When it comes to scoring a record deal, the last two standing on 'American Idol' have it made. The winner is guaranteed a record deal with Sony BMG, while those who come in second end up with similar record deals on one of Sony BMG's labels.
But what about the finalists who didn't make it to the top two spots?
amyra Gray: An early favorite in the first season, Gray's chances of winning were shattered when she gave a rare substandard performance in one episode, which led to her elimination. Since 'Idol,' she's done TV ('Boston Public'), Broadway ('Bombay Dreams') and released her 2004 debut album, 'The Dreamer' (on 19/Universal Records), which was a modest hit.
Ryan Starr: She auditioned for 'American Idol' under her real name, Tiffany Montgomery, but by the time she made it to the semi-finals in season one, she had changed her name to Ryan Starr. Since the show, Starr has been into stark "reality" more than singing. She appeared on VH1's 'The Surreal Life' and Bravo's 'Battle of the Network Reality Stars.' As for that debut album that Starr has been talking about for years? It has yet to be released.
Kimberly Caldwell: She may be best remembered on 'Idol' as the feisty blonde who excelled at rock. She even had a brief romance with fellow season two contestant J.D. Adams while they were on the show. These days, Caldwell has made her mark on TV -- she's currently a correspondent for the TV Guide Channel.
Josh Gracin: Also known as "The Singing Marine," Gracin was enlisted in the Marines when he auditioned for 'Idol.' During the finals of 'Idol's' second season, it was touch and go as America wondered if Gracin would be shipped off to war. He never went overseas, but he did go far in his music career. Gracin released a self-titled album on Lyric Street Records in 2004, which was a hit on the country charts. He's currently on tour.
Kimberley Locke: After all the Clay versus Ruben hoopla in the second season, it was easy to forget Locke, who came in third. She released her debut album, 'One Love,' on Curb Records in 2004. It produced the hit '8th World Wonder,' which peaked at No. 49 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. Locke has since signed on as a spokesmodel for plus-sized women's retailer Lane Bryant, and is planning to release a second album this spring.
Camile Velasco: The husky-voiced singer from Hawaii had a deal with Motown/Universal, which released her first single, 'Hangin' On,' last year. Velasco is currently looking for a new record deal and is writing songs for her debut album. Last year, she landed a starring role in an Akron, Ohio, production of 'Footloose,' but, according to the show's producers, she abruptly quit after only a few days of rehearsals to promote her single. She tells TMZ that she doesn't have an agent or manager and is currently booking her own gigs.
John Stevens: The baby-faced, red-haired crooner from the third season released his debut album, 'Red,' on Maverick Records last year. Unfortunately, Stevens' attempt to become the next Michael Buble or Harry Connick Jr. failed miserably. The album didn't even make it on Billboard's main album chart, although it was a modest hit on Billboard's jazz chart.
Jasmine Trias: The other Hawaiian finalist from season three, Trias was known for always performing with a flower in her hair. But her self-titled album released independently last year, couldn't make a dent on Billboard's mainstream charts. Based on the bomb sales for her album, Trias may need to say goodbye to dreams of being a pop star and aloha to other career choices.
Constantine Maroulis: The other rocker finalist from 'Idol's' fourth season (next to second-placer Bo Bice), Maroulis has been juggling his solo projects and work with Pray for the Soul of Betty, the band he fronted before auditioning for 'Idol.' Pray for the Soul of Betty, which had been self-releasing its albums, scored a deal with indie label Koch Records last year, and released a self-titled album which became the first of the band's records to make it on the Billboard album chart (it peaked at No. 129). Maroulis is also working on a solo album. Last year, he contributed his version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to the Queen tribute album 'Killer Queen.' He's also signed a development deal with Kelsey Grammer's production company to star in a still-untitled TV family drama.
Mario Vazquez: Vazquez made headlines last year when he became the first 'Idol' Top 12 finalist to quit the show. He got a ton of publicity out of it, and apparently it worked. After doing a private audition for music mogul Clive Davis, Vazquez was signed to Davis' J Records. Vazquez's debut album will be released this year, and chances are good that he'll have a more successful career than most of the other finalists from season four.