Which Contestants Have Booming Careers After Losing ‘America’s Got Talent?’

People of all ages compete in NBC’s America’s Got Talent to showcase their unique skills to the world in the hopes of headlining an act on the Las Vegas strip. Even though there can only be one official winner, other contestants still “win” after the show and go on to have successful careers.

The young classical singer, Jackie Evancho, and the “hip hop” violinist, Lindsey Stirling, both competed on AGT Season 5. Evancho signed a deal with Columbia Records after touring with the show, and Stirling used the internet to promote her dance-infused violin performances. How have these ladies’ careers prospered after losing America’s Got Talent? Keep reading to find out!

America's Got Talent Jackie Evancho
America’s Got Talent Live! : The All-Stars Tour logo | Fernando Leon/Getty Images for Faculty Productions

Jackie Evancho on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 5

Born April 9, 2000, the young singer grew up in a Catholic family along with two sisters and a brother. After watching the film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera as a child, Evancho started singing the songs at home. The aspiring singer began taking voice lessons, singing at events, started a YouTube channel, and performed the leading role in her 2009 school musical, Little Red Riding Hood.

Evancho participated in a few more competitions around Pennsylvania before catching the ear of record producer, David Foster. He then selected her to sing in his “David Foster & Friends” concert in New Jersey. After auditioning twice for America’s Got Talent, the classical singer finally made the fifth season by placing first in its 2010 YouTube competition.

The young singer performed “O mio babbino caro” in the AGT quarter-final round and critics accused her of lip-syncing. Therefore, she presented a vocal exercise the following night to prove she was actually singing. Judge Howie Mandel agreed and claimed her voice is “really too good to be true.”

Evancho eventually lost to another singer, Michael Grimm, much to the dismay of several commentators and viewers who felt the young singer should have won. She then performed in 10 cities with America’s Got Talent: Live tour and inked a record deal with SYCO Music and Columbia Records.

Jackie Evancho’s history-making singing career

The classical singer released an album independently a year before appearing on AGT. However, her parents withdrew it because her voice has improved since then. The young singer released O Holy Night EP in December 2010, becoming the highest-selling debut artist of 2010, the youngest solo artist to ever go platinum in the U.S., and the youngest top-10 debut artist in American history.

She then dropped Dream With Me, and it debuted at number two on Billboard charts, making her the youngest Top-5 debut artist in United Kingdom history. Billboard also ranked her as the top Classical Albums Artist for 2011.

Evancho dropped a full-length holiday album later that year, Heavenly Christmas, and became the youngest person ever to give a solo concert. The young singer has since released four more albums, appeared in movies, modeled for Guess Kids, and performed at the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Lindsey Stirling on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 5

Born September 21, 1986, Stirling began playing the violin at five-years-old even though her parents could only afford half lessons at the time. In 2007, she created a YouTube channel under the username, “lindseystomp,” where she performs choreographed violin routines.

Three years later, she competed on America’s Got Talent Season 5, where her unique style was described as a “hip hop violinist.” She impressed the judges and viewers by mixing hip-hop, classical, and pop music on the violin while also dancing.

After attempting to step her dancing moves up to the next level, judge Piers Morgan told her she’s “not untalented, but not good enough.” Another judge, Sharon Osbourne, agreed with Morgan telling Stirling she should be in a group because her act “is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas.” The talented violinist was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Lindsey Stirling’s successful career on YouTube

In 2012, her song “Crystallize” was the eighth-most watched video on YouTube for that year. She then released a cover version of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons with acapella group Pentatonix, winning Response of the Year in the 2013 YouTube Music Awards.

The violinist also released a self-titled album which made her the second best-selling artist on the Classical Crossover charts in 2013. The album went on to win four certifications and received a nomination for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/Electronic Albums.

The following year, her sophomore album peaked at number two on the Billboard charts and won a Billboard Music Award. Forbes magazine also named her to the 30 Under 30 In Music: Class of 2015. As of July 30, 2019, the violinist has over 11.8 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.