Was Alan Ritchson on American Idol? Which Season Did He Appear in?

Image Credit: Keri Anderson/Amazon Studios

Alan Ritchson emerged as one of the talented young actors of his time with his roles in ‘Smallville’ as Arthur Curry/Aquaman and ‘Blue Mountain State’ as Kevin Devlin “Thad” Castle. The actor went on to star in blockbusters like ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ before portraying Jack Reacher in Amazon Prime Video’s thriller series ‘Reacher.’ Ritchson’s incredible performance in the show has stirred curiosity among the viewers regarding the actor’s participation in the legendary reality show ‘American Idol.’ Was the actor really part of the singing competition show at any point? Let’s find out!

Which American Idol Season Did Alan Ritchson Appear in?

Yes, Alan Ritchson was on ‘American Idol.’ Ritchson appeared in season 3 of the show, which aired in the year 2004. As per reports, Ritchson auditioned for the show’s second season in Atlanta but failed to progress to the next round after receiving “no” from judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. In 2004, Ritchson auditioned in Atlanta, singing Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” to judge Paula Abdul. The actor’s audition became popular for wooing Paula, who called him “adorable.”

Ritchson impressed the three judges and progressed to the first Hollywood round as one of the 117 contestants. Even though the judges weren’t as impressed as the first time, he progressed to the next round upon singing an original song. He sang Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” with Donnie Williams and Eric Yoder as one of the 87 contestants who performed in the second Hollywood round. Ritchson got cut in the Hollywood round eventually, failing to make it to the semi-finals of the third season. Ritchson’s brief appearance in the show is mostly remembered for his encounter with Paula.

Ritchson’s participation in the reality show opened doors for him to the world of acting. “Music was my first love. Singing was something I felt decent at, and it felt like it just made sense to pursue that. I had never thought about acting. American Idol took me to L.A. for the first time, where I was exposed to acting. I asked someone if they could help me get auditions and they did, and I started working,” he said to Parade in January 2022. Although music played a pivotal part in providing a breakthrough for the actor, Ritchson then chiefly limited himself to acting. “I had to decide: Am I going to keep pursuing music or do what I’m doing professionally now? So I left the music behind,” he added.

The popularity Ritchson gained with his appearance in ‘American Idol’ lead him to the superhero series ‘Smallville,’ from 2005 to 2010 as Arthur Curry/Aquaman. He then joined the main cast of Spike’s (currently Paramount Network) sitcom ‘Blue Mountain State’ along with Darin Brooks. Ritchson’s major feature film breakthroughs came with ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Ritchson’s memorable appearance in ‘American Idol’ places him among the numerous film and television stars who appeared in the renowned show. From being the 20-year-old who wooed Paula Abdul to portraying the titular protagonist of ‘Reacher,’ the adaptation of a novel series that sold a hundred million copies worldwide, Ritchson definitely had an amazing journey to be the star he is now.

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