Today, I’m looking back at the fourth-place finishers in the first seven seasons of American Idol, trying to get a feel for what Allison Iraheta may be in for…
- Season 1 (2002) – Tamyra Gray has had mixed success as a singer and actress, with more notice as a songwriter for Jessica Simpson and Fantasia. She’s reportedly got a new album in the works.
- Season 2 (2003) – Josh Gracin has had a bit of an impact as a country music performer, with two top-5 albums, and will be releasing a third album this year.
- Season 3 (2004) – LaToya London segued into a musical-theatre career after Idol, and has spent most of the last couple of years touring with The Color Purple.
- Season 4 (2005) – Anthony Federov pretty much fell off the face of the earth after Idol. He’s made a few TV appearances. He’s been “working” on his first album for the last several years.
- Season 5 (2006) – For Chris Daughtry, his shock elimination in season 5 launched what has become a successful career with the band he named for himself. If you judge by record sales, Daughtry is the fourth most successful Idol performer, behind two winners and one runner-up.
- Season 6 (2007) – After several delays, LaKisha Jones’ first album rolls out this week. She’s been doing some acting and reality TV while working on the album.
- Season 7 (2008) – Idol’s favorite dreadlocked dude, Jason Castro, has been working on his first album since last year’s Top 10 Tour. There’s been a bit of controversy around how much his family has tried to cash in on his success, and some think that’s gotten in the way of his capitalizing on his Idol finish. That debut album, with Idol judge Kara DioGuardi involved, should be out later this year.
Clearly, Allison Iraheta is hoping for a Daughtry-like path to her career. She is young (just turning 17), but her parents have shown no signs of stage parenthood, which means that she’ll have most of the say as to where she goes from here. I think the sky’s the limit, as her quirkiness and her beyond-her-years vocal talents should draw her fans from the tween/teen crowd that made Miley Cyrus a star. If she’s handled properly (meaning not by 19), she could be a star for a long, long time.
I’ll look at Danny Gokey’s “second runner-up” classmates tomorrow…