Crystal Bowersox won! Ok, so maybe not officially, but she’s gURL’s AI champ! Lee DeWyze took the crown but we were rooting for the 24-year-old earth-mama rocker chick the whole time! Recount!
But seriously, we’re positive that Crystal is proof that you don’t have to win to be successful. If these American Idol runner-ups are any indication, Crystal is in good company. Click on for the underdogs who’ve conquered the AI world and our iTunes playlists.
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There's been some major controversy surrounding last season's second placer, Adam Lambert -- how could we forget his scandalous boy-kissing stint at the 2009 AMAs? But his dramatic performances and fierce fashion sense (he wins for best guyliner application!) have won him two major awards and his album is legit-cool. Rock on, Glambert!
In AI's first-ever battle of the Davids, David Cook beat out the oh-so-adorable David Archuleta on season 7. But Archie's number 2 song, "Crush" and his guest appearances on shows like iCarly and Hannah Montana have pushed him up the fame ranks. Cook? Anyone? Anyone? Cook? Yeah, exactly.
Remember beat-boxing Blake Lewis? His music may not have made as huge of an impact on us as some other Idol alums' did, but Blake made AOL's 2007 list of Sexiest Single Men and People's Hottest Bachelors of 2007. How's that for success?
Katharine McPhee's belted out some pop-tunes on two records and has done loads of collabs with world-renowned artists. She's also modeled for Neutrogena and had hilarious roles in House Bunny and on Community and Funnyordie.com. And with her latest album kicking butt on the charts with her Kara DioGuardi-penned anthem "Terrified," the best is yet to come.
Bo Bice, who lost to Carrie Underwood on season 4, was the epitome of anti-Idol thanks to his Southern rocker persona -- but that's why we loved him! Bo's had tons of top ten hits and even started his own band, Sugarmoney, after AI.
One of Idol's youngest runner-ups, Diana DeGarmo made the leap from pop music to Broadway after coming in second to Fantasia Barrino. She's belted it out in shows like Hairspray, West Side Story and Hair.
OK, so Justin Guarini's level of success doesn't even compare to Kelly Clarkson's, but we gotta give the guy credit for releasing two studio albums, honing his acting chops on stage, and landing some cool TV gigs after his Idol debut. We're just trying to block From Justin to Kelly from our minds!