10 'American Idol' Alums You Never Knew Were Latino!

American Idol returns tonight on FOX and here's a look at 10 Idol alums you never knew were Latino!

1. Unknown Idols: Lisa Tucker

Lisa Tucker

Age: 23

Season: 5

Finished: 10th place

With a last name like Tucker, no one realized that this talented young singer from Season 5 is half Belizian. “I’m half Latina and half African American. My mother was born and raised in Belize,” Tucker tells Latina.com. “She came to the States when she was 20 years old…my mother’s side of the family still lives over there. It’s so beautiful,” said Tucker, who adds that people are often surprised to find out she’s Latina. “People look at me and can never quite figure out where I’m from.”

2. Unknown Idols: Stefano Langone

Stefano Langone

Age: 23

Season: 10

Finished: 7th place

You know the handsome Italian contestant who was voted off American Idol way too soon! Well, he may be Italian on his dad's side, but his mom is Mexican, and that makes Stefano part-Mexican too!

 

 

 

 

3. Unknown Idols: Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery

Age: 19

Season: 10

Finished: Winner

Scotty McCreery broke down his Latin roots to former Latina contributing editor Lynda Lopez. “My grandmother is from Old San Juan and my grandfather was over in Puerto Rico’s Air Force. They met and they had my dad in Aguadilla and then they moved up north and my dad came down south and they had me.” Scotty, who traveled to Puerto Rico in 2004 and 2005, said he loves his Puerto Rican curly hair! So do we!

4. Unknown Idols: Ciara-Camile Roque Velasco

Camile Velasco

Age: 27

Season: 3

Finished: 9th place

Everyone knew Camile as the Filipino singer from Maui, Hawaii on American Idol’s third season. But Camile, whose full name is Ciara-Camile Roque Velasco, is only half-Filipino—she’s also part Spanish and Irish.

5. Unknown Idols: AJ Tabaldo

AJ Tabaldo

Age: 28

Season: 6

Finished: Top 12

This native of Santa Maria, California, who cites Christina Aguilera as one of his favorite female artists, is a self-proclaimed ethnic mutt. “I’m part Filipino and Portuguese with Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese,” said Tabaldo. Most people assume (incorrectly) he’s just Filipino. Hmm, further proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover!

6. Unknown Idols: Mark and Aaron Gutierrez

Mark and Aaron Gutierrez

Ages: Aaron, 29 and Mark, 30

Season: 10

Finished: Neither Mark nor Aaron made the Top 24

Upon being eliminated from Idol (too early, if you ask us), Aaron —who’s Mexican—told AOL Latino: “A lot of people didn't know Mark and I were Latino. Many were confused on what we really were,” said Aaron, who was thought to be Indian.

7. Unknown Idols: RJ Helton

R.J. Helton

Age: 31

Season: 1

Finished: 5th place

Known as much for his beautiful voice as for his bright white smile (seriously, dude must’ve been bleaching every week!), R.J. Helton was one of the first Latinos to compete on American Idol and came close to making it to the finals. He’s Nicaraguan!

8. Unknown Idols: AJ Gil

AJ Gil

Age: 28

Season: 1

Finished: 8th place

With a name like Abner Juda Gil, people may not be so quick to assume that proud Mexican-American A.J. Gil—one of the first Hispanics to compete on American Idol—is Latino. But in fact AJ’s parents came to the U.S. from Mexico.

9. Unknown Idols: Syesha Mercado

Syesha Mercado

Age: 26

Season: 7

Finished: 3rd place

This Connecticut native was part of American Idol’s most Latin season ever (Season 7 also featured David Archuleta and Jason Castro) and somehow, no one figured out Syesha was Latina. Well, she is, and proud of it! Her mother Zelda is African American and her father Jose is Puerto Rican.

10. Unknown Idols: Related Links