I realized it doesn't matter if you win, you just have to make top two to have a decent chance at making it big afterwards. Also, if you stick to country, you'll definitely have a fighting chance since that following is just so darn loyal. This is also probably why American Idol is your best bet. All the other music shows, you get some fame, but not that much. Except for Leona Lewis, I really don't know anybody from any other reality TV show who managed to make it big in the music world. Maybe Pentatonix? (Not really).
American Idol Season 1 (2002) Winner: Kelly Clarkson; Runner-Up: Justin Guarini (who? exactly). The first of her kind, and really amazing. She went through her ups and downs with the music industry, but has definitely learned to navigate on her own. And how much do I love her friendship with Blake and Miranda (yes, I'm not a first name basis with them).
American Idol Season 2 (2003) Winner: Ruben Studdard; Runner-Up: Clay Aiken. Both of them were dealt the blow of fameless infamy... not even. I think Ruben Studdard makes gospel albums. I have no idea where Aiken is and I'm too lazy to wiki him.
American Idol Season 3 (2004) Winner: Fantasia Barrino; Runner-Up: Diana DeGarmo. I remember hearing the name Fantasia thrown around. Have no idea where these peeps are.
American Idol Season 4 (2005) Winner: Carrie Underwood; Runner-Up: Bo Bice (who?). WHOOO Carrie Underwood! Another country star!
American Idol Season 5 (2006) Winner: Taylor Hicks; Runner-Up: Katharine McPhee. I thought Katharine McPhee was the winner here! but I guess it was Taylor Hicks.. and I feel that both of them have faded.
American Idol Season 6 (2007) Winner: Jordin Sparks; Runner-Up:Blake Lewis. Oh so THAT'S where Jordin Sparks came from! I thought she was a Disney star - turned singer!
American Idol Season 7 (2008) Winner: David Cook; Runner-Up: David Archuleta. Another example where the runner-up outshines the winner.
American Idol Season 8 (2009) Winner: Kris Allen; Runner-Up: Adam Lambert. and yet ANOTHER one where the runner-up outshines the winner.
American Idol Season 9 (2010) Winner: Lee DeWyze; Runner-Up: Crystal Bowersox. I guess this year was a dud. Who are these people?
American Idol Season 10 (2011) Winner: Scotty McCreery; Runner-Up: Lauren Alaina. And Both these two blow it out of the water. They're both in country. Coincidence? I think not!
Honestly, I never really got hooked on American Idol, for some reason. Maybe it got too repetitive or something. Or, I just never connected with the judges. Loving The Voice. Loved The Sing Off. Can stand to watch random youtube clips of the X Factor for hours on end. And to all you snobby purists:
You go, Adam Levine!