The road to the Top 3 on American Idol was not without some serious upsets. Despite waxing poetic about her chances of winning the competition, we were forced to say goodbye to Hollie Cavanagh last night. The blonde Brit with a big voice might have frequented the Bottom 3 more than the other Top 4 contestants, but she wowed the judges toward the end with her tenacity and improved performances. Thankfully, Hollie’s in great company! Here are some of our favorite contestants who also finished fourth on Idol:

Chris Daughtry, Season 5
In the history of Idol shockers, Chris’ elimination is still one for the books. His time on the show ended during the Top 4, when he received the boot during Songs of Elvis week. Having only been in the Bottom 2 once, fans, judges, and Chris himself were surprised by the elimination. Fast-forward six years later, and Chris and his band Daughtry have sold millions of albums, been nominated for a Grammy, and have been the recipient of multiple American Music Awards. Not bad for a fourth-er!

James Durbin, Season 10
James’ hardscrabble background made him a fan favorite from the get go. His musician father died of a drug overdose, and he was diagnosed with both Tourette syndrome and Asperger’s at an early age. Despite overcoming formidable odds, the rocker was axed after singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and The Clovers’ “Love Potion No. 9” during Top 4 week. After his elimination, Idol still allowed James to do his hometown visit, an honor normally reserved for the Top 3. Since leaving the show, his debut album, 2011’s Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, reached #36 on the Billboard 200, and he continues to perform extensively, even appearing on Idol during the Top 7 results show.

Allison Ireheta, Season 8
Before appearing on Idol, Allison had already won a singing competition on Spanish-language network Telemundo called Quinceañera: Mama Quiero Ser Artista (Sweet Fifteen: Mom, I Want to Be an Artist). Legal trouble caused her recording contract to fall through, and she auditioned for Idol successfully two years later. Her edgy pop sensibilities took her far in the competition, but she was eliminated during a dual theme week of Rock and Roll Solos and Duets. Post-Idol, Allison released a debut album titled Just Like You on Jive Records that performed decently. Jive subsequently parted ways with her, but Allison continues to record for 19 Entertainment and is finishing up her second album. A new song of hers called “Self-Control” was used in March in a campaign for fashion line Skaist-Taylor.

 

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