Not everyone wins American Idol. Not even the winners win American Idol, as their records flop and their 15 minutes of fame elapse. So what’s a talented, but non-chart-topping singer to do? For these American Idol finalists, real jobs were the answer. This list shows American Idol finalists after the show and back in the everyday workforce.
American Idol finalists: where are they now? Some of them have gotten into the service industry, and are slinging drinks at New York City nightspots or delivering wings at Hooters. Others are putting those golden pipes to use by working as vocal coaches. And one of these former Idol favorites has spent time as a Subway Sandwich Artist. Ready to learn more about American Idolcontestants after the show? Keep reading to discover the totally normal jobs they went back to.
Corey Clark was actually disqualified from Season 2 of American Idol – he failed to disclose information about a prior arrest for battery. Since his time on the show, he has pursued a college degree in music, worked as an Uber driver in California, and filed a lawsuit with E! over his alleged affair with Idol judge Paula Abdul.
Camile Velasco was the ninth place finisher on Season 3, and one of only two auditioners from Hawaii to make it all the way to the finals (Jasmine Trias, the season’s third place finisher, was the other). Her final performance of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is considered one of the worst in Idol‘s history, so perhaps it’s not surprising that she left the singing business for a spell – she reportedly took a job at Subway briefly after leaving the show.
Even though he finished in seventh place on Season 6 of Idol – and won the dubious support of the website Vote for the Worst – Sanjaya Malakar wasn’t able to translate his success on the show into a musical career. Until 2014, Malakar reportedly worked as a bartender in New York City’s East Village.
In Season 4, Simon Cowell called Jessica Sierra one of the strongest female vocalists in the competition. Unfortunately, she finished in 10th place, and has since become far more famous for her tragic post-Idol mishaps. After two arrests, a sex tape, a cocaine addiction, and a stint in rehab, she’s reportedly working at Hooters.
Thia Megia, Student
Thia was a hit after Hollywood week in Season 10, but floundered once she hit the main stage. Nowadays, she’s making Go Fund Me accounts to finance her proposed study abroad in London.
Nikki McKibbin made it to third place on Season 1 of Idol, and is now showcasing those pipes with a successful job as a vocal coach. But she didn’t leave the reality TV game entirely – she also appeared on a season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Consummate hippie Crystal Bowersox lost out on the Season 9 title to Lee DeWyze, but at least she’s living on a farm in Portland, Oregon. She also played Patsy Cline on Broadway, though that doesn’t qualify as a normal job for most people.
Ramiele Malubay, the hyper-emotional ninth place finisher on Season 7, ran an online dog clothing store after leaving Idol. She says that “life is never, never normal after Idol.”
Although she has continued to make music since being eliminated from the top 12 on Season 4 of American Idol, Cardinale has recently made press for competing at rodeo roping shows.
Amy Adams, Vocal Coach
Amy Adams made it to 10th place on Season 3 of American Idol. After leaving she show, she opened her own studio, where she works as a vocal coach.
The top 13 finalist from Season 8 spent a few post-Idol years competing in the Miss Mississippi pageant. She won the competition in 2014.
Jim Verraros, the ninth place finisher on American Idol‘s first season, has come out since his time on the show. He married his partner Bill Brennan in 2009, and currently works as a wedding fashion show planner.