For every Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, there are also a ton of American Idol hopefuls who never made an impact through the show. While most fade away into obscurity, others go on to have careers of their own, including in country music.
Here are five names you may know who got famous without Idol.
1. Hillary Scott – Lady Antebellum’s front-woman tried out for the signing competition twice, but never even made the trip to see the show’s judges. While it may have been a disappointment at the time, Lady A may have never come to be if she had made it through on Idol.
2. Colton Swon – For his Idol Audition, Colton covered Little Big Town’s “Boondocks” and made it to Hollywood, only to be sent back to the boondocks of Texas after making season 7’s top 48. Colton and his brother, Zach then went on to join Team Blake on The Voice and have a pretty impressive career, currently touring with American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood.
3. Micky Guyton – The “Why Baby Why” singer was probably asking the judges that when she was cut just before the live shows during American Idol season 8. Long story short, she ended up better than they left her.
4. Chris Lane – While Lane is one of country’s hottest new stars, his American Idol audition was anything but. He auditioned alongside his brother, Corey, as part of a “rap” duo and it was all sorts of embarrassing.
5. Brittany Kerr – While not exactly a country star on her own merits, the now Mrs. Jason Aldean auditioned for the judges on American Idol in 2012. While Steven Tyler immediately gave her a pass based on looks alone, the former NBA dancer ended up taking a trip to Hollywood.