‘American Idol’ Star Claims ‘No Opportunity Came’ to Advance Career After Being on Show

by Caitlin Berard

For aspiring singers, a chance on the grand stage of American Idol is a dream come true. Winning the grand prize of $250,000 and a record deal is obviously the goal. However, millions upon millions of viewers tune in each week to catch the competition. Because of that, simply being on the show can be a major step in a musician’s career.

If a contestant can win the adoration of the audience, it doesn’t matter whether they win or lose the contest. They can use their newfound fanbase to kickstart a thriving career regardless.

Adam Lambert, for example, finished runner-up in Season 8 but earned a Grammy nomination for his very first album. Jennifer Hudson finished even lower in the ranks, coming in seventh, but is now one of the most successful contestants in American Idol history.

So although Leah Marlene didn’t win American Idol Season 20, she displayed enough talent that it seemed inevitable that she would find success. In a recent Instagram post, however, the beloved contestant revealed that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

‘American Idol’ Star Leah Marlene Expresses Frustration Over Lack of Success

In the heartbreaking post, the American Idol contestant performed an original song written for anyone feeling “lost, confused, frustrated, [or] stuck” in life. Along with the melancholy tune, she penned a moving explanation of her own thoughts and feelings since the finale of the iconic competition show.

“I could write a novel about my experience coming off of American Idol,” she wrote. “Moral of the story is that it has been really freaking hard. I have been working my ass off nonstop to make something happen out of this. And I feel like I’m going in never ending circles. I feel very misunderstood by the industry. And it has made me question everything about who I am and what I want.”

“I love my friends so much and am so incredibly happy and proud to see them thriving post show. But in my own selfish little world the comparison game has made these few months that much harder. I know I have countless people that are so proud of me and believe in me so deeply. And I know that we are all on our own journey and our own timeline. But somehow I just feel so deeply alone in this experience.”

“I’m at the point of complete emotional exhaustion,” the American Idol star continued. “And I can no longer pretend like it all doesn’t phase me. I feel incredibly lost, confused, stuck, and beyond all things, frustrated. I do recognize that many things have changed in my life because of the show, but in almost every way I still have found myself back at square one.”