David Cook He is still out there touring like a madman, putting out new material, and giving back as much as he gets with a variety of philanthropic endeavors. His Facebook page has a picture of Cookie with Vice President Joe Biden at an event for #race4hope. As of May, 2016 he is on a USO tour, putting on shows at Air Force bases around the world. He’ll be doing that into November.
Some current stats … 846,724 Facebook followers, 316,000 Twitter followers, and 23,700 Instagram followers. He just put out his 4th album a few months ago, and it debuted at number 4 on the rock album chart. Here is the title cut from that album, “Heartbeat,” performed live on Idol back in March.
David Archuleta It would take me a week to detail everything Archie’s been doing since he left Idol. He has:
- released 6 albums, the 4th one exclusively in the Philippines.
- spent 2 years on a Mormon mission in Chile, returning in 2014. Read that one again. Two years on a mission to Chile. Archie was a millionaire when he decided to take this on.
- accumulated 3,571,231 followers on Facebook.
- accumulated 1,340,000 followers on Twitter.
- starred in a Philippine TV series in 2012.
- sold over a million albums, and about ten times that many digital downloads.
- received 54,732,990 hits on his first official post-Idol video, from the song “Crush,”, which reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart in 2009.
Archie has been as philanthropic as Cookie (or more), and he has toured just about every country on the globe in between his activities for the Mormon church. He isn’t a huge name in America at the moment, but he is a huge star in the Philippines and a popular figure all over the world. Still only 25 years old, it’s not impossible that he could be one of those performers who just keep getting bigger and bigger, until they land a late-night talk show or take over the Latin Grammys.
Syesha Mercado Mostly active on Twitter – 98,000 Twitter followers compared to 20,000 Facebook followers – Syesha continues to post positive little sayings, repost her old videos, and post promises of new material and a shiny website that’ll be ready Tuesday.
Which Tuesday? The same Tuesday that Wimpy will gladly pay you, I imagine, but Syesha seems like a nice, positive person. I root for her to get something, anything out. It’s been nearly 10 years and 10 combined albums by Cookie and Archie. She might want to step the pace up a bit, just sayin’.
Jason Castro The dreadlocks are gone now, replaced by a high-and-tight/mohawk mixture, sort of a gentler, less pastel colored version of Colton Dixon’s mop-head haircut. Like Colton, Jason dove into the Christian Rock field shortly after he left the show.
He is still touring all over the world, making music, and like the two Davids he devotes himself to philanthropic efforts to a remarkable extent. He is the spokesman for “Malaria no More” and he works with an international organization that puts boots on the feet of children who can’t afford them. He spends a lot of time in Africa, when he can get away from his Dallas ministry.
Brooke White Brooke is half of Jack and White, an Indy duo that has had some success, charting their first two EPs on the Indy and digital charts. Their most recent effort, “Lost,” came out in February, and they tour regularly.
Brooke has also done some acting, starring in (and writing songs for) the Fox-TV movie “Change of Plans” in 2011, and the Hallmark movie “Banner 4th of July” in 2013. Like David Archuleta, Brooke has posted videos with massive view-counts on a You Tube Mormon channel. Like all of these kids, she is actively involved in charitable work.
Carly Smithson Carly has had some serious backing at times, but for some reason none of her big album projects have caught on. She is currently working with Cirque Du Soleil in “Viva Elvis,” and she is still the lead singer of her longtime hard rock band, We Are The Fallen. Her twitter page also tells us that she owns Nothing Sacred Tattoo.
Kristy Leigh Cook She just released an EP called “All Kinds of Crazy” on May 5, 2016. She has done some television; she hosted several episodes of “Goin’ Country” on the Outdoor network in 2012, and she tried to get a couple of other shows launched. Here’s the title cut from her new EP; it’s so new she hasn’t done even a live video yet.
Michael Johns Michael died suddenly in Tustin, California on August 1, 2014. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy. He was 35.
Prior to his death, Michael put out a post-Idol album that reached number 12 on the Indy charts and charted on the mainstream album charts, selling 20,000 copies. He toured extensively, all over the world, and posted a number of videos on social media.
Michael was the first Idol finalist to pass away, and the only one until very recently, when Rickey Smith, Jr. was killed in a car accident. I think that rates a second video, with a beautiful message.
Ramiele Malubay The tiny Filipino Twitter fiend (10,900 tweets in just over 7 years, an average of nearly 4 a day) released a Christmas album on November 28, 2014, and she has posted a few other videos – covers like the one below – on You Tube.
Chikezie Eze His rendition of “She’s a Woman” on Beatles night in season 7 is the reason I started watching Idol, so I should either thank him or hunt him down and kick him in the butt. I’ll compromise, and post the performance-of-a-lifetime moment the kid had, back in season 7.
Chikezie is 30 now, and if he’s anywhere on social media it’s under a different name. The latest information I have is that he got married in 2011, and he currently lives in his hometown of Inglewood, California. His last social media appearance was in November of 2012, when he retweeted a link to a charity event at a friend’s request.
He was arrested for identity theft in 2010, but the case was thrown out. There is no reason, based on what I could find, to believe he knowingly committed a crime.
Amanda Overmeyer Amanda has a website and an album out, but that’s not important (and don’t call me Shirley). What’s important, if you like Amanda, is that she is a tweeting loon, tweeting and retweeting dozens of times a day. She (1) loves to share posts from former Idols, (2) is a hard-core republican, and (3) hates Donald Trump like the rest of us hate cancer in baby harp seals.
Amanda posted her booking price on Facebook last year: it’s $750. That seems pretty low for a singer with a little bit of fame. I haven’t played a gig in over 10 years, and I would charge almost that much. Still, she is active in the business, working steadily and engaging with her (admittedly small) fanbase. We can check back in after a few years … see if she can get that price up a little.
David Hernandez Nobody seems to be paying attention, but David’s website is live and he’s actively chasing bookings.