This year, Danny Gokey finished third in the 8th season of American Idol (surprising a lot of people who were sure he was going to be in this week’s finale)… so how did his fellow #3’s turn out?
- Season 1 (2002) – Nikki McKibbin’s career path has been a bit… erratic. It took 5 years for her first album to come out, she’s been through the reality treadmill, and wound up in televised rehab in 2008. She’s now doing Idol alumni tours.
- Season 2 (2003) – Kimberly Locke has two albums, 11 chart singles, and some reality and acting credits, but may best be remembered for calling out one of television’s biggest jackasses, Dustin Diamond, on Celebrity Fit Club.
- Season 3 (2004) – Jasmine Trias has been performing on some of the same alumni shows as Nikki McKibbin, but has mostly been focused on her fanbase in the Philippines and Hawaii since her time on Idol.
- Season 4 (2005) – Vonzell Solomon has had a rocky road since Idol. She’s now performing as “Baby V”, but hasn’t really capitalized on her Idol buzz.
- Season 5 (2006) – And then there’s Elliott Yamin, who has made the most of his run. His first album went gold, and his second album came out two weeks ago.
- Season 6 (2007) – The singer that Simon Cowell said should have won, Melinda Doolittle, like much of the Season 6 top 10, has been slow to move on from Idol. Her first post-Idol album came out only this past February.
- Season 7 (2008) – After her post-Idol concert appearances, Syesha Mercado went back into the studio to work on her first album, due later this year. She’s also working on a possible acting career.
Looking at that list, being #3 hasn’t really been a major springboard, with Elliott Yamin being the one exception… but I’m not sure that Danny Gokey was heading for mainstream success anyway. I think his future lies in Christian rock, and if he goes in that direction, I think he’ll do very well for himself.
I’ll look back at Idol runners-up tomorrow.