• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

'American Idol' Class Picture: Behind the Scenes (Video)

Kris Allen, David Archuleta, Allison Iraheta and more talk about their 'Idol' experience at THR's exclusive shoot, which gathered 30 alums in Los Angeles before the season 10 finale.

Now that this year’s American Idol is behind us and we’ve had a moment to catch our collective breath, we can look back on one of our favorite moments of season 10: the alumni shoot we organized for THR’s special issue featuring the stars of Idol and the execs who drive the show on the cover.

The location: Hollywood's Siren Studios, where 29 Idol grads and one teacher, vocal coach Debra Byrd, gathered for a once-in-a-lifetime (or at least once a decade) class portrait on May 6.

The concept: You made it to Hollywood, now what? After each season ends, Idols move in droves to Los Angeles, where the competition essentially starts anew as each of these ex-contestants seeks management, a record deal, studio time, tour slots and all manner of showbiz connections. But as we've come to know, Idols are not only incredibly ambitious, they're resourceful. And thanks to the incomparable Idol "bootcamp," win or lose, they emerge from the experience well-prepared.  

THR COVER STORY: Secrets Behind American Idol's Big Comeback

The backstory: We had only three days to pull it all together but word travels fast among the Idols and within 24 hours, we had 15 finalists confirmed. Wanting to add a couple of contestants from season 10, we requested Casey Abrams and Pia Toscano and were thrilled that they both made time to attend, especially since the two had an afternoon rehearsal for their performance at KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango. Amazingly, 28 of the 30 arrived on time. The stragglers: Blake Lewis and Elliott Yamin. No one was surprised.

The scene: Seeing these 30 individuals who share an incredibly rare experience instantly bond was a trip – sort of like crashing someone’s reunion or being the adult chaperone at a prom. It was also quite lovely: Byrd reconnected with kids she saw for a split second and ones she mentored for weeks on end. Either way, she made a lasting impression on each and every one. Past finalists flocked to the newcomers giving them on-the-spot advice and tips. Contestants who barely made it past Hollywood Week (Luke Edgemon, Becky O’Donahue) surprised their fellow alums with impressive post-Idol resumes (Glee and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, respectively). In a word, it was special.

RELATED: 'American Idol' Finalists: Where Are They Now?

Get the full low-down on each and every alum in our original post. Below, check out some bonus video from the shoot, including interviews with Kris Allen, David Archuleta, Allison Iraheta, Kimberly Caldwell, Jackie Tohn and, of course, Elliott and Blake, along with a behind-the-scenes look at how it all came together.