American Idol is notorious for giving us some of the biggest stars in country music. Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Scotty McCreery all got their start on the Fox singing show, but there are actually a few of their peers who didn’t fare too well on the Ryan Seacrest fronted reality show.
To coincide with the premiere of the final season on January 6th, take a look back at 4 country stars you never knew once appeared on the show.
Before she hit the big time as one-third of the multi-platinum Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott was rejected by American Idol before she even got to sing for the judging panel. “I never got to see [the judges],” Scott once told Entertainment Tonight of her brief stint on the show, “I literally performed for the production assistants and the interns and I just didn’t make it.”
Though she’s working her way up the country music ladder today with hits like “Better Than You Left Me,” Mickey Guyton was actually axed from season 7 of American Idol. Though she wasn’t featured much on the show, Guyton was cut just before the top 24 contestants were revealed back in 2008.
Before finding fame with his brother on season 4 of The Voice, The Swon Brothers’ Colton Swon actually tried his luck on American Idol as a solo artist. According to Access Hollywood, Swon competed alongside Guyton in season 7 of the show and reached the top 48 before being sent home by judges Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi.
Though she’s managed to carve out a pretty impressive career for herself in the music industry, including working with Brad Paisley and writing for Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat actually auditioned twice for American Idol. After being rejected both times at the initial stages, meaning she never even got to sing for the infamous judges, Caillat put her music on Myspace and has gone on to see huge success, including winning a Grammy for Album of The Year for appearing on Swift’s Fearless album.