Thursday, May 24, 2012


Dear Jeremy Rosado, Shannon Magrane, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, Deandre Brackensick, and any of the major flops in AI11 (likely), this is what you'll be facing, and perhaps news agencies will eventually be getting quotes from you in the future, about life after Idol:


Party Animal (Casey Abrams)
Hollywood Reporter Correspondent (Didi Benami)
Lives On A Farm (Crystal Bowersox)
Craftswoman (Lacey Brown)
Cable TV host (Kim Caldwell)
Account Manager/IT Company (Christina Christian)
Actor (Kevin Covais)
Hair Dresser (Julia DeMato)
Soap Opera Actress (Diana DeGarmo)
Professional Vocalist (Melinda Doolittle)
Regional Musical Theater (Anthony Fedorov)
Homeless (AJ Gil)
ITunes Jazz Singer (Matt Giraud)
Runs Charity (Danny Gokey)
Host of YouToo TV (Mikalah Gordon)
Memphis Radio Host (Alexis Grace)
Atlanta Theater (Justin Guarini)
Aspiring Actor (David Hernandez)
Deer Hunter (Kristy Lee Cook)
Writer and Inspirational Speaker (Scott MacIntyre)
Music Exec (Siobhan Magnus)
Dog Clothes Designer (Ramiele Malubay)
Broadway (Constantine Maroulis)
East Village Bartender (Sanjaya Malakar)
Singing Teacher (Nikki McKibbin)
TV Actress (Katharine McPhee)
Music Teacher (Paige Miles)
Internet Gabber (Jon Peter Lewis)
Sales/Marketing (Amanda Overmyer)
Entertainment blogger For Deseret News (Carmen Rasmussen)
Quit HS teacher (Anwar Robinson)
Kim Kardashian's wedding singer (Brandon Rogers)
Hair Loss Spokesperson (Matt Rogers)
Corporate Events Singer (Haley Scarnato)
Recovered Cocaine Addict (Jessica Sierra)
Struggling Artist (Nikko Smith)
Assistant GM at a Bar (Rickey Smith)
Cirque Du Soleil (Carly Smithson)
Hotel singer in China (Vonzell Solomon)
Minister (Phil Stacey)
LA Kings National Anthem Singer (Pia Toscano)
Aspiring Actor (Tim Urban)
Former Subway Employee (Camile Velasco)


Attempting to record Christian/Gospel Music (Lil Rounds, AJ Gil, Mandisa, Bo Bice)
Attempting to record Country Music (Diana DeGarmo, Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver, Vanessa Olivarez)
Attempting to go into the Asian Market (Jason Castro, Elliott Yamin)


 “I think the judges or producers know from the beginning: this is the person that’s going to win. On my season, it was Carrie Underwood.”  --Jessica Sierra

She was so emotionally distressed, she didn’t think she could ever sing again, because the producers kept trotting out the story line about her best friend who passed away. “I realized how depressed I really was on that show.” --Didi Benami

“It was emotional. My mom was upset people would judge me based on a former employment. I’m not really sure if that’s why I went home or if I picked a terrible song that week. I’ve let that go years ago.”--David Hernandez

“He came to my room and said, ‘Darling, you’re off the show,’” she remembers. “At first I thought he was kidding, but he was absolutely serious and I threw a fit.”--Crystal Bowersox

She auditioned with an Alanis Morissette song, but the show pushed her to be more pop. “I wasn’t able to do the style I like,” she says.--Christina Christian

“My season, particularly, I felt a little like it was more about the judges and about Simon leaving as opposed to our performances. It made it really difficult, not just for myself but for all of us, because we felt like, a little bit like, are we even here?” --Didi Benami

“I can’t sit here and say winningAmerican Idol was everything I thought it would be and that it’s perfect. I remember the first question I ever got as asked after I won was, ‘Who do you think is going to replace Simon Cowell?’”--Lee DeWyze

I stopped thinking about the audience and started focusing on the judges, instead of staying true to what I needed to do. Instead of being the daring person I am, I started conforming to what I thought they wanted to see. I think I became boring!” --Lil Rounds

