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Can You Believe These Superstars Were Once Rejected By ‘American Idol’?

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

The "American Idol" top 24 have been announced, and along with the expected ringers there are quite a few surprise omissions: Chris Medina, John Wayne Schulz, Jerome Bell, Carson Higgins, and Jacee Badeaux, to name but five. I'm sure they're feeling pretty rejected, and dejected, right now, as they watch their peers move on to the live "Idol" stage while they pack their bags and Greyhound-bus it back to the small towns from whence they came. But they shouldn't sulk. They should release that quite a few talented singers were turned away by "Idol," but went on to bigger and better things.

Chris, John, Jerome, Jacee, et al: If you're feeling low, read about the following "Idol" also-rans and realize that your respective musical journeys are far from over.

HILLARY SCOTT

The stunning Lady Antebellum frontwoman auditioned not once but twice for "Idol," and never even made it past the preliminary rounds, never even sang for Simon Cowell and the other judges. "I never got to see them. I literally performed for the production assistants and the interns, and I just didn't make it," she recently told Entertainment Tonight. No worries. Hillary simply formed Lady Antebellum instead, and went on to win five Grammys this year, including Record AND Song Of The Year. No Idol has ever done that!

COLBIE CAILLAT

This plucky songstress also auditioned unsuccessfully for "Idol" twice, and on her second try she even warbled her own original ditty, "Bubbly." ("I was shy. I was nervous. I didn't look the greatest. I wasn't ready for it yet. I was glad, when I auditioned, that they said no," she later told USA Today.) I guess Colbie had reason to be glad. Not only did "Bubbly" eventually become a massive international hit for her, without "Idol's" help, but it's since been covered by various other "Idol" hopefuls, like Casey James, Katie Stevens, Katelyn Epperly, and Anne Marie Boskovich. Apparently Colbie wasn't too bitter to grant the show rights!

AMBER RILEY

The "Glee" diva auditioned for "Idol" at age 17, but she too didn't even make it past the producers. But obviously, the singer also known as Mercedes Jones made it onto the Fox Network anyway. (And one of her biggest standout solo performances on "Glee" was "And I Am Telling You," a song famously performed by Idols like Jennifer Hudson and LaKisha Jones.) "You know what? I still work on Fox and I get paid! Thank you, 'American Idol,'" Amber recently gloated to Access Hollywood. You go, girl.

ROBYN TROUP

Robyn is the least-known name on this list, but she actually made it the farthest, getting all the way to Hollywood Week in 2006. She was cut during the second group round, but she performed on the Grammys only a few weeks after her elimination aired, when she won Yahoo! Music's own "My Grammy Moment" talent search and got to duet on the live awards telecast with none other than Justin Timberlake. (And Jennifer Hudson introduced her!) Since then, Robyn has recorded with Santana, and is now prepping her debut album for the Emblem Music Group, a record label helmed by David Cook/Taylor Hicks producer Matt Serletic.

May this season's "American Idol" castoffs find similar golden opportunities in their own post-"Idol" futures!

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