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Every American Idol Winner Since Season 1: How Many Can You Name?

Every American Idol Winner Since Season 1: How Many Can You Name?
Every American Idol Winner Since Season 1: How Many Can You Name?

The search for the next American Idol begins Sunday, Feb. 18 (ABC, 8/7c), kicking off a journey with which we’re all too familiar, having already been through it 21 times.

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Let that number sink in for a minute, America. We’ve watched confetti fall on twenty-freaking-one Idol winners. And if you think you can recite all of those winners’ names by heart, please have a seat. Humble pie is about to be served.

Sure, everybody can name the enduring titans like Kelly Clarkson, first of her crown and usurper of Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime throne. Or Carrie Underwood, collector of Grammys and smasher of cheaters’ headlights. But as you move further down the line, the names and faces begin to blur. We wouldn’t even blame you for accusing us of making up several names on this list, but we promise we didn’t.

Read on for a breakdown of every American Idol winner and runner-up, along with video of Ryan Seacrest (and Brian Dunkleman one time) revealing those life-changing results live on the air. Once you’re done having your mind blown, drop a comment with your honest answer: How many of these 21 Idol winners did you actually remember? We promise not to judge. This is a safe space.

1. Kelly Clarkson (Season 1)

DATE OF VICTORY: Sept. 4, 2002

RUNNER-UP: Justin Guarini

2. Ruben Studdard (Season 2)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 21, 2003

RUNNER-UP: Clay Aiken

3. Fantasia Barrino (Season 3)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 26, 2004

RUNNER-UP: Diana DeGarmo

4. Carrie Underwood (Season 4)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 25, 2005

RUNNER-UP: Bo Bice

5. Taylor Hicks (Season 5)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 24, 2006

RUNNER-UP: Katherine McPhee

6. Jordin Sparks (Season 6)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 23, 2007

RUNNER-UP: Blake Lewis

7. David Cook (Season 7)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 21, 2008

RUNNER-UP: David Archuleta

8. Kris Allen (Season 8)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 20, 2009

RUNNER-UP: Adam Lambert

9. Lee DeWyze (Season 9)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 26, 2010

RUNNER-UP: Crystal Bowersox

10. Scotty McCreery (Season 10)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 25, 2011

RUNNER-UP: Lauren Alaina

11. Phillip Phillips (Season 11)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 23, 2012

RUNNER-UP: Jessica Sanchez

12. Candice Glover (Season 12)

VICTORY DATE: May 16, 2013

RUNNER-UP: Kree Harrison

13. Caleb Johnson (Season 13)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 21, 2014

RUNNER-UP: Jena Irene

14. Nick Fradiani (Season 14)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 13, 2015

RUNNER-UP: Clark Beckham

15. Trent Harmon (Season 15)

DATE OF VICTORY: April 7, 2016

RUNNER-UP: La’Porsha Renae

16. Maddie Poppe (Season 16)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 21, 2018

RUNNER-UP: Caleb Lee Hutchinson

17. Laine Hardy (Season 17)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 19, 2019

RUNNER-UP: Alejandro Aranda

18. Just Sam (Season 18)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 17, 2020

RUNNER-UP: Arthur Gunn

19. Chayce Beckham (Season 19)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 23, 2021

RUNNER-UP: Willie Spence

20. Noah Thompson (Season 20)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 22, 2022

RUNNER-UP: HunterGirl

21. Iam Tongi (Season 21)

DATE OF VICTORY: May 21, 2023

RUNNER-UP: Megan Danielle

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