 “One time I was the sickest out there”—with bronchitis—“and sang ‘Faithfully’ and did a really good job according to how I was feeling. But he didn’t care. Simon favored Carly [Smithson]. He didn’t give a rat’s butt about me. He had nothing nice to say even though I did a really good job. I didn’t have very much respect for him.” --Kristy Lee Cook

Cowell had some harsh words for Fedorov—off camera. “He’s like, ‘Anthony, you’re not ready. What you need to do is you need to crawl under a rock for the next five to six years. You’re likable, but you have a lot of work to do.’ I really took that to heart and I’ve just been working ever since.”--Anthony Fedorov

Mandisa says it was agonizing to have Simon Cowell publically berate her weight on the show. “In the moment, I hated that. I wouldn’t have wished that anyone. But looking back now, it propelled me to go further on the show. I lost over 100 pounds since then.”--Mandisa


 “I didn’t want to sing after American Idol,” she says. “I hated my voice and hated what it was. There were mean things said about me and I needed a year away from it. I wanted to do it for me and not anyone else.”--Carmen Rasmussen

 “I think the biggest misconception about me is that I was egotistical or confident—and that couldn’t be more off. I was heartbroken when I got kicked off the show. I didn’t sing for three years. I wouldn’t sing anywhere. I was upset about a lot of things. I did the show because I wanted to win and I wasn’t ready for the criticism.”--Mikalah Gordon

: “You get home and you find out who your real friends are. People said I changed, I got cocky or I wasn’t as nice. I’ve had people accuse me of being a diva.”--Michael Sarver

We had one contestant who would read the blogs a lot and tell us what they said. For the rest of us, who were trying to stay away from that, it was hard to hear.”--Melinda Doolittle

 “I’ve never actually told this to anybody before, but it’s the truth. Sitting in the United Center, there was a point where we had to sing this Katy Perry song ‘Hot n’ Cold’ over and over and over again, as a group. And after about 30 minutes of that, I was like, dude, I’m ready to go. I’m not a very self-conscious person but I had a very self-conscious moment where I was like this isn’t me.”--Lee DeWyze


“I was young. I didn’t know anything. Some people took advantage. Some skimmed a little off the top, financially.” --Sanjaya Malakar

“Here’s the hardest thing. If you don’t get off the show and say what you want to do, within the first week, truthfully, people don’t understand what you are musically, stylistically, and artist-wise. For a lot of the artists, all they are when they get off the show is someone who covered a couple songs and got good reviews.” --Ace Young

 On the Idol tour, “they handed me a CD and said learn these songs; this is your album. They were very pop rock—Avril Lavigne meets Hilary Duff. I was 17 and I wanted to be the good artist. I did what I was told.” --Diana DeGarmo

 “They made me sing a Rod Stewart song every night for 50 nights in a row on the road and I always felt, Good God. The song is great, but I didn’t want to sing this thing in the first place. So by the end of the tour, I didn’t even want to do music anymore. I was like, ‘This is hell.’ I didn’t want to continue in that machine.”--Paul McDonald

 “It was a tug of war in the studio,” he says. “I felt really strongly to go for a more soulful country sound. I didn’t want a gritty sound.” After the album hit stores, “we found out it didn’t work. If you can’t get it on the radio, you can’t climb the charts.” --Danny Gokey

“Basically, I just don’t think RCA and I were on the same page,” he says. “I don’t think we were a great fit together from the beginning … [but] I didn’t necessarily expect it to end like that.”--Lee DeWyze

“I made the mistake of giving him power of attorney,” Gil says. “So he could sign any documents and handle money and he really wouldn’t have to run it by me. He had all the say. I really didn’t have anything.” --AJ Gil

“I guess as far as what happens afterIdol, I feel like there could be more help as to where to go, who to trust, who to talk to. When we’re on tour, we do get approached by a lot of people.”--Haley Scarnato

 I’m living off of my savings right now which is very hard for people to understand because they’re like ‘Don’t you make a lot of money on Idol?’ and it’s like, ‘No, you don’t.’” --Didi Benami

