Now in its 20th season overall, it’s no surprise that many contestants over the years have come back in the hopes of trying again in the long-running singing competition.

As the saying goes, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again, and for some lucky contestants, their return saw them go all the way to the show’s finals.

Let’s take a look at a few of the singers who wowed judges after being rejected.

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Jordin Sparks went all the way in season 6

As per CheatSheet, Jordin Sparks first auditioned at 16 in Los Angeles but didn’t make it through. However, she was invited to audition a second time after winning a local competition known as Arizona Idol. 

Her second audition featured in the sixth season, and the rest is history as she became the show’s youngest female winner.

The singer recently returned to the show as part of season 20’s Hollywood Week as a guest mentor:

Haley Reinhart made it to the finals in season 10

Illinois singer Haley Reinhart made her American Idol debut in season 9 but didn’t make it past the auditions.

She returned in season 10 as she wowed judges by singing Oh! Darling by the Beatles and went on to reach the finals, where she placed third.

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Laine Hardy won his second time on the show

Laine Hardy first auditioned for the singing competition during its 16th season but didn’t make it far in the competition as he was cut just before the top 50.

However, things were seen to work out for him in the following season as he ended up as the winner.

Arthur Gunn returned in season 19 in Idol twist

Fans may remember Arthur Gunn had an impressive stint in season 18 as he placed runner up to the season’s winner Just Sam.

He was brought back to the show the following year as part of a comeback twist alongside nine other contestants from season 18’s top 20.

Gunn won a spot in the season but didn’t stay in the competition for too long after, as he was eliminated the following week.

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Sam Moss auditioned twice on season 20

Fans watching the latest series may be familiar with Sam Moss as she auditioned twice. She first auditioned in Austin, Texas but was brought having previously won over Idol judge Katy Perry.

In her first audition, she sang My Mind by Yebba but chose to sing an original song in her second audition. However, according to Des Moines Register, she sadly did not make it past the top 24 of the competition.

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Amber Peake
Amber Peake

Amber is an entertainment journalist with a love for anything showbiz, celeb or reality TV. After graduating with a degree in Journalism at Brunel University she became a Showbiz Reporter at Express.co.uk. Having written for both HITC and The Focus, Amber is now a staff writer for The Focus covering the latest celeb and entertainment trends.

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