AI Aftermath: 4th place finishers - VIDEOS
by Jason Hughes, posted May 13th 2008 3:20PM
Welcome back to "AI Aftermath," where we explore Idol's past. Each installment, as one more American Idol hopeful is eliminated from the competition, we take a look back at contestants past who were eliminated at the same point. We'll examine how they did on the show and what they've been up to since their eliminations. In honor of Jason Castro's elimination last week, we'll be looking at other fourth place finishers.
This week: 4th place finishers, featuring featuring Tamyra Gray (Season One), Joshua Gracin (Season Two), LaToya London (Season Three), Anthony Federov (Season Four), Chris Daughtry (Season Five) and LaKisha Jones (Season Six).
SEASON ONE - TAMYRA GRAY
Well, Tamyra Gray's official site may be down for maintenance, but that doesn't mean the singing-acting sensation is. You remember Tamyra, the tiny little lady from the first season with the huge and amazing singing voice who got beat out in a shocking results show by Nikki McKibbin. Well, she went on to a recurring role on Boston Public (that's "Public" not "Legal," the show about a high school from a few years back) acting as an aspiring student singer in an abusive relationship. Her conviction in that role has led to other guest-starring roles in subsequent years.
As a songwriter, she was co-writer of Fantasia's smash single "I Believe" from the third season, as well as most of her own debut album. That album came out under 19 Records, after Gray was dropped by J Records. 19 Records was a newly formed division of 19 Entertainment, the behemoth behind Idol. But, sales were less than stellar on her debut album (122,000 or so), and she was dropped again. She's not been able to find major representation since.
In 2005, Gray had a supporting role in The Gospel, as well as recording a single for it soundtrack. The single went to #1 on the Billboard Soundtrack Chart, so that's kept her in the industry. She's also kept up on her writing, contributing to sings for Jessica Simpson's 2006 effort. Currently, Tamyra is appearing in a successful and extended run on Broadway as Mimi Marquez in RENT. She is expected to wrap up the role with the show's wrap in September of this year. Beyond that, she's recording a more hip-hop/dance album and seeking a label under which to put it out.
Check her out with Adam Pascal in RENT with "Another Day":
On Boston Public, Tamyra's character performed "Dance With My Father":
Back on Idol, Tamyra brought the house down with "A House Is Not a Home":
[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]
SEASON TWO - JOSHUA GRACIN
Joshua Gracin didn't have nearly as much trouble having success in his chosen genre, but that's because he chose country music which as we've seen is the most receptive to Idol alumni (see Phil Stacey, Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington, Carrie Underwood, Carmen Rasmussen and probably Kristy Lee Cook soon!). Gracin was active in the Marine Corps during his Idol run. And after both wrapped, he was quickly signed by Lyric Street Records and released his self-titled debut album in 2004.
The album has since gone gold with over 750,000 units sold and garnered Gracin three Top 5 hits on Billboard's Hot Country chart, including one Number One ("Nothin' to Lose"). It wasn't until last month that Josh's long-awaited second album finally dropped, We Weren't Crazy. It would be safe to say that while he's not yet the next Garth Brooks, Gracin is firmly on the map as an up-and-coming country sensation. He's currently touring the country in support of his debut effort, and looks on track to continue his steady rise.
Josh's video for his recent single and title track to his new album, "We Weren't Crazy":
Here's Josh with "Nothin' to Lose":
And of course, back on the Idol with "Amazed," Josh was already fully in his element:
[via Wikipedia, MySpace, JoshGracin.com and more!]
SEASON THREE - LATOYA LONDON
In an almost "Season One"-like moment of deja vu, LaToya London, who was considered by many one of the strongest singers in the competition, lost out to a lesser vocal talent in Jasmine Trias to be eliminated fourth. After her ouster from the show, London hit football games for the national anthem and the talk show circuit, keeping herself in the public eye until her debut album, Love & Life dropped in late 2005. Though it received positive acclaim, sales were modest.
Nevertheless, London continued churning out singles and like many Idol alumni before her, found her way to the stage. She starred in several Los Angeles productions, garnering postiive reviews throughout and even sneaking a local awards nomination in as well. Like Gray before her, London has found her way to Broadway and is starring in a major stage production while working on her second album and shopping for a label.
London is featured as Nettie in The Color Purple, where she has performed with fellow Idol alumnus Fantasia, in the role of Celie. She's been with the production since early 2007 and is contractually bound to the show until mid-2008. At that point, she'll get to decide whether she stays on the stage, pushes back toward a recording contract or sees if she can juggle both.
There's not much in the way of video here, but it's a good audio track of "Meet Me Halfway" off her Love & Life:
Performing live with "If You Don't Love Me By Now":
Back on the Idol with "All By Myself":
[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]
SEASON FOUR - ANTHONY FEDEROV
Federov is remembered largely as that kid with the tracheotomy scar who thought he might never talk again, much less sing. This Russian-born singer rose to an impressive fourth place finish in the fourth season of American Idol. Since his run, Federov has appeared on a Reality TV edition of Fear Factor, partnering with fellow Idol alumni Carmen Rasmussen. The duo came in second place there, beating their respective placements on Idol.
