'Idol' Champs vs. Runners-Up: Who's the Bigger Winner?

As Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard prepares to compete on The Biggest Loser, see which American Idol winners have been eclipsed by those who came in second (13 Photos)

Ali Gray on May 17, 2013 at 10:36AM

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'Idol' Champs vs. Runners-Up: Who's the Bigger Winner?

Ray Mickshaw/WireImage; Frank Micelotta/Getty

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Season 3: Fantasia and Diana DeGarmo

Winner: Fantasia
The single mom with the gospel choir background (who competed on Idol as Fantasia Barrino) saw her first studio album, 2004's Free Yourself, sell more than two million copies. Her 2005 best-selling memoir, Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, was adapted by director Debbie Allen into a 2006 Lifetime movie, in which the singer starred as herself. In 2007, the Grammy nominee took over the role of Celie to critical raves in the Broadway musical The Color Purple (and will reportedly star in a film adaption produced by Oprah Winfrey). And in 2010, she won her first Grammy award for her single "Bittersweet." Her new studio album Side Effects Of You is now on sale.

Runner-Up: Diana DeGarmo
One of Idol's youngest contestants ever, the sweetheart of Snellville, Ga., was just 16 when she placed second with 2004 voters. But DeGarmo's debut album later that year, Blue Skies, met with disappointing sales. The singer has found a niche performing on stage, and has landed supporting roles in several Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

Will the real season 3 Idol please stand up?
Fantasia is the real deal. Voters -- and Oprah -- got it right.

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