Where Are They Now? A Look at How Winners of 'American Idol', 'X Factor' and 'The Voice' Have Fared Offscreen
Music superstardom seemed an unattainable dream a decade ago. Chances of being plucked from your Average Joe life and signed to a major label were pretty slim unless you happened to make it on Star Search or the Mickey Mouse Club star growing up.
But with rise of reality shows came American Idol in 2002. The American spin-off of the U.K.'s Pop Idol, which began the year before, offered up the opportunity to audition for industry insiders and a spotlight that was designed to discover talents hidden all over America. The original idea, along with reality show innovators at the time like Survivor or The Real World, captured the imagination of a mass audience and created instant stars such as season one winner Kelly Clarkson and season four winner Carrie Underwood.
As the years went by, though, various networks have spun similar singing competitions such as The X Factor, Rock Star INXS, Pussycat Dolls Presents: The Search for the Next Doll and more recently, The Voice and the upcoming Duets, which actually stars Clarkson as a judge.
The now-oversaturated field of singing reality shows mixed in with sudden Internet-born sensations like Justin Bieber (via YouTube) or Lily Allen (on MySpace) makes it almost feel like the roles have been reversed. Whereas before average folk had little to no avenue for exposure, nowadays there may be too many.
This is just one of the myriad reasons as to why the success rates of reality show winners have seemed to decrease. With each season of American Idol, ask yourself if you remember where the winners are now –- or, heck, if you even