With a lot of people trying out for American Idol each year it is rather obvious that only a few select people will manage to walk away with the actual title of American Idol. This is not to say that looking to win is bad, after all it could be a lot of fun, but is the real winner of American Idol the actual winner? It could always be argued after looking at the different contestants that those who are actually the “losers” of the show are in fact much more successful. With this in mind we will look at the last few seasons and see who has truly been more successful the winner or the runner up.
Season one brought Kelly Clarkson as the winner and Justin Guarini as the runner up. While Justin certainly played to the hearts of the teenage girls, in commercial terms Kelly Clarkson has been much more successful. With this in mind, it is rather clear that she has emerged as the actual winner; not only of the title, but also the success for season one.
Season two brought to the world Clay Aiken as a runner up and Ruben Studdard as the Velvet Teddy Bear that won the show. Out of the season two finalists, it is Clay Aiken that is better known in the media. After several album releases, as well as a few stints on Broadway he has created a name for himself, rather than disappearing into oblivion. Ruben Studdard on the other hand has been slowly disappearing from the public spotlight for a very long time.
Season three found both Fantasia Barrino and also Diana DeGarmo. From the two contestants Fantasia is the one with more publicity, however most of the publicity surrounding her has to do with missed performances from her Broadway show The Color Purple. Diana DeGarmo has disappeared from the spotlight completely.
Season four provided both Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood. This was a season in which the best American Idol so far actually appeared. While Bo Bice was praised as a top rocker, Carrie Underwood has emerged as a truly magnificent star in the country music field. Winning over the hearts of millions of fans, she has become truly a darling of country music and found astronomical success.
Season five provided both Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee. It is extremely important to understand that Taylor Hicks is so far the oldest contestant to actually win the show. Katharine McPhee has so far disappeared back into the cracks, aside for a bit of brief publicity that surrounded her recent wedding. Taylor Hicks himself has once again disappeared himself into cracks and is not in the public eye, nor catching much commercial success following his win.
Season six brought out the unique Blake Lewis as well as the young Jordin Sparks. So far, Jordin’s career has been rising with the incredible success of a duet with Chris Brown. Several other singles have appeared from her debut album. While she has found some good success so far, it is still unclear how successful she will be ultimately, but she has found greater success than Blake Lewis. While Blake was only a runner up for the season, he has provided a significantly different sound to the show. While most contestants are quite boring, Blake Lewis has brought a unique sound that is completely unique for the entire show.