Whatever happened to 'American Idol' contestant Justin Guarini?

You may have remembered him as the curly-haired cutie on the first season of "American Idol" ...

Justin Guarini, now 38, rose to fame in 2002 when he became the first runner-up on the hit singing competition show. The Georgia-native singer ended up losing to pop songstress Kelly Clarkson, who now has several Grammy Awards to her name!

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Justin Guarini through the years
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Justin Guarini through the years
'American Idol''s Justin Guarini during The 2002 Teen Choice Awards - Arrivals at The Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Justin Guarini *EXCLUSIVE* (Photo by Rene Macura/WireImage)
Justin Guarini at FOX TV's 'American Idol', broadcast live from Television City in Los Angeles, Ca. Tuesday, July 16, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect/FOX*** Please Call For Usage ***
Fox's 'American Idol' finalist Justin Guarini sings the national anthem at Dodger Stadium prior to the Dodgers/Padres game. (Photo by Jon Soohoo/WireImage)
Justin Guarini performs at FOX-TV's 'American Idol' in Los Angeles, Ca. Tuesday, August 27, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect/FOX.*** Please Call For Usage ***
Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson backstage at FOX-TV's 'American Idol' in Los Angeles, Ca. Tuesday, August 27, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect/FOX.*** Please Call For Usage ***
WESTWOOD, CA - AUGUST 19: (L to R) 'American Idol' finalists Tamyra Gray, Justin Guarini, Kelly Clarkson and Nikki Mckibbin attend the premiere of 'Swimfan' at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on August 19, 2002 in Westwood, California. The film opens in theaters nationwide Friday September 6, 2002. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
Justin Guarini from 'American Idol' arrive for the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, August 29, 2002. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.
Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson at FOX-TV's 'American Idol' finals at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Ca. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Justin Guarini & Kelly Clarkson during 'American Idol' Season 1 Finale - Performance Show - Press Room at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini at FOX-TV's 'American Idol' finale at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Ca. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Justin Guarini & Kelly Clarkson during 'American Idol' Season 1 Finale - Results Show - Press Room at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Justin Guarini during 'American Idol' Season 1 Finale - Results Show - Arrivals at Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Ryan Starr (L) and Justin Guarini perform during the 'American Idol in Vegas' concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena September 18, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Justin Guarini and Paula Abdul during The 17th Annual Soul Train Music Awards - Arrivals at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini during Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2003 - Press Room at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini during 2003-2004 FOX Upfront - After Party at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Justin Guarini during American Idol 2 Finals - Arrivals at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson during Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini Stop By MTV's 'Spankin' New Summer Music' Week at MTV Summer Beach House in East Quogue, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 2502 -- Pictured: (l-r) American Idol contestants Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson during an interview with host Jay Leno on June 9, 2003 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Justin Guarini & Deborah Gibson during 2003 Teen Choice Awards - Arrivals at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Presenters Justin Guarini and Brittany Snow for Choice TV Reality Grossest Moment w/Stunt (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
Justin Guarini and Paula Abdul during Polaroid/OutKast 2004 Grammy Party at Private Residence in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage)
Justin Guarini during 'American Idol' Season 5 - Finale - Arrivals at Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Justin Guarini and Jennie Saunders during The Creative Coalition Co-hosts the Launch of Core Sessions - July 1, 2006 in Sag Harbor, New York, United States. (Photo by Tana Lee Alves/WireImage)
Justin Guarini during Prince's Club Opening of 3121- Opening Night Arrivals at The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jill Ann Spaulding/FilmMagic)
Justin Guarini during American Idol Celebrates the Top 12 Contestants at Astra West - Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Tran/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 30: Justin Guarini attends Audrina Patridge Hosts Hpnotiq's Hollywood Halloween Party at Les Duex at Les Deux on October 30, 2007 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by BRIAN LINDENSMITH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TV personalities Justin Guarini and Kimberly Caldwell attend the Launch Party for Shoes for Stars on April 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
Justin Guarini arrives at the 51st GRAMMY?? Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Actor Justin Guarini attends the Drama League's 27th Annual All-Star Benefit gala at The Pierre Hotel on February 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Musician Justin Guarini attends 'The Anarchist' Broadway Opening Night at John Golden Theatre on December 2, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
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The heartthrob was all smiles as he hit several major red carpets after getting famous on the show. We can't help but cringe at his patriotic outfit made up of bright red wide-legged pants and a muscle tee at the 2002 Teen Choice Awards.

Despite not winning on "Idol," Guarini scored a record deal with RCA. He even appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," where the TV host gave him the compliment of all compliments: "Justin you have it." However, everything didn't go as planned soon after.

His self-titled album, "Justin Guaraini," debuted in June 2003 and it sold a dismal 146,000 copies. He was eventually dropped by his record label. The release coincided with the premiere of his new movie with former "American Idol" foe Kelly Clarkson, a romantic musical titled "From Justin To Kelly."

The film was torn apart by critics, with some of even calling it one of the worst movies ever made ... ouch!

Clearly Justin didn't let the haters get to him. After a few failed albums and his 2009 marriage to longtime love Reina Capodici, he made his Broadway debut in the musical adaptation of Pedro Almodovar's film -- "A Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." He's been doing his thing on the Broadway stage ever since, starring in a slew of productions, including "Romeo and Juliet " and " Wicked."

Nope, no resemblance there... Happy first day of #kindergarten little man.

A post shared by Justin Guarini (@justinguarini) on

And we gotta say, Justin looks like a total hunk fifteen years later! He still rocks his curly hair on his Instagram feed, but he also likes to show off adorable photos of his 4-year-old son. And when he's not busy being a dad, he plays Trent in the Broadway musical "In Transit."

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