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Mont Vernon’s Alex Preston sent home from ‘American Idol’ Top 3

Friday, May 16, 2014

By KATE GARDNER

Staff Writer

Although Mont Vernon’s Alex Preston reached the end of his “American Idol” journey Thursday, May 15, that’s not to say his career is over. As seen with past “Idol” contestants, not coming in first place can bring just as much success, if not more.

According to Reuben Gann, of Idol Analytics, there was a 35 percent chance of Preston going home this week. He said there was a bigger chance of Caleb Johnson going home. Gann said if Preston had made the Top 2, though, his chances of winning would have been low.

“If Alex and Jena [Irene] were the Top 2, my gut feeling is that he would have less than a one in four chance of winning,” Gann said.

Gann said the winner of Idol is generally more successful, but that this doesn’t mean any less success for the contestants who don’t win.

“Overall the winner is more successful than the runners-up, but I don’t think Alex needs to win to be a popular musician,” Gann said.

Preston’s dad, Paul Philbrick, also knows that his son will be successful despite not winning. He said it may take Preston some time to understand this and rebound from the loss.

“Anyone who’s seen him knows he has a career ahead of him,” Philbrick said. “It’ll be waiting for him to realize it again.”

Over the past 12 years, many runners-up and finalists have been more successful than the winners. Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken is arguably more well-known than winner Ruben Studdard. Aiken, however, is no longer making music; he just won the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District in North Carolina on Tuesday.

Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee and sixth-place finalist Kellie Pickler have made bigger names for themselves than winner Taylor Hicks. McPhee has had three albums, been in five movies and guest-starred on four television shows. She also played the lead role on “Smash” and will star in the upcoming show “Scorpion.”

Pickler has found success as a country artist with four albums. She has won several country music awards and was also the winner of the 16th season of “Dancing with the Stars.”

However, fourth-place finalist Chris Daughtry is the biggest success of that season with his band, Daughtry. Daughtry has had four albums and many hit songs.

According to Forbes, Hicks made more money than McPhee and Pickler in 2013. He earned $2.5 million, while Pickler made $1.5 million and McPhee made $1 million. However, Daughtry earned $4 million.

Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert has found great success – more so than winner Kris Allen. Lambert has had two albums, the former of which, “For Your Entertainment,” attaining gold and platinum status in multiple countries. He also has won numerous awards and was nominated for a Grammy. Most recently, Lambert held a guest role on “Glee.” Allen, on the other hand, has had two post-“Idol” albums and has been nominated for four music awards.

One of the better-known “Idol” contestants is Season 3’s Jennifer Hudson. Hudson came nowhere near the show’s finale, as she finished in seventh place. Despite this, she has found widespread success as a musician, actress, spokesperson and author.

She has recorded two albums, both of which reached gold, and starred in the film “Dreamgirls.” For this role, she won an Academy Award and Golden Globe, among other awards. In 2013, Hudson was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Season 3 winner, Fantasia Barrino, also has been successful as an actress and musician. She has had four albums and three Grammy nominations. According to Forbes, Barrino made a half-million dollars more than Hudson in 2013.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 594-6466 or kgardner@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Gardner on Twitter (@katevgardner).

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