Going on American Idol is a bit of a gamble. It may do absolutely nothing for your career. Or, as is the dream of many contestants, you could receive riches and fame beyond your wildest dreams. That’s what happened to all these talented performers! They have the show to thank for their impressive net worths.
1. Lee DeWyze — $500,000
Although he became Idol’s sixth season winner, Lee DeWyze didn’t sustain huge success for long. In fact, the singer was quickly dropped by RCA Records, which had released his debut, Live It Up. Despite this, DeWyze — now signed with Vanguard Records —doesn’t seem to feel any ill will. “I thank God every day that I get to do what I love,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2013. And with a supposed net worth of $500,000, he’s not exactly doing too badly for himself.
2. William Hung — $600,000
While he didn’t even make it past the audition stage of season three, William Hung won over audiences with his so-bad-it’s-good performance of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.” Since then, the former engineering student has become a minor celebrity and even sang at the Rogers Centre in 2004. Hung has given up on music and now works with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
3. Justin Guarini — ≈$700,000
Despite losing to Kelly Clarkson in Idol’s first season, Justin Guarini still went on to forge a career of his own. Besides an ill-fated move to acting with the flop movie From Justin to Kelly, Guarini released two albums and has performed on Broadway. In 2013 the star wrote an open letter in which he admitted it hasn’t been an easy journey. He even said he’s sometimes had to skip meals. But sources today report his net worth to be somewhere in the region of $700,000 to $1 million.
4. Ace Young — $1 million
Ace Young may not have walked away from American Idol with a win, but he did find love because of it. Yep, he met season three’s Diana DeGarmo in 2010, and the pair hit it off. Young has had a few acting stints since then and seems to be worth around $1 million, which is just a bit less than his wife. Talk about a power couple!