"American Idol" has been the most successful machine at producing huge stars for over 10 years. Although the winners are usually the ones who become famous, many of the runners-up also find success in music, television, Broadway, or other various endeavors.
Clay Aiken is a singer-songwriter, actor and politician from Raleigh, North Carolina. Aiken starred in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" on Broadway in August 2013. He recently had an unsuccessful bid to be the Democratic nominee in the North Carolina 2nd congressional district.
Justin Guarini is a singer-songwriter, actor and television host. He was the first runner-up on American Idol in 2002. Guarini recently starred in "Wicked" on Broadway.
Diana DeGarmo is a singer-songwriter, and she was the youngest contestant at age 16 to be on American Idol in 2004. She came in 2nd place to Fantasia Barrino. She has recently married another AI contestant Ace Young and joined "The Young and the Restless" cast.
Bo Bice is a singer-songwriter and musician from Huntsville, AL. He was the runner-up to Carrie Underwood in the fourth season of American Idol. Bice has since started his own band and record label called Sugar Money.
Katharine McPhee was a singer-songwriter and actress from Los Angeles, CA. She finished as the runner-up in the fifth season of American Idol in 2006. McPhee continues to make music and has had leading roles on hit series like "Scorpion" and "Smash."
Blake Lewis is a singer-songwriter and music producer from Redmond, WA. He was the runner-up on the sixth season of American Idol. Lewis is still making electro-pop music, and his third album, "Portrait of a Chameleon," was released in 2014.
David Archuleta is a singer-songwriter and actor from Miami, FL. He was one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol at the age of 16 in 2007. Archuleta has recently gained popularity in the Phillipines after starring in a primetime mini-series and serving as a missionary for the Church of Latter-day Saints.
Adam Lambert is a singer-songwriter and actor from Indianapolis, IN. He was the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol. Lambert has performed as a guest star on "Glee" and even went on tour with Queen. He's released a few successful solo albums since "Idol" ended.
Crystal Bowersox is a singer-songwriter and actress from Elliston, OH. She was the runner-up on the ninth season of American Idol. Bowersox has released her sophomore album and starred as Patsy Cline on Broadway.
Lauren Alaina is a country music singer from Rossville, GA. She was the runner-up on the tenth season of American Idol. Alaina reportedly has plans to released a second studio album in the near future.