15 American Idol losers who found their own stardom

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Todrick Hall (Season 9)

Most people probably recognize Todrick Hall for his popular YouTube videos or maybe for his time on the last few seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But many people may have forgotten that he was yet another performer who got his start on American Idol.

Hall auditioned for the ninth season of the show in 2009 in Dallas, Texas. He decided to take a risk and sang an original song for the judges, including Kara DioGuardi (who joined the show the season prior) and guest judge Joe Jonas. The song was his plea to the judges to send him to Hollywood, and it worked. He got a yes from all four judges, even sour-faced Simon.

The aspiring singer made it all the way through the semi-finals to the Top 24, but it wasn’t an easy time for him. He was eliminated in the Top 16 along with four other contestants following his rendition of “Somebody to Love” by Queen, placing him somewhere between 13th and 16th place. This season, however, found itself under fire for having the fewest people of color, and during the Top 20 week, all four eliminated contestants were POC. Rocker Lee DeWyzer went on to win, with another rocker coming in second, Crystal Bowersox.

Since his time on Idol, Hall has garnered over 3 million YouTube subscribers, has collaborated with RuPaul and appeared as a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars as well as a choreographer for certain challenges.

He’s toured the world and released three studio albums, including 2016’s Straight Outta Oz, featuring artists like Nicole Scherzinger, Amber Riley, Jordin Sparks, and Tamar Braxton.