Federov continues work on his debut album, but like many alumni before him, has found his way to the stage, first in an off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks and more recently in Simply Ballroom, which finished it's tour last month. Beyond that, there doesn't appear to be much to report about Federov. He's still plugging away, recently conducting a radio interview for national play. I'm not sure what it was about, because while his MySpace page plugs it, it's severely lacking in details. Maybe it's about the time he'll be spending this summer mentoring the kids at "Idol Camp."
After losing his brother to the disease, Federov became a national spokesperson for the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Here he is performing at the SFA Gala last year with "I Need to Know":
Check out Anthony singing in his native Russian on "Ocharovna (Enchanted)":
Back on American Idol, here he is with one of the last songs he sang, "If You Don't Know Me By Now":
[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]
SEASON FIVE - CHRIS DAUGHTRY
Indisputably the most successful non-Top 2 finalist in American Idol history, with many of his fans and even Daughtry himself indicating that not winning the show was the best thing that could have happened to his career. Daughtry rocketed off of the Idol tour and straight into the studio to slam out his debut album, Daughtry. Since then, Daughtry has gone on to become one of the four most successful Idol alumni, joining winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, and runner-up Clay Aiken at the top of the charts.
In fact, Daughtry keeps on riding the train into the record books as "Feels Like Tonight," their sixth single from the album has reached the top of the charts, becoming the third single from the album to do so, becoming the first act to net three #1s on the Billboard Singles chart from a debut album, and joining Nickelback as the only other act to do it at all. The album itself rocketed to platinum status in only three weeks and has gone on to sell over 4 million copies.
Daughtry has toured with Bon Jovi, with Chris performing on-stage with Jon Bon Jovi on "Blaze of Glory," a song Chris sang on Idol to great acclaim. The band continues touring in support of their smash debut effort, and have begun performing various new tracks, perhaps in anticipation of their return to the studio to put together a sophomore effort.
Here's Daughtry's video for "Feels Like Tonight":
Daughtry's single "Home" was the official boot-off track for Season 6 of American Idol, so it made sense that the band went on the show to perform it live toward the end of the season (the make-up was a bit much though, Chris):
Remember that Chris Daughtry was one of the first Idols to use someone else's arrangement to great success, and controversy. Here's his version of Live's version of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line":
[via Wikipedia, MySpace, DaughtryOfficial.com and more!]
SEASON SIX - LAKISHA JONES
Hey, what do you know? A powerhouse black woman getting knocked out in fourth place. Imagine that!f. Of course, LaKisha was booted so another powerhouse black woman could creep a bit ahead in Melinda Doolittle. But how would a LaKisha/Melinda finale been instead of Blake/Jordin? Or were they too similar in style? LaKisha has a debut album dropping next month, if all goes according to plan, that promises to be a mix of R&B and Soul/Gospel.
But recording an album wasn't enough for Jones, so she's also taking over the role of church soloist in The Color Purple. Because all the black Idol contestants need to be on that show. It does help that London, Jones and Fantasia are all amazing vocalists, so I'll forgive the Idol reunion casting. Considering it's been less than a year since she wrapped the tour, I think Jones is doing just fine and right on track.
LaKisa blew our socks off with "And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)," and doing so in the year that Jennifer Hudson made it her own in the film version of Dreamgirls:
Also on Idol with "God Bless the Child":
Honestly, she could sing anything, this one! Like "Diamonds Are Forever":
[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]
SEASON SEVEN - JASON CASTRO
Jason is sure an odd fit for this group, but then again he's such a unique performer and artist that he'd be an odd fit in any group. But I think for Jason, odd is good. There was something magical and infectious about his approach to singing and performing. It was this magnetism that propelled him to such lofty heights amidst a bevy of amazing and more seasoned vocalists.
While Jason may not be the kind of guy who's going to light up the pop charts, I think he'll nevertheless be able to carve out a spectacular niche for himself as a folksy and heartfelt singer. Hell, the kid might end up doing some modeling or acting as well, as he's spectacularly good looking. I think my wife would consider leaving me for him should the opportunity rise. He's so young and such a beginner in singing and performing that he's only going to get better and better.
NEXT TIME ON AI AFTERMATH
We take a look at the third place finishers, including Nikki McKibbin, Kimberly Locke, Jasmine Trias, Vonzell Solomon, Elliott Yamin and Melinda Doolittle. See you there!
5th Place Finishers
6th Place Finishers
7th Place Finishers
8th Place Finishers
9th Place Finishers
10th Place Finishers
11th Place Finishers
12th Place Finishers