American Idol’s first season saw Kelly Clarkson win and forge a hugely successful career for herself, with Grammy award wins, number one albums and sold out tours across the globe. For the man she beat – Justin Guarini – fortunes haven’t been so kind.
It wasn’t all bad at the beginning; he was a famous face and was at the beginning of what he thought would be a long and fruitful music career. As he notes in his blog: "I couldn't walk the street without being stopped a hundred times" by fans. Now, though, The 34-year-old spends "days skipping meals in order to make sure I have enough. To make sure my children and my wife have enough."
Heady days of expensive clothes and the high-life are over, and Guarini has to make ends meet. "I'm unafraid to say that I am terrified," he writes. "I am struggling to make each day meet the next without breaking down and curling up." Next up, though, some good news: he’ll play on Broadway in the role of Paris in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, starring Orlando Bloom, which should be enough to see him through in the short term.
No such problems for Kelly Clarkson
Despite the startling claim that he can’t afford to feed both himself and his family, Guarini claims that he's "nowhere near poverty." Semantics aside, though, he now enjoys the simpler things in life: "I have a wife whom I love and who loves me (me!) and who lifts me up. Children who give me cherubic-lipped kisses before I leave for work and who are the most delicious morsels of joy and peace and prosperity," he wrote.