AI Aftermath: 3rd place finishers - VIDEOS

by Jason Hughes, posted May 19th 2008 11:04AM
American Idol - 3rd Place Finishers
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 Syesha Mercado's elimination this week, we'll be looking at other fourth place finishers.

This week: 3rd place finishers, featuring featuring Nikki McKibbin (Season One), Kimberly Locke (Season Two), Jasmine Trias (Season Three), Vonzell Solomon (Season Four), Elliott Yamin (Season Five) and Melinda Doolittle (Season Six).


Nikki McKibbinFor several years after her solid run on the first season of Idol, McKibbin ran and operated her own karaoke business (I'm sure Simon would have loved that). In 2005, she sold that business to focus on a career in professional music. She was lambasted on the show for making it further than Tamyra Gray, who most considered the more polished singer, but there was something raw and real about McKibbin that couldn't be denied. In going back and listening to these tracks again, the girl was good.

While she had originally signed with 19 and RCA after Idol, they couldn't agree on a direction for her album; management wanted her to go country while she wanted to stay "rocker." After she dropped her karaoke gig, she climbed into the spotlight by appearing on various reality shows throughout 2005 including Fear Factor, Battle of the Network Reality Stars and Kill Reality, in which she created and starred in a made-for-TV movie.

She spent several years working on a debut album, signed for awhile with Astral Records before ultimately switching to her manager/producers label, Chenoa Records. Finally, in May 2007 with the band Rivethead, she released Unleashed which is currently for sale via iTunes. Her manager has reported via her MySpace page that there is now bubbling interest from major record labels to pick up and revamp McKibbin's CD and get it major physical distribution.

Here's her recent official music video for the single "The Lie":

On Idol with "Mary Jane":

And finally, in her Idol days, Nikki rocked "Black Velvet":

[via Wikipedia, MySpace,]


Kimberly LockeIn what was considered by many one of the toughest competitive seasons of American Idol, Kimberly Locke came in behind only the juggernaut duo of Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken on the show's second run. She's performed again on the show back in Season 3 and most recently during this past season. After her finish, she was quickly scooped up by Curb Records and released One Love in 2004. Her debut single "8th World Wonder"debuted at #1 on the singles charts and got tons of radio air play, and she continued to garner success on the Adult Contemporary Charts with subsequent single releases.

In 2006, Locke was a featured contestant on Celebrity Fit Club, where she had a high profile ongoing feud with former child star Dustin Diamond (Saved by the Bell). Their shenanigans both raised her public profile tremendously and lead to the show's highest ratings to date with that year's finale. As an additional benefit, Locke lost some weight and got into better shape, which she showed off this year on her Idol appearance. She's achieved her weight loss goals of 140 lbs., and has received accolades from the industry for her determination and success.

She released two different Christmas singles in 2005 and 2006, respectively, with both rising to the top of the AC charts. So last year, she released a full Chritmas album digitally. In May of last year, Locke's sophomore album, Based on a True Story, came out. After a faltering start, Curb Records refocused their promotional effort and her third single from the album, "Band of Gold," became an AC Top 10 hit. She's had a string of hits on both the Adult Contemporary and Hot Dance Club charts and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.

The video for "Change":

Here's the video for her first hit single "8th World Wonder":

Ambitiously taking on "My Heart Will Go On" back on Idol:

[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]


Jasmine TriasHawaiian native Jasmine Trias' impressive finish on American Idol made her an instant star in The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian regions. She was a huge inspiration for this season's Ramiele Malubay as well, who wanted to better Trias' Idol success. Missing that mark, she'd be hard pressed to match her success in Filipino markets as Trias has been involved in major marketing campaigns there and is pretty much a household name at this point.

In 2005, she released her self-titled debut album in the US under Clockwork Entertainment, where it sold a respectable 20,000 units and under Universal Records in the Philippines where it's already gone platinum. She has since parted ways with Clockwork, though she remains with Universal Philippines. Trias is currently hard at work on her sophomore effort, tentatively eying a 2008 debut.

Jamming her single "Excuses":

Here's a video for "Sana Lagi." I can't understand a word of it, but she sure looks pretty singing it *grin*:

Back on Idol with "Inseperable":

[via Wikipedia, MySpace, and more!]


Vonzell SolomonVonzell has the disappointing record of being the highest finishing Idol contestant to not get picked up by a record label. She's struck back by being the CEO of her own independent label, Melodic Records. After several bumps in the road, her debut album My Struggle finally dropped in digital form in January 2007. She also performed in Simply Ballroom with fellow finalist Anthony Federov last year, though I'm not sure if she's still involved or not.

