American Idol is, simply put, one of the most iconic shows in television history. Since Kelly Clarkson won its first season in 2002, Idol has broken records and churned out stars at an absurd pace. This is the show that brought us not only Clarkson, but Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, David Cook, Jordin Sparks, Adam Lambert, Phillip Phillips, Kellie Pickler, Fantasia Barrino, and Kris Allen—just to name a few.
Several Latter-day Saints have competed on the reality show over the years, with at least six Church members making it to the Hollywood round this year for the 15th and final season, including Madilyn Paige, who competed on the sixth season of The Voice.
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As we cheer them on, here's a look back at some of the show's most memorable Mormon contestants from past seasons.
Did you watch these 4 famous LDS American Idol contestants years ago? Posted by LDS Living on Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Easily the most accomplished Mormon to grace the Idol stage, then-16-year-old David Archuleta rode his amazing voice and winning smile to a second-place finish in the show's 7th season. Although he lost the battle-of-the-Davids finale to David Cook, he's gone on to be the most successful contestant from that season. The Murray, Utah native released a hit single, "Crush," shortly after his stint on the show. He went on to release several more albums and singles before shocking his fans with a big announcement: he'd be serving a mission for the LDS Church.
Archuleta served in Chile from 2012-2014, and he's since released his hit single, "Glorious," for the movie Meet the Mormons. Does anybody remember seeing him sing with the missionary choir in the April 2012 general conference?
Image from mormonsoprano.com
Learn more about what Elder Archuleta did on his mission in David Archuleta: Called to Serve, or check out the album that was released while he was on his mission, Begin. Available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.
Not far behind Archuleta in season 7 was fellow Latter-day Saint Brooke White of Mesa, Arizona. The country belle made waves in her audition by stating that she'd never seen an R-rated movie, to which judge Simon Cowell responded, "We can bring you over to the dark side a little bit."
White went on to finish fifth on the show. She now has a successful career as an indie singer/songwriter.
Carmen Rasmusen Herbert
The first Latter-day Saint to appear on Idol, Carmen Rasmusen finished sixth on the show's second season. She was known for her strong voice and her refusal to wear outfits she found inappropriate. She married Bradley Herbert in 2005 in the Bountiful Utah Temple. In 2007, she released her debut album, Nothin' Like the Summer. She currently writes an entertainment column for the Deseret News and was featured with Alex Boye in a video for Mormon Helping Hands.
Jon Peter Lewis
Often referred to as JPL by host Ryan Seacrest, Jon Peter Lewis was the eighth-place finisher on season three of Idol. During his time on the show, he was repeatedly praised by critics, including notoriously harsh judge Simon Cowell, Rolling Stone magazine, and legendary musician Elton John.
image from Billboard.com
He later appeared on a season of NBC's singing competition The Voice as part of a duo called Midas Whale, and he spent last summer performing his musical, Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera, in New York City as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival's "Next Link Project."
► For more articles on Latter-day Saints on TV, check out 18 Mormons on Reality TV Who Stood for Their Standards.