'American Idol': What's next for favorites Pia, Haley, Casey, and more

Don't believe the rumors: Pia Toscano doesn't actually have a record deal yet. But she's still hoping to parlay her time on American Idol into a successful music career. "I have been in the studio and we’re working on finding the perfect sound," she told EW after Wednesday's finale. "I don’t want to rush it and just throw something out there and ruin everything I built up on the show. I am working with some amazing producers. I have been doing some stuff with [producers]

Rodney Jerkins, Roc Mafia and Harvey Mason Jr. I met them through the show and I don’t think I would be working with such amazing people if it wasn’t for the show.”

But first, she needs to go on tour with this season’s top 11 finalists — an experience she hopes will prepare her even more for the highs — and lows — of making music for a living. (The American Idols LIVE Tour begins July 6 in Utah.) “I think going on tour with these guys will only help shape me and teach me the ways of the road,” Toscano says. “It is hard work being a singer for a living but I am willing to give it 100 percent. I’m prepared. This is all I ever wanted.”

Read what’s next for other past (and present) Idol finalists, including an update from season 7 winner David Cook, after the jump.


Paul McDonald:  “I have been doing a bunch of writing and I got asked to score a film. It is Peter Facinelli’s film and it’s called Lucy’s. It’s a cool film. The dad in the Twilight movies hunted me down and asked me to score his film. How cool is that? He told me, ‘I like it so much better than what you did on Idol.’ That felt good because he was talking about original stuff I wrote instead of covers. I will gladly accept the work. I’ve got a band. The record we released in November is doing really well. Those guys have been my family for the last few years as we tried to make it the old fashioned way in a passenger van, sleeping on floors. So I don’t think I will ever been done with them but I do think I would like to also explore a solo album because a whole lot of doors have opened up because of the show. Suddenly I am getting offers to go here and do this and that. I think the show worked for me.”


Haley Reinhart: “I’ve only been off a week and I spent all of it rehearsing for the finale, so I haven’t had much time to get my record deal signed. I haven’t noticed the difference yet in my life. I haven’t been taking meetings all week. But I am sure that this will have been a great opportunity for me in the long run even though I didn’t win. I’m still in the bubble, but I am excited for the future. I hope I’ve gotten across that I love the sultry bluesy feel with a little bit of rock thrown in, so that’s the kind of record I’d like to make. I’d never growled before I got on this show. That whole sing-for-your-life thing brought out my inner growl. I felt like every chance could be your last. That was something cool I discovered about myself through the show. And I plan to use it.”


Blake Lewis (Season 6 runner-up): “I just got done wrapping a video game but I can’t really talk about it because of the contract situations. I am also doing some voiceover work. I just did the series finale for a show called Durarara. It’s an anime series. I play a movie star and brother to one of the show’s lead characters. And then I did an episode of Generator Rex for Cartoon Network. I play a crazy alien mutant monster that beatboxes. It was funny. I’m digging the voiceover work. I am also in the studio every day currently working on finishing my third album. I have a single that just dropped in London called ‘Til We See The Sun’ on Blackhole Records so I have been going there for publicity a lot. I moved to LA full time about a year ago and I am finally adjusted. So I just keep moving and hustling.”


David Cook (Season 7 winner): “We have a new record coming out June 28th called ‘This Loud Morning.’ We have a new single called ‘The Last Goodbye’ that is out now and the video just came out Monday. We will turn until the wheels fall off this summer and fall. I love performing live more than anything. We did 150 + shows for the last record and I really want to beat that record. I want to double that. I loved my time of the show and I love the relationships I built on the show. I would not be where I am now with the opportunities I have had without the show so if I always have ‘comma American Idol‘ after my name, I am ok with that. There are a lot of worse things people could call me. But there is a misconception that the show is a golden ticket and it isn’t. You have to work at it. It is a great platform but if you don’t work at it and have the passion, you will fade away. I haven’t had a vacation in three years because I am working so hard at following my dream. The hustle never ends and even then, even if you are super talented and work very hard, there is still a certain amount of luck involved.”


Casey Abrams: “I am working on a couple of jazz things here and there. Not rock and roll and not really album-y things, but a couple of jazz concerts are maybe in line. And then I have the Idol tour which I’m excited about. I think they are going to let me do a little jazz and probably a few duets.”
With reporting from Carrie Bell

Comments (204 total) Add your comment
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  • Brigette

    I really, really hope Haley gets a deal. I would buy her album in a heartbeat. I also hope Casey doesn’t fade into oblivion. He’s such a character, I would miss him if he did.

