Idol Stars: Where Are They Now?
You know her as the perky 16-year-old runner-up to Fantasia Barrino in season three.
These days the Snellville, Ga., native, now 18, is set to join the cast of the Broadway musical Hairspray on Feb. 7 – she'll play the heroine's best friend, Penny Pingleton – and she performed in Iraq on New Year's Eve as part of a USO tour (left).
You know her as the charismatic belter disqualified in season two after racy photos surfaced online (inspiring a nationwide "Save Frenchie" movement).
These days the 26-year-old Los Angeles native is raising her voice in Rent on Broadway – a show she first joined in 2003 after leaving Idol.
You know him as the wannabe who butchered Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" in season three.
These days the Hong Kong-born Hung, 23, is taking time off from his civil engineering studies at U.C.-Berkeley to perform and travel after releasing three albums. As for becoming a star, "I've gratefully accepted it," he recently said.
You know him as the guy booted in season two for not disclosing a prior arrest – and who last year said he'd had an affair with Paula Abdul.
These days his claims were dismissed after a three-month investigation, but Clark, 25, is still around: He has a self-titled album out and recently co-hosted the New Music Weekly awards in Hollywood, where fellow Idol contestant Carmen Rasmusen performed.
You know her as the early favorite with powerhouse pipes who shockingly finished fourth on season one.
These days Gray, 26, is recording a follow-up to her 2004 album, The Dreamer, and acted in last year's movie The Gospel. "Winning (Idol) would not have allowed me to do everything that I wanted to do," she said recently, "like writing music or going straight into acting."
You know him as the season two Marine who viewers feared might be called to serve in Iraq.
These days Gracin, honorably discharged from the military in 2004, is a rising country music star: He'll be an opening act on Trace Adkins's Honky Tonk Badonkadonk tour, kicking off Jan. 19. And he and wife Ann Marie are now parents of two: son Landon joined daughter Briana, 3, in August.
You know her as the soulful songbird who rocked Elton John's "The Circle of Life" in season three.
These days Hudson, 24, will star in the Dreamgirls movie, costarring Beyonce Knowles and Jamie Foxx – after beating out Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. "I was sure Fantasia got (the part)," Hudson told the New York Daily News. "But they said they wanted me. They said I was born for this."
You know him as the season two winner dubbed "the Velvet Teddy Bear" by Gladys Knight.
These days he's working on a third album, The Return of the Velvet Teddy Bear, and has two hit CDs under his belt. The 27-year-old tried to tighten that belt with help from TV's Extra last year – but dropped just 22 lbs. "I've never had an issue with my weight, ever," he said.
You know her as the San Francisco-born diva whom Simon Cowell called season three's odds-on favorite.
These days London, 26, recently moved to Southern California and is promoting her debut album, Love & Life, as well as trying to break into acting. She doesn't regret her Idol moment: "I got a lot of exposure, and I got to meet a lot of great people," she said recently.
You know him as the season one runner-up who made Paula weak in the knees with his wild hair and smooth-as-buttah voice.
These days the Doylestown, Pa., native, 27, has shorn his trademark curls, but he's still singing. In December, he independently released his second album, Stranger Things Have Happened, and he's campaigned in support of music education.