“Everyone thinks that once you do the tour, you’ve made it, that you’ve got all this money and you’re set. But what you don’t realize is once you’re done, there’s another show that’s gonna start.” --Kristy Lee Cook

 “I’m not poor! Because I’ve been working in music for 10 years, I’m used to the ups and downs. So when it drops off, I don’t get depressed. Instead, I keep pushing.”--Brandon Rogers

“I really haven’t got a regular job since I got off Idol, thank God,” --David Hernandez

 “It’s a struggle to see your friends on the show who didn’t see their expectations come to pass, to see them struggle. Everyone is expecting Kelly Clarkson success, but they don’t see it.”--Danny Gokey

“There’s this perception that you’re locked into a contract after Idol and the money is flowing—that’s true for very few people.”--Jon Peter Lewis

"I'm out in Los Angeles—fighting, auditioning, working on my craft, singing, and performing all the time."--Paige Miles

He admits that after the show, he had the unrealistic expectation that he would land a record deal. “Guess what? It’s not the case at all and it took me a long time to realize that it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than just being on Idol for me to get a record deal,” he says.--Anthony Fedorov

 “All I do really is shows and record, so I am able to make a living off of performing. But I’m not making as much as I would like. It’s sometimes paycheck to paycheck.”--Nikko Smith

 “I don’t get as many gigs as I used to but the ones I do get I give 100 percent and have a lot of fun,” he says.--Rickey Smith

“It's not like record companies were knocking down my door. I didn't have any contract requests or management teams wanting to scoop me up. I had all this fleeting fame, with no direction, so my father and I started Overmyer Productions”—her own independent label—“and ran with it.”--Amanda Overmyer

“My season, we stayed in these short-term apartments.” --Jason Castro

“My whole point of going on American Idol was certainly to have a real chance at a music career, and it’s really hard to sustain that post Idol. I call it the PIT—post Idoltrauma. Every contestant has to survive the PIT if they want to go forward.”--Brooke White

“The next season starts and it was very hard to watch, because it was such an amazing time in my life.”--Julia DeMato

 “I got to go on the tour, which provided money, of course. It wasn’t a substantial amount of money, however. It’s enough for me to be able to get by on rent and buy groceries for the family for a while.”--Naima Adedapo

“It wasn’t all the glamour and glitz they made it out to be, but it also wasn’t a negative experience.  A lot of contestants can be bitter about it, and a lot of them don’t like to talk about it. ”--Vanessa Olivarez

 “It was very depressing after the tour; the next three months were so depressing. You get so used to performing every night and taking pictures, and then—nothing. It’s very, very depressing.”--Gina Glocksen

Even if I didn’t have Idol, I’d have some other challenge that someone would want to pigeonhole me into—‘Oh, she came from a TV show, when TV wasn’t acceptable to become a movie star.’ It’s like, Jennifer Hudson will never be a movie star, and she’s proven them wrong. --Katharine McPhee

“From blogs to radio to everything like that, if you go to them and your introduction is, ‘Hey, this is Anoop Desai, he was on American Idol,’ they’ll be a little hesitant to put their brand and their name behind it because there have been a few hits, but there have also been a lot of misses.”--Anoop Desai

“There is a level of disrespect we receive from our peers in the music business. I will not name names, but I’ve had other country artists make comments about me as if we didn’t earn it to be there. We didn’t work the clubs in our careers, we didn’t do this or that. That does affect their gigs, whether or not they get shows, because you look at us and you wonder—are we just TV people are we actual real artists?”--Michael Sarver

“I’ve received the typical panties and bras, but at lot of those times I was in a monogamous relationship. There was this one time when we had like four or five bras hanging from a ceiling fan in our dressing room.”--Blake Lewis

“I had a crazy stalker in Nashville. My house got broken into. I had letters. And just threats. It was getting to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. So I moved back home to San Antonio.”--Haley Scarnato

 “There was this middle-aged woman who just wandered onstage and she had these purple panties in her hand, and was waving them around while I was singing. It caught us all off guard—she was really inebriated. I was like, ‘How did this woman get on stage and why isn’t anyone removing her?’”--Elliott Yamin

