI: He ended up losing to David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish, who took home a joint award for Billy Elliot: The Musical.)
Fifth place, Season 2
Trenyce hasn’t yet experienced the Billboard chart success of the four contestants who finished in front of her in season 2, but nobody can take the title ”Grammy nominee” away from the uni-monikered diva. She scored her nomination in 2009 — along with fellow Idol grads Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis — in the Best Musical Show Album category as part of the 2009 cast recording for Ain’t Misbehavin’. In the end, though, the Grammy statuette went to West Side Story.
Winner, Season 6
She may not have the album-sales clout of a Clarkson or Underwood, but Idol‘s youngest winner has quietly racked up some impressive figures as a singles artist. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Jordin has sold 9 million tracks since her May 2007 Idol coronation, and Billboard.com recently ranked her as the show’s fourth most-successful alum, based on a combination of sales and airplay.
Semifinalist, Season 5
Ayla, the daughter of U.S. Senator Scott Brown, dabbled in an indie music career after getting booted from Idol. Earlier this month, however, she landed a different kind of gig, being named as a contributor to CBS’ Early Show, where she’ll produce pieces targeted toward ”the youth audience,” according to the show’s producers.
Disqualified after Hollywood Week, Season 2
In addition to that 2009 Grammy nomination as part of the cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ (see prior entry on Trenyce), the fabulous Frenchie found herself in the Top 5 of Billboard’s dance charts as the featured vocalist on DJ Tony Moran’s bangin’ anthem ”You Are.”
Third place, Season 5
Billboard magazine ranked Elliott’s self-titled debut album as the No. 3 independent release of 2007; it was certified Gold by the RIAA, for sales over 500,000. Wonder if the suits at 19 wish they’d signed him now?
Runner-up, Season 3
Diana’s 2004 debut album, Blue Skies, failed to ignite with pop radio, but she’s gone on to find success on the Great White Way. DeGarmo played Penny Pingleton in Broadway’s Hairspray, and is currently starring in the Broadway production of Hair alongside fellow Idol alum Ace Young.
Tenth place, Season 6
Post-Idol, Sligh released the Christian contemporary album Running Back to You, but his highest-profile success was co-writing Rascal Flatts’ 2009 country crossover smash ”Here Comes Goodbye.” (Proving the existence of the ”Idol Circle of Life,” the track was covered this season by High School Student Aaron Kelly.)
Ninth place, Season 5
Since her 2006 Idol tenure, Mandisa has released two (non-Christmas) albums, True Beauty and Freedom, both of which scored Grammy nominations as Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year. Pretty good batting average!