The Most Memorable ‘American Idol’ Contestants From Season 19

Justin Jenkins
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ABC/Eric McCandless

Season 20 of American Idol is quickly approaching. The competition show is sure to have another season of high emotion, comedic moments, and discovery of great talent. American Idol has continued to prove that not only the season’s winner walks away as the most memorable contestant. From the back stories to the moments of triumphs on stage, Idol constantly delivers contestants who leave impressions years after their seasons have ended.

Let’s look back at some of the most memorable contestants other than winner Chayce Beckham and runner-up Willie Spence from Season 19 before Idol’s February 27 premiere.

Hunter Metts

When we first met Hunter Metts, he was a shy 22 year old singer from Nashville, Tennessee. The singer walked into his American Idol audition and immediately gained the attention of Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. His story of wanting to make his sister proud was heartwarming. Hunter’s sister quit her job in order for him to be eligible to audition for Idol. What made Hunter memorable was how he constantly pushed himself to be better. This was evident throughout his performances. His collaboration with singer Jewel and Katy Perry are standouts from the season.

Benson Boone

In what may be a first in American Idol history, a contestant quit the show because his audition was good enough to get him signed to a major record company. Benson Boone never really took singing seriously, but he walked into his audition full of confidence. I am sure his 1 million TikTok fans help to reassure the singer that he could be the next American Idol. Still, Benson’s time on the show is one to be remembered. Soon after his audition Boone signed a record deal with Warner Records and Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons. He also signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music and Saints Sounds Publishing.

Grace Kinstler & Alyssa Wray

Both Grace Kinstler and Alyssa Wray are memorable contestants by themselves, but we had to include them together. These memorable contestants created one of the most memorable moments in Idol history. Their duet round performance literally made Katy Perry snatch off her wig, which is always a good sign. The two vocalists brought the house down with their rendition of “Grenade.” Lionel Richie said that they played off each other’s powerful voice well. Both women went far in the competition. They’ve since begun a blossoming friendship.

Ace Stiles

He is said to have the coolest name in town. Ace Stiles was a quirky 16 year old who auditioned with his original song, “Addicted.” Ace’s talent was there, but he still needed some experience in order to move on to Hollywood. The judges were caring when they did not send him to Hollywood. Ace was distraught, but the knowledge that the three judges shared with him was a lesson he will take and make a great career out of it.

Jason Warrior

It is not every day that singers get a second shot at superstardom. Jason Warrior was one of the lucky ones when he was able to give singing another go. Jason had been widely known as an aspiring singer who lashed out at Meghan Trainor when she said no to him on The Four. He did not waste his second chance. The singer had the judges dancing while he performed Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” Every judge applauded Jason for moving on from the past and to get ready for his future.


Not every contestant is memorable for their singing talent. When Yurisbel from Miami walked into his Idol audition the judges were in desperate need to be entertained. The PitBull wannabe singer answered their call. Decked out in jewelry and sunglasses, Yurisbel brought the party that the judges certainly appreciated. In a shocking turn of events, the mascot of fun received a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

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