In fact, I'm not going to stand by any of this as there's a ton of conflicting data out there. The bottom line appears to be that Baby V is still at it trying to get things going on her musical career, but hasn't yet achieved her goals. I guess her strategy of flying under the radar, though she did have some impressive vocals throughout, is now backfiring on her as people have just kind of forgotten her.

Performing "Time After Time" in Simply Ballroom:

Singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" On Good Morning America:

Back on Idol with "How Do I Live":

[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]


Elliott YaminYamin was one of the strongest vocals in all of Season Five, with many thinking he had just as much chance to pull off a win as either Katharine McPhee or eventual winner Taylor Hicks. Some thing he was a more dynamic and talented performer than either of the Top 2 finalists. Regardless, like many of the Season Five contestants, Yamin had no trouble picking up a recording contract. His self-titled debut dropped March 2007 and sold 90,000 copies in its first week, shortly thereafter going gold. The album became the highest new artist debut on an independent label in SoundScan history.

His debut single "Wait for You" has achieved solid success and airplay as well. Yamin has been traveling and touring the world in support of the album throughout the past year. His mother, who was one of his most visible supporters during his Idol run, passed away earlier this year and Yamin dedicated his performance of "Free" during this year's American Idol to her.

As a Type 1 diabetic, Yamin is a spokesperson for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and advocate for many different organizations in support of diabetic research. Yamin's most recent release is on a duet with fellow Season Five finalist Katharine McPhee called "Real Love" on Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1. The song has been released to radio airplay as of late last month. He's also in the studio working on his follow-up album, seeking a Fall 2008 release date.

The videos just a fan-made slide show, but you can hear the "Real Love" duet here:

Performing his single "Wait for You" live:

Proving that there wasn't anything he couldn't sing, here he is with "Trouble":

[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]


Melinda DoolittleLike Elliott the year before, many people considered Doolittle the strongest vocalist and inevitable winner of Season Six. She's spent the last several months since the wrap of the American Idol tour working on her soul album. In February, her first single was released; a cover of "My Funny Valentine." She's hoping for and shooting for a June release on the album.

She's heavily involved in Malaria No More, a charity organization that provides nets for mosquito and Malaria ravaged regions of Africa. She most recently participated in an Edy's Ice Cream promotion with fellow finalist Chris Richardson, which included tours of Wal-Mart. Melinda is basically still fresh off of Idol so her career options are still bright and positive.

Here's that single "My Funny Valentine," as performed back on Idol:

Here she is with "I Believe In You and Me":

Doing a little something different on "Since You've Been Gone":

[via Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]


Syesha MercadoIt's pretty good company, and I think it's more a statement of the Davids than a statement on Syesha that she's wound up here in third place. She proved herself a versatile and impressive performer, and she improved tremendously as she became more and more comfortable up on that stage. I agree with a lot of people who say she'd be a tremendous asset to Broadway, but I don't know if I'd be so quick to dismiss her as a potentially viable pop artist. Regardless, she's talented and beautiful and should be able to turn this exposure into something if she plays her cards right.

We take a look at the second place finishers, including Justin Guarini, Clay Aiken, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice, Katharine McPhee and Blake Lewis. See you there!

4th Place Finishers
5th Place Finishers
6th Place Finishers
7th Place Finishers
8th Place Finishers
9th Place Finishers
10th Place Finishers
11th Place Finishers
12th Place Finishers

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This past week Melinda finish the vocals on her CD! All of that happens quickly then we will see her CD on shelves this Fall! Also, keep your eye out for her first official single that should be hitting airwaves in the coming weeks. Melinda is going to be throwing a lot of music at us in the coming months so get ready! New website to support Melinda Career come join We need all her fans to support her she is a amazing singer.

August 05 2008 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This past week Melinda finish the vocals on her CD! All of that happens quickly then we will see her CD on shelves this Fall! Also, keep your eye out for her first official single that should be hitting airwaves in the coming weeks. Melinda is going to be throwing a lot of music at us in the coming months so get ready! New website to support Melinda Career come join usat We need all her fans to support her she is a amazing singer.

August 05 2008 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Melinda Doolittle will released her first album at the end of the summer. If you want to join to supporting her

June 12 2008 at 8:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your information on Vonzell Solomon is not quite accurate. "My Struggle" is not her debut album but rather her demo album which was first released in 2004, prior to her appearance on Idol, and then re-released in 2007. Also, her stint on Simply Ballroom was this year, not last year.

May 20 2008 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just an FYI, here is the version of My Funny Valentine that Melinda is different than the one on the show. Amazing!

May 20 2008 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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