The days of American Idol are officially behind us for good (well, until some thirsty TV exec decides to cash in on nostalgia some five, ten years from now), but the iconic singing competition series had more than a good run and culminated in an epic, emotional finale. From 2002 to 2016, the Fox staple was an exciting and welcome addition in living rooms across the country, giving us — or rather, letting us choose, for better or worse — bonafide superstars with lasting chart power like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

But sometimes winning isn't everything.

In fact, many American Idol season losers and even audition rejects (a.k.a. contestants who never even made it onto the stage) have gone on to carve incredibly successful careers for themselves in the entertainment industry. From Grammy-nominated pop artists to Broadway icons to TV stars and even Academy Award winners, big talents like Jennifer Hudson, Tori Kelly, and Adam Lambert may not have won the title of Idol, yet seemed to fare even better than many actual winners. (Caleb Johnson? Lee DeWyze? Who?)

Hell, even massive music stars like Colbie Caillat and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, who never made it past their initial Idol auditions to perform for the judges, scored Grammys for their work despite not making it onto the show.

Now that the series has come to an end, it's time to decide which Idol reject had the last laugh. Was it Season 8 fan-favorite Adam Lambert? How about Season 5's runner-up Katharine McPhee?

Place your vote in the poll below for the most successful American Idol loser below. We’ll reveal the winner right here on April 16.

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