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 PEOPLE.com.
Kelly Clarkson: Since U Been Gone … Oh Wait, You Never Left
Steven Tyler: Stevie, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
Paula Abdul: Forever Her Own Girl
Carrie Underwood: Carrie, Take the Wheel
Clay Aiken: From Runner-Up to Congressional Candidate in 11 Seasons
Jennifer Hudson: Young Jennifer, I Am Telling You I’m Not Going
Jennifer Lopez: She’s Still Jenny from the Block
Jordin Sparks: You’re Like a Tattoo, I’ll Always Have You
Simon Cowell: Gray Is the New Black
Randy Jackson: Yo Dawg, Why’d You Go and Cut Your Hair?
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