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‘American Idol’ Contestants: Then & Now

at6:40 pm | By

These guys have come a long way.

The legacy of American Idol has certainly been a memorable one that is near and dear to its cult fanbase’s hearts. The show lasted for 15 whole seasons, and each one proved to be more intense than the last. The singing competition brought us tons of artists that we all know and love today, with some even rising to superstardom.

While there were plenty of winners to go around, who we still support to this day, there were also other contestants that go down in history for their time on the show. Many of the runner-ups were just as talented as the winner that succeeded them, but just didn’t seem to have that “it” factor to help them get the top spot. We decided to take a look back at the most memorable contestants from the earliest seasons of American Idol, and find out how far they’ve come.

kelly clarkson then and now

Source: Fox/Instagram @kellyclarkson

Find out what happened to your favorites from past American Idol seasons

Justin Guarini – runner-up season 1

justin guarini before

Source: Fox

Justin Guarini was full of big dreams, and even bigger hair when he stepped into his first audition for the brand new singing competition series. Although the singer was beat out by Kelly Clarkson, he still managed to launch a career of his own following the show’s end, and even stared in a movie called Justin & Kelly alongside his first season rival.

Justin Guarini today

justin guarini own

Source: Youtube – OWN

Today, Justin is still pursuing his singing, but unfortunately, has dropped off of the map a bit more than most would have anticipated. He appeared on Oprah’s Where Are They Now series for her OWN Network two years ago, and shared a bit of the woes he’s faced since the show’s end. The singer revealed that he has struggled greatly with depression since his stint on American Idol finished, but is working hard to overcome it and focus on a much more stable lifestyle.