Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


American Idol Stars Rockin' Out with Their Younger Selves


As Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene battle in Wednesday night’s American Idol finale, let’s take a look at how far the Fox series’ past contestants have come.

Over the course of 13 seasons and multiple judge lineups, the show has continued to launch numerous music careers – plus, an Oscar winner.

To prove the show and its stars have grown, we took the powers of Photoshop and matched the famous faces of American Idol with their younger selves. Get ready for the funkiest jam band around.

All photo illustrations by Tiffany Hagler-Geard and Linzi Silverman for

Kelly Clarkson: Since U Been Gone … Oh Wait, You Never Left

Kelly Clarkson in 2013 and 2002

Steven Tyler: Stevie, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

Steven Tyler in 2014 and 1990

Paula Abdul: Forever Her Own Girl

Paula Abdul in 1988 and 2013

Carrie Underwood: Carrie, Take the Wheel

Carrie Underwood in 2014 and 2005

Clay Aiken: From Runner-Up to Congressional Candidate in 11 Seasons

Clay Aiken in 2012 and 2003

Jennifer Hudson: Young Jennifer, I Am Telling You I’m Not Going

Jennifer Hudson in 2014 and 2006

Jennifer Lopez: She’s Still Jenny from the Block

Jennifer Lopez in 2014 and 1995

Jordin Sparks: You’re Like a Tattoo, I’ll Always Have You

Jordin Sparks in 2014 and 2007

Simon Cowell: Gray Is the New Black

Simon Cowell in 2014 and 2002

Randy Jackson: Yo Dawg, Why’d You Go and Cut Your Hair?

Randy Jackson in 2013 in 1987

RELATED: See the Cast of Mean Girls Hanging Out with Their Younger Selves
[IMAGE” “” “” “0” ]

Like us on Facebook for more stories like this!