American Idol

Catching up with the Top 10 from American Idol Season 17

  • Laine Hardy from American Idol Season 17
    Laine Hardy from American Idol Season 17


Season 18 of American Idol kicks off Sunday night.

So that means it’s time to catch up with the Season 17 Top 10.

Eight of those Top 10 have already released post-show music; the other two are planning to in 2020.

Here’s a look at what Laine Hardy, Alejandro Aranda, Madison VanDenburg, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Laci Kaye Booth, Wade Cota, Alyssa Raghu, Walker Burroughs, Dimitrius Graham and Uche have been up to since Season 17 ended.

1. Laine Hardy: He signed with Hollywood Records, embarked on his first headlining tour and watched his Idol single “Flame” amass more than 2 million streams on Spotify. More recently, the Louisiana teen sang the national anthem at last month’s NFL wild card playoff game in New Orleans. New music? It’s coming and expect an announcement soon, Laine said in a late January post on Instagram. He’s been working with Michael Knox, who has produced for Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Kelly Clarkson.

2. Alejandro Aranda: He went back to using the stage name Scarypoolparty, signed with Hollywood Records and released his debut album, “Exit Form,” in November. Fans gave it rave reviews. It features five songs he performed on the show, three of which now have more than 1 million streams on Spotify. In 2019, his songs were streamed more than 8 million times on that site. Alejandro will be playing Grammy Museum March 4, then embarking on a 10-date European tour.

3. Madison VanDenburg: She released a post-show debut single called “What I’m Looking For” in August (45,000 streams on Spotify so far), turned 18, spent some time in the hospital because of kidney stones, but is singing again and just launched a Throwback Thursday series of covers on YouTube. Oh, and she’s been back in the studio, writing earlier this week: “Can’t wait to show y’all what I’ve been doing these past few months!”

Top 5: Wade Cota: He played a homecoming show in Phoenix in front of 20,000 fans. He also released his post-show debut single “Wake Up” in August (117,000 steams on Spotify so far). More new music is coming, because Wade has reunited with his pre-show band SugarWater and they’ve recorded a debut album. “Album dropping soon,” he wrote on Instagram earlier this week, without providing a release date. Oh, and he’s launched a Instagram cooking page, @chefzula.

Top 5: Laci Kaye Booth: The Texas gal moved to Nashville and signed with Redlight Management, Industrial Media, and United Talent Agency, according to her Instagram page. She’s released covers of “Stars,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Hard Candy Christmas,” but not to streaming sites yet. Most importantly, Laci says she’s “written some incredible songs with incredible people that I can’t wait to share.”

See also …
6 reasons American Idol will be better than The Voice this spring

Top 6: Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon: He’s released a pair of singles — “Almost Heaven” (432,000 streams on Spotify) in September and “Sweet June Nectar” last month. The latter was inspired by a walk through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Oh, and in December, he graduated college from Towson State University in Maryland after eight years, four drop outs, two transfers and, in his words “a few life lessons in between.” He has two solo shows coming up this week in NYC.

Top 7: Alyssa Raghu: She released two singles since Idol Season 17 ended — “Criminal” in July and “New and Improved” last month. Both are catchy pop tunes. Perhaps more impressively, she was selected to sing at the National Memorial Day Service in D.C. and at the “Howdy Modi” rally in Houston in September. Alyssa, of Indian descent, performed the national anthem in front of a crowd of 50,000, including President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Top 7: Walker Burroughs: He went back to a full-time course load at Belmont University AND accepted an invite to accompany Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots on a tour that included a sold-out show at the Ryman in Nashville before wrapping up last month. He also released his first post-show single (“Meant To Be”) in October and is preparing for his first-ever full band concert in Birmingham, Ala., later this month. And Walker writes about the emotional toll of Idol in an insightful Instagram post.

Top 10: Uché: He released his post-show debut single “Whatever” last month (45,000 streams so far on Spotify) and it features a guest vocal from funk legend Bootsy Collins. He’ll be hitting the road with Bootsy in March for “a series of dope parties together across the U.S. and abroad,” he told Billboard. His debut album, “After Party,” is due out March 26, followed by a documentary, “Uché: Mr. Entertainment” tracking his life since Idol.

Top 10: Dimitrius Graham: He sang the national anthem for the Baltimore Orioles, which he called a “dream come true,” then released a debut single called “Souvenir” in August (51,000 streams on Spotify to date). He told MEA WorldWide that he was working on a debut EP, but that has yet to land yet, nor has Dimitrius announced a release datee.

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