The hit reality TV show, American Idol, has been a successful show in terms of finding the top undiscovered musical talent in the US. Each season, the show brings new voices and faces into American households. The judges critique and criticize the contestants, but it's America's vote that really counts. Each week more potential musical stars are eliminated, but that doesn't always mean they're done. Also, being a talented singer isn't necessarily a pre-requisite for success as seen in at least 3 instances from the show.

Case in point number one is William Hung. The guy was never officially a contestant on stage at American Idol, but simply auditioned. Hung went to the San Fransisco auditions in 2003 for season 3 of Idol, after winning a talent contest at his college dorm. Hung made his appearance on the Janaury 15, 2004 episode of the show and belted out the song "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin, while also doing dance moves. The judges did their best to refrain from laughter, while Simon played the usual role of tough critic, firmly telling Hung he couldn't sing or dance at all. Despite that, Hung was not swayed, and even though he didn't advance on Idol, he gained a cult following. From there, Hung signed a record deal with Koch Entertainment and recorded three albums, mostly of pop covers including "She Bangs".

Another surprise success from AI was Sanjaya, on season 6. Sanjaya actually advanced much farther than William Hung did in the competition, despite the fact he received a lot of negative feedback from the show's judges. Sanjaya made it to 7th place thanks to fan voting, some of which was aimed to mock the show and its judges. Radio personality Howard Stern even asked listeners to make votes for Sanjaya to corrupt the #1 show in America. However, Sanjaya gained a cult following of his own, and just last year released the album "Dancing to the Music in My Head" a five track pop collection. He's also released his own book, been a contestant on "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me out of Here!" and appeared in a short Will Ferrel film among other projects.

The most recent surprise success story from American Idol, comes from Season 9. When 62-year-old General Larry Platt stepped in front of the judges, nobody knew quite what to expect. His audition was saved for last on the Atlanta, Georgia show, and for good reason. Platt's song "Pants on the Ground" amused the judges, but Simon Cowell noted he could see the song becoming a hit. He was right as Platt captured American's attention in a major way. Within a day, Platt was dominating internet searches, had fan sites about him, was covered in major newspapers, and appears to soon have a single in the works of the song.

Who said American Idol doesn't produce great talent? Move over Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson, America wants William Hung, Sanjaya and General Larry Platt on the next big concert tour!