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.