American Idol wrapped up it’s 15th and final season in early 2016 but that doesn’t mean it’s influence has stopped there. Idol has produced some of music’s biggest names like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson and according to Billboard’s 2015 records, AI has collectively penned 375 number 1’s among finalists and winners.
With as many singers as Idol has had on the show, there have got to be a few misses. Rolling Stone has put together a list of some big names who tried out for American Idol and never made it past the judges.
Collie Caillat tried out for Idol twice and on her second go around she sang her song Bubbly for them. They passed on her, but she got the last laugh when Bubbly became a massive hit and launched Caillat’s music career.
Lady Antebellum’s front woman, Hillary Scott, also tried out for AI not once, but twice and never made it past the preliminary rounds to get to the judges. She eventually formed Lady Antebellum and went on to win 6 Grammys.
Glee’s Amber Riley, who played Mercedes, tried out for Idol when she was 17 and never made it past the producers of the show.
Riley’s fellow Gleek, Naya Rivera, also auditioned for Idol when they were in San Fran and was cut the first round. Coincidentally, she auditioned for Idol singing the Bee Gees’ Emotion, which got rejected but when she auditioned with that same song for Glee, Rivera landed a role on the hit FOX show.
Tori Kelly auditioned for Season 9 of Idol and made it a lot further than anyone else on this list here almost breaking into the Top 24. Since then, she’s amassed a huge following on YouTube and opened for big names like Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, along with a record deal.