    • Sara

      Same here. I’ll actually buy her album unlike those idiots who voted tirelessly for Lauren, with no intention of ever buying her music.

      • TxJessie

        I will buy everything Lauren and Scotty put out…I love their voices.

      • Lola

        Have some respect, Sara…

      • wsugar

        What about JACOB!

    • Samuel

      Amen! She will easily be the highest selling ‘Idol’ from this season.

      • Mel

        I’m already in line for her album.

      • jamie

        Sorry Guys but I don’t think so, highest seller for this season will be Scotty, 2nd will probably be James (if he inks a good deal) and then Haley.

      • Petra

        I’m a Haley fan, but I think jamie is probably right.
        Scotty will absolutely sell – hard to say where he will place in the biz long-term, but for the next two years, absolutely Scotty on top.
        James might be marketable as the handicapped guy who is a showman who also sings decently. I don’t know the verdict the suits in the biz will make on him.
        Haley? What raw material! You have serious eye candy with serious vocal abilities who can sing in multiple genres. And some of her most suited genres are international commercial markets – she could have success as a jazz-blues vocalist in multiple countries. And she is in a field with female singers having longevity – like country – fans stick with a jazz-blues singer and consider their best years yet to come off into the singers 40s and 50s. Haley also has the possiblity of integrating as a featured guest vocalist in one of the established internationally known bands.

        Casey might have success behind the scenes as a producer-composer. But not as a solo act.

        And do not forget Thia Megia. A one in a million voice.

      • Squishmar

        Petra, I haven’t forgotten about Thia… truly the most beautiful tone of all the singers this season. I expect we’ll hear from her in a few years (if Disney doesn’t snatch her up) and she’ll break out big. Incredible voice.

      • flower

        You mean you haven’t seen the iTunes results? Haley owns the top three spots and threatening to take the fourth from Scotty. Majority of the top 25 spots on iTunes is Haley and James. Scotty has a few and Lauren has two toward the bottom. So Lauren voters are just popularity contest voters, not buyers.

      • Tricia

        Flower, your iTunes rankings are a tad, no alot, off. In the Top 200 songs, Haley’s highest ranking song is #113 versus Scotty’s #1 and Lauren’s #5. All of Haley’s songs combined probably haven’t sold as much as either Lauren or Scott’s singles. (and they both have multiple songs on the chart too). Once you get past maybe the Top 25 or 30 songs, the unit sales numbers start getting really small.

      • MeFour

        @Tricia – you forget that Scotty just released his coronation single and that Haley hasn’t released one for more than a week and many of her tunes for weeks so it would be hard for them to match the new finale singles. Her youtube hits for Rolling in the Deep are way high, I don’t think anyone else has anything close and the first day the revealed the charting Haley was above any of the rest. And the comment and rating tracking also hints that her sales may have be twice as strong as the next best contestant.

    • Marcie

      Me too! I’m looking forward to buying a Haley album.

      • JackieB

        Me three. She’s awesome.

      • MeFour

        Me four. Definitely look forward to it.

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    • nyorker

      I need Haley’s album really bad I’ve been listening to her itune songs almost every single day. Her voice is just amazing and I want my Haley album now!!!

    • tim

      I will buy any CD that Casey, Pia or james puts out — who agrees!

      • Logan

        I agree, Casey, Pia and james are the three I’m looking for. I will buy anything Pia Toscano. James killed it vocally in his final performance also.

  • Sandra

    I think haley will be very popular on her tour this summer. And then she will go home and wait by the phone for the record deals. And wait…and wait.

    • JoMarch

      @ Sandra – Like you’re still waiting for taste in music?

      • Samuel

        Haha very true @JoMarch

      • Gabe

        Haha Jo, so true!

      • cg

        Maybe you’re the one who should re-access your taste in music, Jo. Haley is a hack.

      • Tarc

        Only if ‘hack’ means ‘genius’, cg…

      • flower

        @JoMarch-Too bad! The iTunes sales have already spoken. Top three sales spots went to Haley. Haley and James has most of the top 25 sales form this season. Money speaks louder! Scotty has a few, Lauren has two towards the bottom of the 25.

