What Are These American Idol Fan Favorites Up to These Days?

Long live Tamyra Gray!

The final season of American Idol kicked off Wednesday night, and we don’t blame you for feeling a little nostalgic about it. Yes, the talent show is beyond done, but it had its highlights–Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson to name a few. We all know what’s going on with these three ladies, but what about some other classic contestants you may have forgotten about? Remember Bo Bice and his luscious locks? Or Ruben Studdard and his lovable personality? We found out what 10 of your favorite AI alumni are up to these days, and good news: Most of them are still singing. Check it out below.

  • 1 Tamyra Gray, Season 1
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    This fourth place contestant released an album, The Dreamer, in 2004. She’s also appeared in several movies and TV shows, including Rachel Getting Married (2008), What I Like About You (2004) and Tru Calling (2004). Recently, she starred in the 2011 California-based musical Twist, a retelling of Oliver Twist. (Before that, she played Mimi Marquez in Rent on Broadway from May 2007 to June 2008.)

  • 2 Kimberley Locke, Season 2
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    Kimberley has covered many entertainment bases since becoming the second runner-up on Idol. She’s released three studio albums and one EP, 2011’s Four for the Floor. She’s scored five top five dance singles, including 2010’s addictive “Strobelight.” Lady Locke was also a spokesperson for Lane Bryant and Seven7 Jeans, and even appeared on Celebrity Fit Club a few years back. She launched her own company, I AM Entertainment, in 2011.

  • 3 Ruben Studdard, Season 2
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    The season two winner has a whopping six albums to his name–the latest being 2014’s Unconditional Love. He appeared on the 15th season of The Biggest Loser but was eliminated during the competition’s eighth week. He lost 119 pounds in total and credited the major drop for his ability to perform better on stage. In 2015, he graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Master of Arts degree. Yaaas, Ruben!

  • 4 Bo Bice, Season 4
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    Bo has put out three albums in total, most recently 2010’s 3. He sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at the NASCAR Feed the Children 300 in Sparta, Kentucky not too long ago—but sadly he ditched the long ’do.

  • 5 Bucky Covington, Season 5
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    Bucky released a self-titled album in 2007, which debuted at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and No.1 on the country albums chart. It churned out three top 20 hits, which Bucky performed on a nationwide tour in 2007. He followed that up with a second album, Good Guys, in 2012. Bucky’s most recent endeavor is an EP, Happy Man, which came out in July 2015.

  • 6 Melinda Doolittle, Season 6
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    Simon Cowell went on record saying Melinda should’ve won her season on Idol. But don’t worry, y’all–she’s still slaying the game. She released her debut LP Coming Back to You in 2009, followed by an EP–You’re the Reason–in 2013. You can catch her recapping American Idol now on TVLine.com’s Reality Check alongside Michael Slezak.

  • 7 Blake Lewis, Season 6
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    Blake has enjoyed a lucrative music career since competing on Idol. His latest album, Portrait of a Chameleon, dropped in 2014. He’s also dabbled in voice acting, lending his pipes to the English dub of Durarara!! and for an episode of Generator Rex.

  • 8 Katie Stevens, Season 9
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    Katie came in eighth place during her time on Idol, but she turned her semi-brief stint on the show into a full-fledged entertainment career. Notably, she stars as Karma Ashcroft on the MTV series Faking It. Oh! And she played Lindsey Willows in the CSI finale movie Immortality, which premiered last September.

  • 9 Jessica Sanchez, Season 11
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    Jessica appeared on two episodes of Glee’s fourth season, where she sang Zedd’s “Clarity” and Little Mix’s “Wings.” Her debut album, Me, You and the Music, dropped in April 2013. Her most recent song is 2015’s “This Love.” Last May, she inked a deal with Endemol Beyond USA to appear in a new series for its digital networks.

  • 10 Jena Irene, Season 13
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    Demi Lovato said Jena is one of her favorite AI contestants, and we totally understand why. She is in the early stages of her post-Idol career. Last year, she released a new song, “Unbreakable,” along with a music video. Her first album Cold Frame is coming soon.