Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Mary Lambert, Chrissy Metz & Other Celebs Who Were Rejected by 'American Idol'

Pedro Marrero
Mar 08, 2020
06:02 A.M.
Share this pen

Many participants have been rejected by the producers of the television contest to later achieve fame and fortune, proving that they have talent. They knew how to overcome rejection and rose harder to succeed.


After more than fifteen years on the air, "American Idol" has had a large audience, reaching 30 million viewers watching the final. However, after several decisions not very correct in the way of choosing the participants, the popularity of the show is not the same as before.

It is difficult to explain that the producers of the program have rejected very talented artists not once, but twice. Time has shown that they were wrong and that these artists deserve public attention for their music. Some of those rejected are the following:



Mary Lambert's childhood was not very pleasant, with abuse and bullying. However, at 16 he auditioned for Idol but did not get very far. A few years later he channeled his pain towards a creative expression in poetry contests. Now he composes music, sings and wins Grammys, and he achieved everything despite having been rejected in Idol.



Chrissy Metz has gone on to sing on "This Is Us" and performed the Oscar-nominated "I'm Standing With You" from the film "Breakthrough," Chrissy was rejected twice for Idol.

These experiences made her realize that people did not appreciate her musical talents. Then with her performances, she has gradually gained the respect of people for her songs.



Hillary Scott auditioned for Idol and was rejected twice, acting only for production assistants and interns. She is the daughter of country singer Linda Davis, so the rejection should not have discouraged her so much.

Now Hillary is in front of Lady Antebellum band, a successful country group that has won several awards, including seven Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year; none of Idol's winners has ever done that.



Colbie Caillat actually auditioned for American Idol twice but was eliminated even before she arrived in front of the judges. She has commented that it was better this way because she was not really ready for fame.

Caillat then published her music on MySpace, and there her popularity exploded. Since then, she has been touring with John Mayer, written on Taylor Swift albums, was nominated for five Grammys, and won two: once for her collaboration with Jason Mraz and another for being a featured artist on Taylor Swift's "Fearless."



Amber Riley is known for her role in the T.V. series "Glee," she appeared at the auditions for Idol in the third season, at 17. The producers did not believe that she had what it took to succeed in the show and did not even appear before the judges.

But Amber decided to bet everything on her dream and left her job to devote herself completely to music. She took a high risk, which has given her the best result. She got the role in the Emmy-winning series for her vocal and acting qualities.



Naya Rivera was Amber's partner in "Glee," she also auditioned for American Idol in Los Angeles but was taken early in the process. She decided to return to acting and for 11 years she consolidated her success by appearing in series such as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and "Baywatch."

She did not let the negative comments discourage her and obtained her participation in "Glee" by singing the same song, "Emotion" by the Bee Gees, with which she was rejected in Idol.



Alex & Sierra auditioned for Idol each separately in season 12; Sierra did not pass the producers and Alex arrived at Hollywood Week. Then both came to "The X Factor" in the third season and reached the final as a duo. Now they have signed with an important record label and go on tour with Andy Grammer.


Singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha, known for her collaborations as "Me, Myself and I" with G-Eazy and "Back to You" with Louis Tomlinson, waited in line with her mother for 10 hours but didn't even have a chance to audition.

However, despite the rejection, Bebe has moved on and in the last season of Idol, she introduced herself but as a mentor. Her first studio album came out in 2018 and was nominated for two Grammy in 2019, including Best New Artist.


These are a few of the many talented artists who have been rejected by Idol and have later achieved fame, including numerous awards, Grammys, in addition to the love and loyalty of their fans.

Because they did not give up when they received the negative review and temporarily did not achieve what they aspired to, we can now enjoy their musical talents. Surely other talents will continue to appear who decided to pursue their dreams, despite being rejected by the supposed experts.