    • Jonas

      I predict Haley will be every bit as successful as Siobhan Magnus! And we all know how Siobahn is burning the world down! Oh, wait…

      • Ryan

        Siobahn’s album comes out this Fall…

      • so what?

        Right, and we’ll see who buys it besides her friends and family.

      • SaM


      • Petra

        Siobhan Magnus has phenomenal talent. In several fields, not just singing. And big flaws to work on. She was 19 when she appeared on Idol and I think she knows it will take years to become established in any of the fields that interest her.
        The metric that a post-Idol singer must go into no other creative fields and must only crank out a mass market gold selling series of albums or they are a “disappointment” is a dumb metric only resident in a certain circle of Idol fans brainwashed over the years into believing that only that counts.

        For now, Siobhan Magnus from her media ” sightings” and interviews, seems quite happy, fully engaged with many things she cares about. Working in two bands, a solo album coming out, and her 1st book, a kids horror book. Songwriting, composing, charity performances, more piano practice. Stage and indie film possibilities down the road.

      • @petra

        okay, you can shut up with the Siobhan Magnus LOVEfest Crap now – no one cares and she should have never made it into the top 10 – what joke

      • flower

        Wow! This EW site is really just a bunch of haters! They don’t care who it is. If someone is passionate, they are just going to make fun of it. Their criticism has no content. I am going to a better site with more wits! Bye! EW, you should really get your site together (off to TVLine)!

    • satchvai

      Get a grip. I’m sorry that Haley can pull off wearing short shorts and look hot, something most of the Haley haters have never been able to do but the hate has to stop on this girl. She is a sweetheart and is one of the few true artists to ever grace the stage of AI.

      • Cookie love

        You all should watch David Cook’s new video for The Last Goodbye on U-tube. It’s really good, but he always is.

      • Javabooknut

        I agree Cookie love. And it’s free on Itunes right now It’s fun

      • Kat

        *eye roll* Okay I love Haley, but it’s so stupid to suggest that people who disliked her on Idol are jealous. Maybe she just doesn’t appeal to them as a singer. I’ll argue the idea that she’s somehow got a “bad attitude” (she seems like a sweetheart to me!), but I can’t argue with anyone’s musical tastes.

      • Squishmar

        Kat, it is so clear that there is some vibe Haley sends out that definitely affects people in an irrational manner. Hardly anything is usually said about her voice (and if there is, only cursorily); it’s all about her perceived ‘attitude’ and overt sexiness/snobiness, whatever. Then, they dissect every gesture/expression/word from her to try to somehow justify this extreme feeling of dislike they have for her. They’ll never find it there. It’s just something about her that rubs people (mostly females) the wrong way. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, really. It’s very strange. But I can’t deny that it exists after reading these boards for weeks and weeks. It’s not necessarily a jealousy thing, but it is for some and for others it’s something akin to it…an intimidation, or threatened feeling… it’s just bizarre. I love her, personally, and can’t wait to buy her album to go along with the iTunes singles I have.

      • Sugar

        @Squishmar – You nailed it – it is a “vibration” kind of thing. For some reason Haley irratates people and I am afraid that could hurt her a great deal. I think Jlo could very well be one who doesn’t “get” Haley and that is not a good thing either. Haley’s sweet performance with Tony Bennett may have come too late. I guess we’ll see?

      • Cari

        No, my initial problem with Haley had nothing to do with her attitude (that came later). I find her growl/shout combo to be extremely irritating. I’m willing to overlook a person’s personality if I like their voice, but Haley’s always sounded like nails on a chalkboard to me.

      • Geoff

        The people who dislike Haley are women and girls who are probably a bit insecure or those who dislike other women/girls who look better than they perceive themselves to look. They don’t like Haley because of her looks and like Lauren because she isn’t a threat to their self-image.

      • yawn

        You’re hilarious. None of these female finalists, including Pia, had any moment that were better than what Casey, James and even Scotty did throughout the season.

      • Jen

        Why is it that everytime women don’t like other women, it’s because we obviously feel intimidated by them? I don’t think Haley’s particularly good-looking, but I was certainly a fan of Pia’s, and she was gorgeous (AND, unlike Haley, talented). Carrie Underwood is one of the most objectively beautiful women I’ve ever seen, and obviously enough women and girls got over their “intimidation” to vote for her. I agree with Cari: Haley’s voice was annoying and she shouted a lot. Lauren’s voice, while maybe not earth-shattering, was at least inoffensive.


