‘American Idol’ Runner-Ups: See What Happened To All The 2nd Place Finishers

Some ‘American Idol’ runner-ups have had super successful careers, while others have pretty much faded into oblivion. Here’s an update on where all the 2nd place finishers are now!

Only ONE person can win American Idol each season, and these 16 people JUST missed the mark! For every Idol winner, there’s, of course, a runner-up, and while many have faded away from the spotlight, others have continued successful careers of their own. In 2019, the runner-up was Alejandro Aranda. He was a fan-favorite from the very first week of competition, and fans were consistently blown away by his impressive vocals, songwriting and guitar playing. Alejandro never compromised who he truly was as an artist, and has continued with his unique style since the show. He is not the type of artist who is meant to be mainstream, but he has developed a massive fanbase since being on Idol.

One of the most notable Idol runner-ups is Katharine McPhee, who lost out to Taylor Hicks on the singing competition. Not only has Katharine pursued her music career in the years since the show, but she’s also taken on plenty of roles as an actress, as well. Katharine starred in the short-lived, but beloved, show, Smash, and even had a stint as the lead in Waitress on Broadway. Plus, of course, she’s known to make headlines for her romance with David Foster, who’s 35 years her senior! The two got engaged in July 2018.

Then, there’s Lauren Alaina, who’s made quite a name for herself in country music! Although it took her SIX years to put out a second album after competing on Idol, Lauren has remained a constant fixture in the country music community, and was awarded New Female Artist of the Year at the ACM Awards in 2018. Plus, she competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2019, and came in 4th place!

Another successful second place finisher is Adam Lambert. He’s also been consistently working on a solo career since finishing in second place on Idol, but he most notably has teamed up with the hit rock band, Queen, to tour all over the world. Adam has sang lead vocals while touring with the band under the name Queen + Adam Lambert since 2011. 

There are plenty more stories to catch up on besides these three! Click through the gallery above to see where all the American Idol runner-ups are today!

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