In an upcoming episode of Oprah’s Where Are They Now, American Idol Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini speaks candidly about his time on the show and the terrible disappointment that followed.
“American Idol did wonders for my career, but it was also extremely damaging for my life. [I realized] that I was not living the dream that I thought I was living.”
After starring in the critically panned film From Justin to Kelly, Guarini went on to release his debut album in 2003. Unfortunately, his CD performed just as badly as his movie did, selling less than 150,000 copies.
In December of that year — following what he calls his “pathetic” album sales and the “abysmal film” — Justin found out he’d been dropped by both the American Idol management team and his record label RCA. “I found out that I was dropped simultaneously via Saturday Night Live," he explains. "I didn’t get a phone call, I didn’t get an email. I found out when Tina Fey made a joke about me."
Feeling constantly ridiculed for everything he did, Justin says he fell into a horrible depression. “It led to me not being able to get out of bed in the morning.”
While the singer has certainly turned his life around — he’s now a husband, father, regular TV commentator, and Broadway performer — it took him years to get over the disappointment that American Idol seemed to cause.
Watch a clip from Justin’s episode of Where Are They Now below, and make sure to catch the full episode when it airs Sunday, August 11 at 10pm on OWN!