“American Idol” was, in its heyday, one of the most popular shows in America, inspiring dozens of spin-offs around the world. It did drop off in popularity towards the end of its run (it aired from 2002 to 2016), so hopefully the ABC reboot airing in March will replicate the magic of its earlier seasons.
Some of its appeal was based in its high stakes: the show’s winner was guaranteed a record contract. However, as viewers have come to realize, a record contract doesn’t always translate into fame.
Sometimes losers outshone winners, especially in the case of runner-ups like Katharine McPhee and Adam Lambert.
We rounded up all the second place finishers from “American Idol” and took a look at what they’re up to today.
In 2002, Justin Guarini came in second to Kelly Clarkson, one of the most successful “Idol” contestants in the history of the franchise. After the show, Guarini’s career was a little shaky, but he has since hit his stride.
His two post-show albums, “Justin Guarini” and “Stranger Things Have Happened,” both did not perform well on the charts. He then pivoted towards acting, where he didn’t fare much better: “From to Justin to Kelly,” a film he starred in with Kelly Clarkson, has been called the worst movie of all time,