9 Singers You Forgot Auditioned for ‘American Idol’

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Colbie Caillat

Caillet auditioned for Idol twice but didn’t get through. “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 told to USA Today.

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Amber Riley

The Glee star tried out for the show when she was 17 but didn’t even make it past producers. Thank goodness she stuck with it and fans got to experience her as Mercedes Jones.

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Colton Swon

Swon was on Idol‘s seventh season where he made it to the Top 48 but got cut. Then he tried out the The Voice with his brother and together they made it to Season 4 finale and now are signed to Arista Nashville.

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Hillary Scott

Lady Antebellum’s frontwoman tried out twice for the singing competition but never got to see the judges. “I literally performed for the production assistants and the interns, ” she told Entertainment Tonight. It’s all good, though. Her band has since won 5 Grammys.

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Mary Lambert

The singer tried out for Idol when she was 16. Her attempt didn’t go well but now she’s known for singing on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s hit song “Same Love.”

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Naya Rivera

Another Glee star! Rivera auditioned in San Francisco but didn’t make it past the first round.

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Tori Kelly

She was on Idol‘s Season 9 but didn’t make it past the Top 24. She continued to sing on YouTube and built quite the following. Now Kelly is signed to Capitol Records and has opened for major stars like Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.

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Alan Ritchson

He performed a sexy strip tease in his Season 3 audition which got the attention of judge Paula Abdul. But he only lasted to the Top 87. Since the show, he’s landed roles on Smallville and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

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Maren Morris

The Best New Artist Grammy nominee tried out for Idol when she was 17. “I did the cattle call audition, and it’s not for the judges—it’s for the producers. I didn’t even get past that round,” she told Rolling Stone.

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You win some, you lose some. For these successful singers/actors not making it on American Idol, turned out just fine. From hit songs to Grammy wins, they didn’t quit on their dreams.

The singing competition series is returning for its fourteenth season on March 11. At home on a new network (ABC), Idol is bringing back all the feels—from making dreams come true to watching those hilarious off-kilter auditions.

Click through the gallery above to check out all the hit artists American Idol famously passed on.