American Idol: Has a Wild Card Contestant Ever Won?
If you weren’t too distracted by how gosh-darn dapper Harry Connick, Jr. looked last night in his tux, you might have noticed a very important piece of intel host Ryan Seacrest shared: Top 2 contestant Jena Irene is the first female wild card to ever make it to this stage of American Idol. Did you forget the high school senior almost didn’t make it in the early stages of Season 13? Yep, we did too.
Five months later, here we are on the brink of crowning our next Idol champion and Jena’s got a good shot at winning the whole thing. And if she does beat fellow Top 2-er Caleb Johnson, it’ll make history since Jena would be the first-ever wild card contestant to outright win.
Not that we haven't come close a couple of times. You might remember a chap named Clay Aiken who, back in Season 2, was America’s pick for the wild card round after he was cut from the Top 32. He went on to place second to Ruben Studdard and provided further proof that looks can definitely be deceiving, particularly on a reality TV show.