Talent Recap

Top ‘American Idol’ Transformations of All Time

David Archuleta and David Cook on the 'American Idol' red carpetPhoto by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The fame that comes after joining American Idol does not only involve perfecting vocal tones and creating new music. Apparently, winning and not winning the competition inevitably asks artists to do makeovers – ones that completely transform artists from lousy to glamorous.

Here are the best former American Idol contenders that had the best transformation after their stint on the show. Let’s take a look at them.

Top American Idol Transformations

1. Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood stepped on the American Idol stage in country girl fashion, perfectly complementing her music genre. When she won the series in 2005, she was sporting long and wavy hair locks. Years after she snatched the title, Underwood fearlessly tried short hair, straight hair, and blonde hair while also transforming her looks through makeup.

2. Jennifer Hudson

Back when Jennifer Hudson was a contestant on American Idol, her style consisted of corkscrew curls and peculiar dress cuts. Interestingly, after she left the show, Hudson turned into a sassy and sultry pop diva. Her hairstyle became sophisticated looking, complemented by her consistently polished makeup looks and sexy outfits.

3. Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks had huge, spiral hair when she appeared on American Idol. Eventually though, she changed her hairstyle into straight, giving a more mature vibe. Throughout the years, Sparks has sported a number of hairstyles, but the blonde and auburn highlights seemed to be her best look yet. Furthermore, as a curvy girl, Sparks has clearly decided to confidently own her body shape, as seen in her fit and sexy dresses.

4. Clay Aiken

If there’s one person who has massively transformed since his American Idol days, that would arguably be Clay Aiken. Aiken went from geeky and hip to chic and formal. Then, he was wearing glasses and a distinct puka shell necklace – things he’s ditched after the series.

5. Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee entered American Idol with her long and healthy brunette hair. There’s no denying that McPhee already possesses an attractive beauty even before. However, years have made her more refined, making her into the fashionista that she is today.

6. David Archuleta

To be fair, nothing much has changed in David Archuleta’s fashion style. If anything, trends and classics over the years have made it easier for Archuleta to mix and match clean and presentable outfits. Nonetheless, it’s still nice to see how Archuleta’s face has changed from being a young man to a man.

7. Adam Lambert

It was easy to spot Lambert during his American Idol stint, given his unique rocker style. Over the years, Lambert did not entirely eradicate this rocker vibe. However, he’s managed to perform on stage while wearing a sharp and sleek suit and a slicked-back hair.

8. Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina used to sport the messy waves of her blonde hair, coupling the same with awkward ensembles that didn’t fit her age. Now though, Alaina has completely transformed into a fully grown woman, dressing as a full-fledged country superstar.

9. Kelly Clarkson

During American Idol season one, Kelly Clarkson has already given off the “winner vibe” with her diva attitude. Then, the pop star was effortlessly showcasing her vocals while wearing trendy y2k outfits. Now, Clarkson has been owning bright-colored dress fits, usually paired with her black stockings.

10. Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez is no strange to good fashion even during her time in American Idol. Her long, black hair before has emphasized her Asian features. Over the years, Sanchez has tried several hairstyles such as bleaching her hair blonde and maintaining highlights. This year though, the singer has gotten back to black.

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