15 American Idol losers who found their own stardom

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Diana DeGarmo (Season 3)

Fantasia Barrino may have won season 3, but who could forget the lovably adorable Diana DeGarmo?

The Snellville, Georgia native had been singing since she was a child, and had already been appearing in children’s programs and local stage productions. She won the Miss Georgia Teen pageant in 2002 and also showed how promising her talent was when she competed on NBC’s America’s Most Talented Kid. But it was her time on American Idol that really got America’s attention.

DeGarmo auditioned for the show’s third season in 2004 when she was only 16-years-old, making her the youngest girl to go through to Hollywood at that time. She impressed the judges with her rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Chain Of Fools” though Simon didn’t love her smiley demeanor. But despite Simon not being a big fan, her vocals were enough to win over Paula and Randy.

She flew through the competition and quickly became a front-runner. She never once placed in the bottom two, and ended up coming in second place to Fantasia. Despite not winning, the young singer toured the US with the American Idol Top 10 that summer and released her own debut album at the end of 2004, Blue Skies.

When her album fizzled on the charts, she ventured into the world of musical theatre, making her Broadway debut in Hairspray as Penny Pingleton in 2006. She almost starred in the Broadway revival Godspell alongside Tony-winner Gavin Creel in 2008, but the show lost funding and never made it to Broadway. She has since appeared in many shows, including off-Broadway productions and tours.

In 2013, DeGarmo went on to marry an American Idol heartthrob — who wasn’t even on her season! But more on him in a second.