        Haley’s a sweetheart?? She acted more like a snot-nosed brat, especially when taking what little criticsm the judges were able to muster this season – and did you see her reaction when she got the boot?

        As for her looking hot, I’m afraid she pales in that department compared to Pia, hands down the hottest and best singer this season, and probablly since Katharine McPhee.

      • MeFour

        @Kat – well you can’t blame satchvai for saying that considering how many “Haley does have really good vocals but she is confident and is too sexy so she doesn’t deserve to be an Idol” and “She has a good voice but all she does is a sexy vamp and thinks she is so hot and a brat and she needs to go!!”
        sounds kinda like really lame hating jealousy to me.

        And funny how all those who actually know her have said incredibly pleasant things about her including former music instructors.

        There is a difference between a steam-roll and constructive criticism. Even former contestants, this year’s Idol coach, etc. have said some of the stuff they told her was laughable. Even Steven Tyler told Ryan he was disgusted with Randy at one point. Even other current contestants spoke out on her behalf.
        Who are you to trash her who have never met her?

      • MeFour

        And if you look at actual music stars they know how to stand up for themselves and not get beaten down. The real world ain’t American Idol and it’s sanctimonious holier than though hypocrites doing the voting.

        Also funny how all the hater girls never mention the whooooaaat?! look on James or Daughtry. Not that I blame those two one bit. Or Lauren doing jigs in front of Haley after Lauren moved on and jumping up and down and smiling, I can understand that myself, but if Haley did that wow…… claws out.

      • A Guy

        @Jen – everyone one of my friends thinks Haley smokes Carrie in looks

    • Chip

      No, I do agree. The thing is, musicis a lot of breaks and hard work. I always hope for the best, but you have to be realistic.

      • Logan

        When a person calls themselves. “A guy” they’re really a girl. Haley aint hot and neither is carrie, pia is

    • jamie


    • yawn

      I don’t think Haley is all that when it comes to her looks. When Pia was still in the competition, no one really noticed Haley. After Pia was eliminated, there was only Haley and Lauren left, so yeah. Even in the female group numbers on finale results night, Haley didn’t particularly stand out from the rest of the other girls.

      • Katie

        But Haley made it farther than Pia so obviously she was notcied more!

      • yawn

        Same time, next year: no one, including you, will care about Haley.

      • A Guy

        I know plenty of people who noticed her before Pia left.

      • A Guy

        And as for singing how can you say that Haley didn’t particularly stand out from teh group when she was the only one who clearly did? She had the only distinctive and deeply nuanced voice. Even the amazing Pia just kind of blended into the rest way more than I expected.

        She was only the second contestant to have Led Zeppelin ever agree to give rights to. And had a slew of former contestants rooting for her above all the rest.

  • Sandra

    No, Jo, like you are.

    • buzz

      Sandra, wait by the phone for all your friends to call…waiting, waiting

  • trufan

    why is Blake Lewis (of all people) quoted in the article?

  • michele

    hailey is going to have great things coming her way..with her amazing voice.. she will be a star for sure!!!

  • Lizzy

    Ha yeah right to Peter Facinelli “tracking” Paul down. Nikki Reed probably begged him to let him score it. I call BS

    • Kat

      I have to say, I’ve got an eyebrow raised at the use of the phrase “hunted me down”. He sounds like he’s trying to imply that Peter Faci-whatsit was an Idol fan and deliberately set out to pursue Paul because he just loved his music so much. However, the fact that he’s been dating that girl from Twilight makes it way more likely to me that the girlfriend told her Twilight friend about this guy’s music. Whether she had to “beg” him, I don’t know, but it seems way more likely that Paul landed the job via good old-fashioned networking, not because someone just HAD to have Paul’s music and no one else’s in his movie. But…whatever.

      • e

        Peter was a fan of Pauls. On Peters Twitter, he asked people to vote for Paul.

      • Steven Wright

        peter was a fan of paul’s, yes, but the logic of WHY he was a fan of Paul’s is still quite possibly because Paul was dating peter’s coworker and friend.

  • Jake

    People area always talking about Haley..there’s 5 other people mentioned in this article and almost every comment has been about Haley lol. Even the haters can’t stop talking about her. The girl is wildly popular right now..she is going to get signed and she will be BIG. That’s just my prediction at least. She deserves it..she is amazing!

