5 Unexpected Places to Find 'American Idol' Castoffs

Amy Jo Jones

Mandisa Hundley
Mandisa is making $ off Simon's cruel remarks.
I'm a longtime American Idol fan and feel like I really know the contestants by the end of each season. I decided to see what some of my old "friends" are up to these days. Did they achieve their dreams and find musical success or end up somewhere else?

Here are five unexpected places I found American Idol castoffs ...

  1. In the woods: American Idol finalist Kristy Lee Cook (Season 7) now has a hunting reality show. I remember that she was a decent country singer, but wow, that didn't give me any indication she would go on to star in a show like Goin' Country
  2. At the bookstore: Mandisa Hundley (Season 5) wrote a book titled Idoleyes My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame after she got the boot. The now-famous derogatory remarks about her weight made by Idol judge Simon Cowell may have been better for her than her time singing on the show.
  3. On the news: Former Idol wannabe Ayla Brown (Season 5), daughter of Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, is serving as a CBS Early Show contributor. She's producing pieces focused on the youth audience.
  4. On the radio (but not singing): Diana DeGarmo (Season 3) recorded a country album that wasn't a huge hit, and did a few runs on Broadway before landing a publishing deal to write songs for other artists.
  5. In the classroom: John Stevens and Leah LaBelle (Season 3) both attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston after their time on Idol.

Who was your favorite American Idol contestant?

Image via americanidol.com

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