has no doubt created amazing opportunities and opened countless doors for its contestants.But unfortunately, the sometimes-stigmatized show does come with baggage that can hurt artists struggling to establish themselves outside the reality TV bubble in a post- alumni have opted to distance themselves from the show, by recording under pseudonyms or forming new bands and projects.And interestingly, the result is some of the best music these artists have ever released.

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She even participated in a group number with alums Pia Toscano, Jessica Sanchez, and judge Jennifer Lopez in Season 13.

But Iraheta was only 16 when she competed on , and now, at age 24, she is all grown up and clearly moving on with her band Halo Circus, which she formed with her producer husband, Matthew Hager.

Her rainbow-bright hair and raspy vocals are still unmistakable, but Halo Circus’s fierce debut album B.

ZEALYNYou may remember Angie Miller from Season 12.

She was the favorite from the start (show creator Simon Fuller even told Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks he thinks she should have won), and after the finale – on which she memorably performed with Jessie J and Adam Lambert – 19 Recordings released her original song, “You Set Me Free.” But no record deal was forthcoming, and Miller couldn’t seem to shake the curse of that troubled season.

This year, she rebranded herself as ethereal electro-indie chanteuse Zealyn, and premiered her single “Sleep on It” via the hipster publication TOTEM Anoop Desai was an early standout on Season 8, but he never quite recovered from the unjust critical bashing he received for his over-the-top “Beat It” performance on Michael Jackson Night.

Immediately after his run, Desai cranked things into high gear with a series of slickly produced independent music videos, but in 2013, he closed all of his social media and re-emerged as mysterious hip-hop/soul artist TOTEM.

Now he is always photographed in shadow, and none of his bio information ever references his real name or his JOSIAH & THE BONNEVILLESHis Season 7 screentime was brief, but everyone, for better or worse, still remembers Josiah Leming, the “crying kid who lived in his car.” Leming was only 18 then, and while the robbed contestant almost immediately landed a contract with Warner Bros.

and released the excellent album, that major-label deal eventually fell apart.