American Idol has been known for launching the careers of some of today’s hottest stars, but you’ll be surprised by who they’ve previously turned away from. Since 2002, the American singing competition created by Simon Fuller has given us superstar after superstar. While Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are arguably the biggest of those stars, both Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry are contestants who, while neither won the competition when they were on the show, have also risen to fame.
Colbie Caillat auditioned for American Idol and she even performed her platinum-certified debut hit ‘Bubbly’ the second time around. It’s hard to imagine that she was rejected – twice! However, she admits that she wasn’t ready and holds no ill feelings toward the show at all. Colbie understood why she was turned away and remembers being very nervous and shy, and she also says that she didn’t look her greatest either. Now, Colbie has no problem with contestants covering her hit on the show.
In 2008, Bebe Rexha was turned down by the American Idol judges only to come back to the show some ten years later as a mentor to current contestants. With smashes like ‘Call You Mine’ and ‘Meant To Be’, featuring Florida Georgia Line, not being on the top of the American Idol judge’s playlists doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t one day have a handful of sons that end up on the top of the charts. Talk about coming full circle!
10 years ago my mother and I waited 10 hours on line to audition for American Idol. I didn’t make it through. This year I’m mentoring! pic.twitter.com/VvgmBWmYpx
— Bebe Rexha (@BebeRexha) March 3, 2018
With a pop hit as big as ‘The Middle’, which also featured Zedd and Grey, learning that Maren Morris was turned away from Idol is a pretty interesting tidbit. Add the fact that ‘The Bones’, from her 2019 album ‘Girl’ was #1 on Billboard’s US Country Airplay chart, and you may scratch your head even more. In 2016, the crooner known ‘My Church’ revealed to Rolling Stone that she was rejected from not only ‘American Idol’, but ‘The Voice’ as well!
While we’ve gone through some of the more notable stars that didn’t get a golden ticket, there are still some worth mentioning, and this isn’t even all of them. Though they’re famous for taking the top prize on the ‘The X-Factor’, Alex & Sierra first auditioned for ‘American Idol’ separately. Alex exited very early on and Sierra was rejected from the very beginning. Kane Brown told Billboard that the judges’ advice to him was that they didn’t need another Scotty McCreery. Lesson: Never let that ‘no’ stop you if you’re an aspiring performer!