 “I didn’t go on Idol to be a Kardashian. I went because I wanted people to hear my music. And what I realized is that with American Idolfans, you’re their favorite that year. Over the last five years, 10 or 15 people have stuck with me and buy every album. But the millions of people that voted for me—where are they now? They don’t really care about Chris Sligh; they care about American Idol. And that used to bother me. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. I’ve come to terms with it.”--Chris Sligh

“The thing you don’t want to get caught in is trying to prove something,” he says. “For my album, we didn’t even have a major label ready. We had to pull the plug and put it on iTunes.”--Ace Young

After he was voted off, “I was getting four million hits on my website—just an enormous amount of hits. I could have monetized that somehow, but instead, I just sat on it and waited another year before I released my album.”--Jon Peter Lewis

“I made a little bit of money getting off the show. I was young and stupid and didn’t know any better and I thought that it would kind of never end. So I was spending left and right. Had I been smarter with my financial decisions I could have been in a much better financial position now than I currently am.”--Anthony Fedorov

“I’ll be satisfied when I’m make a platinum record or when I’m opening for someone really big, or when I have my own tour. I want to be a force in the industry, and until then I’m going to keep working really hard. And even then, I probably won’t be satisfied. That’s just who I am.” --Stefano Langone

 “I wish I had 10 years under my belt, and could do it again,” she says of her time on Idol.--Kim Caldwell

 Bowersox still occasionally performs, and she now lives outside of Portland, Oregon. “I’m living my dream, for sure,” she says.--Crystal Bowersox

She has released one album, “Nothin’ Like the Summer,” in 2007, before she decided the music life wasn’t for her. “I just started to think, this isn’t really what I want out of life,” Rasmusen says. “As soon as I had my boy, I thought, OK, I’m a stay-at-home mom.”--Carmen Rasmussen

 “If this whole music and acting thing doesn’t work out, I could see myself doing any number of different things,” Urban says. “I love marketing and public relations.”--Tim Urban

“I got off of Idol, and the opportunities to make music that I was hoping for weren’t there. On the flip side, I’m pretty much a full-time actor these days.”--Kevin Covais


“I kind of wish none of the situation would have happened at all, to be honest. It wasn’t worth the trouble that came attached to it, I mean all of it. I just wish none of it would’ve happened at all because if it wouldn’t have happened then I wouldn’t have had anything negative to deal with and my experience would have been untainted, I guess. But now, you go around and that’s all people want to talk to you about and it’s kind of like, I am a person—there’s more to me than that situation.” “To me, honestly, [Idol] lost its charm when it became a soap opera,” he says. --Corey Clark

“I can’t be mad, because I met my wife through the whole experience. I felt like that was the reason I was on the show.”--Paul McDonald

 “I was talking to this kid that said, ‘I don’t sing, I don’t dance or act but I want to be famous.’ And I said, ‘How are you going to do that? And he said, ‘I don’t care. I just want to be famous.’ I mean, what are we doing to people?”--Jon Peter Lewis

 I love talking to people, but when someone drops the ‘Aren’t you fromAmerican Idol?’ in the middle of a store, it can be kind of silly.”--Constantine Maroulis

Rasmusen’s husband, Brad Herbert (the son of Utah governor Gary Herbert), spotted her while she was singing at a Provo event. He went to approach her, but his mom supposedly protested, “She was on American Idol. You’re not going to date her!” --Carmen Rasmussen

“If I had to choose, I’d do The Voice. I know it’s television and not everything is as it seems. But I like the fact that everybody on the show is very talented.” --Kristy Lee Cook

“I left my band for a bit and I auditioned for The Voice. I made it all the way to Hollywood. But they said you’ve already done it, so then I was out. But it’s OK, because I realized that everyone needs their shot, and I had mine on Idol.”--Gina Glocksen

We'll sum it up with a quote, ironically, from Taylor Hicks:
 “There are more than 100 Top 10 contestants now. There are 11 winners. It’s very important to win the show. If you don’t, it’s tough.”

Sources quoted from The Daily Beast

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