[10 May 2012]
A record number of people auditioned for American Idol’s fourth season, but eventually the judges and the voting public chose that one in 100,000 voice that would go on to be the show’s most successful contestant. So whatever happened to those who made it to the top that year? Let’s find out as we continue on to 2005‘s American Idols.
5. Scott Savol
Savol drew comparisons to season two winner Ruben Studdard, but possibly became one of the show’s least-liked finalists after his prior arrest for domestic violence was revealed.
Savol appeared in the off-Broadway play Oz, The Musical with former contestants Vonzell Solomon, Mikalah Gordon, and Rickey Smith. He recently released an album, In Spite Of It All online.
4. Anthony Fedorov
Given an emergency tracheotomy as a child, doctors said he could never speak again, but Anthony proved them wrong in a big way. His song choices were often the big ballads or ‘80s pop hits of his childhood, and he was an early favorite to win.
After his brother’s tragic death from Sarcoma cancer, Anthony devoted himself to fundraising efforts and now serves on the board of directors for the Sarcoma Foundation of America. In the meantime, he has appeared in several touring shows, including The Fantasticks, Simply Ballroom, and the starring role in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He released an EP, Never Over, last year, with plans to release a full album soon.
3. Vonzell Solomon
The cheerful former letter carrier was nicknamed “Baby V” by fans and brought an R&B sound to the show.
Despite her high-ranking status in the competition, Vonzell was never offered a record contract. Instead, she took matters into her own hands, becoming the CEO of her own record label, Melodic Records. She released an iTunes exclusive album in 2007, but has recently appeared in several touring shows, including Simply Ballroom and Burn The Floor. Her new EP, True Story, was released online in January.
2. Bo Bice
The first contestant to sing acapella on the stage, Bo Bice would have been deemed ‘too old’ to audition for previous seasons, at the ripe old age of 28! His southern rock style impressed the judges and the audience, and gave him a No.1 hit single.
Bice’s 2005 album, The Real Thing sold well, but he preferred to have a “more rootsy, more country, more southern rock” sound, instead. This disagreement led him to sever ties with RCA records and independently release his next two albums. He’s currently focused on touring, selling his artwork online, and recording a Christian rock EP.
1. Carrie Underwood
A former rolling-skating waitress, Carrie soon won over the audience with soundbite-ready quips and pitch-perfect performances. Despite her nervous on-stage demeanor, she became one of country music’s biggest stars.
As FOX’s recent 25th Anniversary Special bragged, Carrie has racked up more sales than any other Idol contestant to date. It can be argued that she is currently the biggest act in country music, with five Grammys, 16 Billboard music awards, 11 ACM awards, five CMA awards, and six American Music Awards to her credit. As with her previous three releases, her most recent album, Blown Away, recently debuted at No.1 on the Billboard charts.
She also has the distinction of being the first Idol contestant to aid in launching another artist’s music career: some of the studio musicians hired to back her up on certain songs went on to win the Idol spin-off, The Next Great American Band. Previously known as The Clark Brothers, they now record under the name Sons of Sylvia, and serve as a frequent opening act for Carrie’s tours. Most recently, they were spotted backing up Skylar Laine on a recent Idol episode.