Season 11 featured a wide variety of styles, with the finalists covering virtually ever popular form of music:
- Phil-Phil – Dave Mathews meets Bruce Springsteen
- Jessica – pop and hip/hop cover girl
- Joshua – Johnny Mathis meets James Brown
- Hollie – Cher’s powerful contralto coming out of a flying squirrel
- Skylar – Chunky Reba
- Elise – Jazz lessons from a piano teacher
- Colton – Christian Rocker
- Deandre – Sweet falsetto and a ukelele
- Heejun – K-Pop
- Erika – Straight pop, homie
Add Shannon (diva in training with a beach volleyball player’s body), Jermaine (is South Park looking for a new Chef?), and Jeremy (sure, why not?) and this might have been the best coverage of styles the show ever presented.
So, where are they now?
Phil Phillips – Phil-Phil’s “Home” – his Idol exit song – was a massive hit, selling over 5 million i-tunes downloads. His second single, “Gone, Gone, Gone” generated over 2 million i-tunes downloads, and each of them reached the top of the Adult Contemporary charts. His first album sold over a million copies, peaking at #4 on the mainstream album chart, while his second album sold 123,000 copies and reached #7.
Jessica Sanchez – Strangely, Jessica’s most popular videos are covers, either predating or post-dating her Idol appearance and her first album of original music. Her album tanked – another triumph for 19 Entertainment – and she has gone back to making popular covers and posting them to You Tube. She claims to be getting ready to put out a new original album, grittier than the pop slop Idol made her put out. We’ll see how that goes – Jessica is still only 20 years old.
Joshua Ledet – He’s been strangely quiet. He has his 100k followers on the various social media platforms, and he has a few songs out – but just a few. There doesn’t seem to be any plans to put out a full album, and he hasn’t been touring.
There are some pictures of Josh with Maaliyah Papillion, who is (I think, it’s not clear) the reigning Miss Louisiana. She bears a remarkable resemblance to Amber Holcomb, which is the only reason I looked her up. I thought at first that Josh and Amber were dating.
Speak-a-the-devil: the next picture on his timeline? Josh with Amber.
Hollie Cavanagh – Hollie has the usual Facebook and Twitter accounts with roughly 100k followers, and she stays active on them. She maintains thriving, interactive fansite/website called “Hollie Pops” that is updated constantly., and she seems to put out new material every five minutes. She won’t fail for lack of effort. She is 22 now.
Hollie was chosen to perform the title cut from the movie “Come away with Me” starring comedienne Ellen Gerstein and Charlie Robinson (Night Court).
Skylar Laine – Lessee… website? Check. Album out? Check. 100k plus Facebook followers? Check (well, almost). 100k plus Twitter followers? Check. Recording contract? Not so fast, Batman. Skylar wasn’t able to find a contract through 19 entertainment, but she put out her album anyway and she is working social media like crazy. She recently moved back to her hometown, so whatever moving and shaking she has planned is on hold.
Elise Testone – She is performing quite a bit, in several genres, including an Amy Winehouse tribute and some original music projects. Here is a live performance of an original song, worth the listen (translation – it’s really good).
Colton Dixon – Colton is one of the biggest stars in Christian Rock. Each of his first two albums reached number one on the Christian Rock chart, and his first album reached the top of the Gospel chart and topped out at #15 on the mainstream Album Chart.
Deandre Brackensick – The dread locked one is touring Australia and New Zealand at the moment. He posts some really cool shorties on Facebook, either solo with a guitar or big group videos with several Deandres singing separate parts, melding into one blendful performance, like something you might expect from Casey Abrams.
He just posted this video n his You Tube channel in April, 2016:
Heejun Han – He is now a K-pop artist (think Gangnam Style), and apparently he is having some success. He finished 6th on a K-pop talent show in 2013, and reached the top of the Daum music chart with this song:
This video has nearly 1.5 million hits on You Tube:
Erika Van Pelt – She put out an album, “Independence,” in 2013, that garnered a couple of New England regional award nominations. She has been quiet lately – no shows or new music for a while – but her website promises some new material coming out soon.
Shannon Magrane – Now 20, Shannon hasn’t hit it big but it isn’t for lack of trying – she is all. over. the . place. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, you name it, she’s workin’ it. She has her website, her You Tube channel, and a couple of singles with official music videos. This is one of her singles:
Jermaine Jones – He sued the show, along with a few others, for racial discrimination. The case was eventually thrown out. Jermaine, who tried out for The Voice last fall, has released a few videos since his Idol appearance including this one:
Jeremy Rosado – He made a full studio album, “Heartbeat,” which was released in August, 2015. The album received mixed reviews; it was dunned somewhat for the sound quality, but the songs themselves were given high marks. Here’s a song from the album (audio only):