    • Lee

      I agree. Haley is amazing. She has a terrific voice and is a true artist. She made the season much more interesting and watchable. I will definitely buy her album. I think the Haley-haters are still upset that she made it all the way to #3, considering she was in the bottom the first couple weeks of the finals. What she achieved was unprecedented–no one else did that in AI history and the Haley-haters can’t stand that. Ha. Ha. Too bad. Haley will be around with a successful career. Get used to it.

      • @Lee

        did you forget about Syesha in Season 7? She was in the bottom every week and she made it to #3. She beats Haley’s record by a few more weeks.

      • Pete

        Actually, @Lee, EVERYONE has forgotten Syesha – period. And in a few years we will all be saying…”What was that girl’s name? The one with the big teeth?…” about Haley.

      • Kristina

        @Lee, i definitely agree with you. Haley is the most talented girl i’ve seen on AI. And when she talked back to Randy, FYI haters, it kinda means she has a personality. I mean, Scotty is bland compared to Haley. Scotty won because of the preteen voters. Haley surely will be scoring some money when her album comes out. I will definitely be buying it.

  • sherimoonzombie

    Can’t wait to hear more new stuff from Paul. I’m glad to hear that he’s likely to do some solo stuff. And it’s “Loosies”, not Lucy’s. That’s just embarrassingly wrong.

    • Squishmar

      It must have been a phone interview. But the reporter could have checked.

  • Elizabeth

    Go Pia!

  • John

    Once again, here is all the Haley groupies. What a sickening bunch of idiots.

    • SaM

      she was ok some nights, but mostly bad on others….her grwls were not natural

      • SaM


      • Lee

        That’s not what Beyonce said. She felt Haley’s “growls” were natural and I think she knows a lot more about music than you Haley-haters do.

      • Logan

        I think Beyonce said nice things about everyone, she’s trying to sell her new stuff. Haley is cute not sexy like Pia, she has good growl voice, not a great voice like pia. Oh yea and she’s a spoiled brat, not humble like Pia.

    • Squishmar

      And once again, here are all the Haley haters… funny how we all seem to end up at the same place… Could it have anything to do with American Idol?

  • Jasmine

    Ah David Cook! I can’t wait for your new record. I’m also interested to hear what Casey ends up doing.

    • JackieB

      Casey won’t be successful, period. Go away. I am glad to see Blake Lewis is doing a 3rd album, he’s super talented. I also miss Elliot Yamin – what is he up to these days?
      And is it just me, or is Paul coming off like a total douche lately?

      • Ms. Dipesto

        It’s just you

      • Cari

        OK, you can’t start a comment with a douchey statement and then end it by calling someone else a douche.

      • Kristina

        @JackieB actually, Casey is pretty successful already. He gained some votes when the rumor about him and haley started going around. its too bad he didnt win. Haley and Casey should’ve made it to the final 2.

    • Steven Wright

      yes but how does Haley feel about David Cook?

      haha – just making fun of how it always goes into Haley mode here.

      I love Haley, huge respect as a musician and vocalist. Don’t always love her choices of song or decision of what style to perform in during each song, but the fact that she has multiple styles of music to sing in is amazing in itself.

      And personally I felt she did country better than Lauren did in the semi-final duet when they were walkign around the crowd singing – I was like, Whoa, Haley’s a better country singer than the country girl.

      and I like Lauren better than scotty by a country mile….

  • Swind

    I want Haley’s album now. The girl has one of the BEST voices to ever come out of American Idol.

    Team Growl FTW!!!

    • SaM

      fake growl

      • Cami

        How is her growl fake?! If you can growl, then you can growl. Do you think she has some sort of “voice machine” that inserts growls randomly? And her voice is naturally raspy, so I don’t get why the haters say it’s fake :S

      • Kevin

        SaM, enlighten me, how do you fake a growl!?

  • S

    No one was begged. Peter loved Paul when he was still on the show and told people to vote for him.

  • S

    WTH is James? ……. I want to know his plans/ideas lol

    • Mac

      Agreed!!! He should go the farthest of any of them!

  • nunnya

    I can’t to see what Haley does. While he wasn’t an Idol that I speed dialed for, I have to say Blake Lewis’ musical output is probably the closest match to my own personal taste. I love Heartbreak on Vinyl.

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