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American Idol, Season One: Where Are They Now?

American Idol, Season One: Where Are They NowCast members of "American Idol" during "American Idol" Season 1 Finale - Results Show at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

American Idol, Season One: Where Are They Now?

The hit television show, American Idol, will be ending its fifteenth (15th) and final season this May. Wildly popular, American Idol has seen a slew of their contestants shoot to stardom and see great success in the music scene, and in some cases, on stage and screen.

This is the first in a series of reflective posts, showcasing some of the contestants from each season, and where they have ended up in their entertainment career. It only makes sense to begin with season one!

The very first season of American Idol premiered on June 11, 2002 (under the full title American Idol: The Search for a Superstar) and continued until September 4, 2002.

Season One saw 20-year-old Texas waitress Kelly Clarkson take home the trophy, with Clarkson going on to become a Grammy Award-winning superstar.

This season was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman, who we never saw on the Idol stage again.

Kelly Clarkson recently released a new track called “Piece By Piece,” which you can check out below. Truly one of Idol’s most successful contestants, Kelly Clarkson has not only gone on to fortune and fame, but has since married and started a family.

I wrote “Piece By Piece” about the pain I, and so many children, feel who are abandoned by one of their parents. Thankfully, the song ends happily because I was fortunate enough to find a husband and create a family who help restore my faith in love and myself every day. I want to focus on the positive that comes from pain.

American Idol Season One

Keep up with Kelly Clarkson at the following links:

Website | Facebook | @Kelly_Clarkson

Looking back on Season One, only a few other names besides Kelly Clarkson stand out. The runner up to Kelly was Justin Guarini, who has continued with singing, producing and acting.

In fact, Justin Guarini says that he will be releasing a new EP in May of this year! You may also recognize him (and not know it, like myself) as “Lil’ Sweet” in the Diet Doctor Pepper commercials:

We’ll be watching for your new EP, Justin! Though we fully enjoy these Diet Doctor Pepper commercials, it will be nice to see him put out some new music.

Keep up with Justin Guarini at the following links:

Website | Facebook | @JustinGuarini

Another alum who went on to do other things after Season One of American Idol was Ryan Starr, who finished 7th during the competition. Starr appeared on countless television shows between 2002 and 2007. We haven’t seen too much from Starr since then.

Hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane, I think as we get further into this series, we’ll see a lot more familiar faces.

Who was YOUR favorite contestant during Season One? Give them a shout out in the comments below.




Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia