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Nearly one year later and your American Idol finalists are still shining bright.
And while some contestants find themselves taking some much-deserved time off, these two finalists have been focused on creating new music for their loyal fans. At the same time, they’ve also been able to maintain a long-distance romantic relationship.
“She really is my best friend and everything,” Caleb shared with E! News exclusively ahead of tonight’s season premiere. “I kind of just talk to her throughout the day. If something happens, she’s the person I want to talk to about it.”
The feeling is mutual for Maddie who released her new single titled “Little Things” on Friday. After listening to the lyrics, fans instantly picked up on the fact that the song was inspired by her relationship with Caleb.
“There’s a line in the song, ‘There is a million little things that keep reminding me of you,'” Maddie explained to us. “And it’s really true to my life story because I’m out here in Los Angeles a lot and this time last year, I was with Caleb everyday out here.”
While Maddie worked on her new album that will officially be out May 17, Caleb Lee recently released the single “Left of Me” and covered Post Malone‘s “Better Now.”
And despite their schedules, the couple has been able to have unforgettable experiences like attending the world premiere of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, trips to Hawaii and visiting Walt Disney World.
When asked about the best date nights, however, both parties admitted to us that it’s nothing fancy by any means. Instead, it’s just good quality time.
“When I look back at the year and everything, the stuff that really sticks out to me is Maddie getting to come to my house and meeting my extended family and friends and me getting to go to hers,” Caleb shared. “It’s the more normal type stuff that means the most.”
Maddie added, “Our favorite thing to do when we are together is literally not do anything and watch Forensic Files and eat Healthy Choice meals.” Ummm, sounds like a dream day to us.
While Maddie and Caleb are certainly worth celebrating, we’re also taking a look back at some of our favorite contestants from seasons past in our gallery below. Take a look at what some of your favorite singers are up to now.
After Idol, the star rose to the top of the charts with his hit single, “Home,” which also served as a theme song for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics. And, more recently, the star married his girlfriend, Hannah Blackwell, in a small ceremony while surrounded by his family and friends.
The country darling finished second to Scotty McCreery, but she got her record deal and released her studio debut, Wildflower, in October 2011. Following her time on Idol, the singer presented with Scotty at the 2011 CMT Music Awards, made her Grand Ole Opry debut and even performed with Martina McBride at the CMA Music Festival. In 2017, the star also got her first nod from the CMA’s when she was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2017 CMA’s following her success with her album, Road Less Traveled. She even made her move to the big screen when she starred in a film of the same name as her album, which goes back to her country girl roots. Her latest hit includes “Ladies in the 90s.”
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The season-10 contestant only finished sixth—and that was partly because the judges used their one save of the season five weeks beforehand—but he was a cult fave. He performed on the Idols Live tour, cut a cover of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with fellow finalist (and rumored flame) Haley Reinhart, and ultimately signed with jazz label Concord. His self-titled debut album was released in 2012, and most recently, the star released an album named I Put A Spell On You, in which he delivers a soulful renditions of popular hits.
The season 10 winner was the first Idol champ since Ruben Studdard to have his first album, Clear as Day, debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. He was named New Artist of the Year at the 2011 American Country Awards and sang the national anthem before Game 1 of the World Series that same year. In June 2018, the “This Is It” and “Five More Minutes” singer married longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal. He’s currently traveling across the country as part of his Seasons Change tour.
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If publicity were a prize, the eighth-season’s controversial runner-up is a grand-slam winner. Since his time on the reality show, he’s released two albums, headlined two tours, received countless nominations (including a Grammy nod), followed in Freddie Mercury’s footsteps touring as the frontman for Queen, and has even starred in Fox’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not to forget that he briefly filled in as a guest judge on Idol. Most recently, the singer helped open up the 2019 Oscars with a performance of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.”
The season four runner-up (to Carrie Underwood) is now married with three boys and a girl. Despite suffering serious health problems in 2006, the Southern rocker has released three hit albums since his stint on Idol.
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After joining the top 10 finalists’ summer tour, the show’s incumbent is now concentrating on his solo music career. DeWyze married model-actress Jonna Walsh, who he met on the set of his first music video following Idol. Nowadays, the star is a well-established singer-songwriter, with his tracks making it onto shows like The Walking Dead.
Nearly eclipsed in the media spotlight by his flamboyant runner-up, Adam Lambert, the eighth-season champ has enjoyed quiet success with his self-titled second album. Released in November 2009, it debuted at no. 11 on the Billboard 200, and one of its singles, “I Need to Know,” was recently featured on an episode of The Vampire Diaries. In the meantime, the star has been growing his family, having welcomed a daughter in 2016.
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After his season-five victory, the silver fox’s eponymous album went platinum and he starred in a Broadway production of Grease. In more recent years, the singer has made the switch from music to TV as a host of a show called State-Plate, which focuses on the premise of farm-to-table eating. There was rumors of him joining the reboot of the show last year, with him saying, “I’m just gonna be tight lipped about everything. I’m not confirming or denying it.”
Runner-up to Lee DeWyze in season nine, the Janis Joplin-esque rocker married musician Brian Walker and released her first album, Farmer’s Daughter, in December 2010. She lost her label deal when RCA disbanded Arista, J Records and Jive Records, but she made her acting debut on the second season of ABC’s Body of Proof. In May 2013, the singer split from her husband. After her divorce she told The Boot that her second album was “the next chapter of my life.”
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Before being dumped by his record label (along with Taylor Hicks) in early 2008, the Velvet Teddy Bear scored a Grammy nomination and released a couple of successful albums. Then, in 2013, the singer starred as one of the contestants on The Biggest Loser and quickly became a fan-favorite. He was eliminated twice, but took away valuable lessons from the show. Most recently, the star reunited with Clay Aiken for a Broadway holiday show.
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This artist has had her fair share of drama, but she has also had her fair share of success in the years following her time on Idol. The singer says she was able to find happiness by marrying herself, before she committed to marrying her husband Kendall Taylor in 2015. While on the talk show Harry, the star said, “I married myself because I felt like before true love could come I needed to learn how to love myself again, and so for me I forgot about myself.” Most recently, she delivered a musical tribute to Aretha Franklin at the 2019 Grammys alongside Yolanda Adams and Andra Day.
Much like a kiss, you never forget the first one. So it is with the winner of Idol‘s inaugural season. The mom-of-four has come a long way since winning American Idol in 2002, with many awards and number one hits under her belt. Nowadays, the star is featured on NBC’s The Voice as a judge and is loving every minute of it. “This show really does complement my desires for this industry,” the singer revealed. Diving further into the TV world, she’ll host her own talk show for NBC in 2019!
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After American Idol, the season-five finalist, who had a hit with the song “Wait for You,” went to Angola where he worked alongside former Idol judge Kara DioGuardi to raise awareness for Malaria No More. Elliott also made news in 2010 after experiencing Chile’s earthquake and living to tweet about it.
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From the moment she stepped onto the Idol stage, Underwood cemented her place in pop culture. Sure enough, not only did she win season four, but she’s also gone on to become country music’s reigning princess. The singer has gone on to co-host the CMA Awards 10 years in a row with fellow artist, Brad Paisley. And between balancing her music career with her hosting duties, the “Jesus Take The Wheel Singer” is also a wife and mother to two kids.
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The season two runner-up famously announced he was gay in September 2008 after fathering a son (via in vitro fertilization), Parker, with partner Jaymes Foster. Since then, the famous red-head switched from music to politics, even making a failed run for Congress in 2016. After losing in the election, the singer released a documentary on his journey. Other than his time in politics, he remains much the same with his sassy remarks about people and things, including American Idol and fellow contestants like Adam Lambert.
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She may not have won season three, but boy did J-Hud make up for it. Let’s see: First an Oscar, then a Grammy for her performance in The Color Purple and a stint as a judge on The Voice. Not only did the performer showcase her strength and resilience in her career, but more recently she persevered when she divorced her husband of 10-years. This year, the star will wow once again when she stars as Aretha Franklin in a biopic on the legendary singer.
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With his big hair and even bigger voice (who can forget his rousing rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” during season four?), Constantine was a perfect fit for Broadway’s Rock of Ages, for which he earned a Tony nom.
The season-seven winner’s big hit “Time of My Life” may reflect his singing success, but the title could just as easily apply to his endeavors offstage. David visited Ethiopia in 2010 on behalf of the United Nations’ efforts to empower women in that country. He also ran in the Race for Hope in D.C. to raise money for brain cancer research in honor of his brother Adam, who lost his brave fight with the disease in 2009.
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The season-six champ set off some serious, well, sparks in 2007. Her Battlefield tour took her to 35 cities around the U.S., and (if that wasn’t enough), she made her Broadway debut in 2010, starring in the musical In the Heights. Her success and good fortune has continued, with the star giving birth to her first son with husband Dana Isaiah in May of 2018.
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Long before Bieber fever, there was McPheever, which has helped Katharine land both singing and acting work, at first most notably in the movie House Bunny, then the Broadway-inspired show Smash and most recently, the show Scorpion. In terms of her personal life, the star was married for six-years to Nick Cokas before calling it quits. The star seems to be doing just fine now that she’s engaged to David Foster, and his daughters even approve, despite the nearly 25-year age difference.
This teenage heartthrob won the affection of America when he starred on the reality show. And now he’s giving the love back. In 2012, the star embarked on a two-year mission for the Church of the Latter Day Saint’s in Chile. Since his return in 2014 he has continued performing.
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After winning season 16, the “Little Things” singer is preparing to release her first album on May 17. “There is a lot of different sounding songs on the album,” she teased to E! News. “I can’t pick just one [sound] to stick with because I really love them all so much and it’s hard to stay in one vein.”
Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Since becoming the runner-up of season 16, the singer is focused on releasing new music and enjoying life’s opportunities that come with appearing on the ABC series. “I’ve always loved music and I’ve always wanted to be an artist,” Caleb Lee shared with E! News .”But I learned so much about entertainment. I got to go to Luke Bryan’s last show for his tour and I got to come out and sing a song with him.”
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