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6 American Idol non-winners who made it big
The online news portal of TV5

She may not have won American Idol, but the Philippines' darling Jessica Sanchez can take heart in the fact that other AI runners-up, as well as non-winning contestants, were able to make it big. Some, even bigger than the winners themselves.

Here are six American Idol alumni who proved that title or no, they can still conquer the stage.

1) Clay Aiken

Aiken, who lost to Ruben Studdard in Season Two, has become a household name in the US, guesting on numerous shows including America's Next Top Model, 30 Rock, and Days of Our Lives. He even lent his voice to the cartoon series Phineas and Ferb.

He is also known for his Broadway stint as Sir Robin in the Tony Award-winning comedy Spamalot.

But what really caused a stir in the US was his coming out in 2008, which "may have inspired other gay men to come out," according to

He has a son, Parker, with best friend Jaymes Foster. Parker, who was conceived through in vitro fertilization, turns four in August.

According to, Aiken has "five Top-10 albums under his belt."

Aiken recently joined Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice, where became runner-up once more. The winner, comedian Arsenio Hall, was crowned Sunday.

2) Jennifer Hudson

Hudson was eliminated early in Season Three, with Fantasia Barrino emerging the victor.

She has graced the silver screen a number of times, most notably in the 2006 production of Dreamgirls, which boasted of a star-studded cast including Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy. Hudson won an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Effie White.

Listen to her version of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going" below.

Arguably one of her most memorable performances was a tribute to the late Whitney Houston at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in February. She sang "I Will Always Love You," in what she called "the greatest honor of my life" on her Twitter account.

Watch her performance below. 

The voluptuous singer flaunted a stunning, more svelte figure in 2011 as spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

She has graced the covers of magazines, including Vogue USA in 2007.

Early this month, she also made the news more recently due to the conviction of her former brother-in-law, William Balfour, for the murder of Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew, according to

3) Katharine McPhee

McPhee lost to Taylor Hicks in Season Five.

The brunette beauty now stars in her own TV show Smash, which airs on NBC. Here she plays Karen Cartwright, a budding actress who tries to make her Broadway dream happen. Cartwright tries to snag the role of Marilyn Monroe in a musical based on the blonde bombshell's life amid intense competition.

She has also starred in movies such as 2008's The House Bunny, and 2011's Shark Night 3D and Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding.

Watch her performance of "Touch Me" here.

4) Chris Daughtry

Also from the same season, Chris came in fourth place.

With his band Daughtry, Chris won four American Music Awards including Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Adult Contemporary Artist, and Pop/Rock Album in 2007; and garnered four Grammy nominations including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album in 2008.

The band, which released their third album last year, has played all over the world, "including sold-out arenas in South Africa, Singapore, and the Philippines," according to Daughtry's official website.

They are currently on tour in the US.

According to, Daughtry has sold more than 6.5 million album copies, as well as more than 11.9 million digital downloads.

Watch the music video for "Over You," which has more than 16 million views on YouTube.

5) David Archuleta

In the battle of the two Davids in Season Seven, David Cook was the one to triumph.

While both performed in a back-to-back concert in Manila in 2009, it was Archuleta who stayed, starring in his TV5 mini-serye Nandito Ako, opposite the Kapatid Network's own home-grown talents, Jasmine Curtis Smith and Eula Caballero.

In an InterAksyon interview, he called his acting gig "one of the best experiences in my life."

He has since done a rendition of the song that helped Ogie Alcasid rise to fame. A version of Side A's "Forevermore" is also playing on the Philippine charts.

Worldwide, his first lead single "Crush" peaked at the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2008.

Watch its music video below, which has more than 33 million views on YouTube.

According to his official site, Archuleta's autobiography Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song, And The Power of Perseverance became a New York Times Bestseller in 2010.

6) Adam Lambert

Known for his outrageous performances, Lambert, who lost to Kris Allen in Season Eight, trumps the AI winner in the numbers game.

According to, Lambert has album sales of over 1 million, as opposed to Allen's 348,000.

Lambert's track sales amount total 4.5 million, while Allen's total 3 million.

YouTube plays of Lambert's tracks are over 81.9 million, in contrast to Allen's 4.9 million.

The openly gay singer is known for making waves during his performances, particularly at the 2009 American Music Awards, where he performed "For Your Entertainment," complete with a kiss between him and a male dancer, as well as sexually provocative moves.

Lambert released his second album, Trespassing, which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart Thursday.

He replaced Carrie Underwood's Blown Away album release on the top spot. Underwood won in Season Four.

This feat was a historic one, according to entertainment and pop culture website, because this was the first time a male artist who had previously admitted he was gay had a No. 1 album.

While Elton John and George Michael have earned the top spots as well, according to AfterElton, these occurred before they came out of the closet.

Watch Lambert's "For Your Entertainment," which has over 14 million views on YouTube.