The High School Musical Star Who Nearly Auditioned For American Idol

Vanessa Hudgens first became a household name around the world after playing the role of Gabriella Montez in "High School Musical." Being the fast-paced industry that it is, the "Come Back To Me" singer has managed to stay relevant over the years by continuing her profession as an actor as well as embarking on a music career.

Despite "High School Musical" putting Hudgens on the map, she admitted in an interview with The Guardian in 2018 that she never imagined her career going in the direction it has. "'High School Musical' was a fantastic journey, but it completely derailed me from where I originally saw my career going," she shared. "I always wanted to be the indie girl; I always wanted to be in the movies where I'm playing a drug addict or a stripper or a prostitute. That was my goal since I was like, 11." 

While Hudgens might not be a part of the new "High School Musical" spin-off show, "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," on Disney+, she did open up about Olivia Rodrigo, who takes on the role of Gabriella on the show-within-the-show. "[Olivia's] incredible and I am such a fan of hers. I love her music and it's amazing seeing ['High School Musical'] continue to live on," she told E! News.

Ultimately, it was Disney Channel that helped morph Hudgens into a superstar. However, she initially had plans of auditioning for "American Idol."

Vanessa Hudgens wanted to audition for American Idol after watching Kelly Clarkson win

During an April appearance on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," host Kelly Clarkson admitted that she is a big fan of Vanessa Hudgens, explaining she and her daughter had watched her "The Princess Switch" movies numerous times. In return, Hudgens told Clarkson that after seeing the powerhouse vocalist take the winning title on "American Idol," she wanted to audition for the competition show. "And then that next week, I got an audition for 'High School Musical,'" Hudgens said, explaining the reason why she never got round to auditioning. "I was like, 'I'm doing it!' and you were the catalyst," she added.

This isn't the first time Hudgens has spoken on this subject. While being interviewed on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" in 2018, the "Say OK" hitmaker revealed she was around 14 or 15 years of age when she felt inspired to audition for the show. As noted by Variety, the second movie drew in a record-breaking 17.2 million viewers and made $4 billion in retail sales worldwide, so it seems Hudgens made the right decision to take on the role of Gabriella Montez.