ryan seacrest  carrie underwood may 2006 gi Carrie Underwood tops 'American Idol' earners but can't touch Ryan SeacrestSay what you will about the “American Idol” machine, but it does produce money makers.

Forbes has compiled a list of the Top 10 (actually 12) former “Idol” contestants who brought in over $1 million (pre-tax) between May 2010 and May 2011 and both winners and runners up are well represented.

2005 “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood tops all the “Idols,” bringing in a cool $20 million. That’s where the hard work of performing 83 concert dates pays off.

Tied for a distant second, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert (neither of who won “Idol”) brought in $6 million apiece, while winners Fantasia Barrino, Jordin Sparks, Kelly Clarkson and David Cook came in at No. 4, 5, 6, and 10 respectively.

The full Top 10 (12)

 1. Carrie Underwood – $20 million
 2. Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert – $6 million each
 4. Fantasia Barrino  – $4 million
 5. Jordin Sparks – $3 million
 6. Kelly Clarkson – $2.5 million
 7. Jennifer Hudson – $2 million
 8. Kellie Pickler – $1.8 million
 9. Clay Aiken – $1.5 million
10. David Archuleta, David Cook, Katharine McPhee – $1 million each

Honorable mentions to Kris Allen, Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Ruben Studdard, who just missed the $1 milllion mark this year.

Meanwhile, thanks to his “Idol” hosting duties — along with a myriad of other jobs — Ryan Seacrest brought in $61 million during the past year, a good $11 million over the other 12 combined.

And he doesn’t even have to carry a tune.

Posted by:Brill Bundy

Brill Bundy has spent her entire career covering TV and pop culture. This is what happens when your parents try and limit your viewing habits to three shows a week. Likes: seasons with no more than 13 episodes, anti-heroes and binge-watching. Dislikes: when cartoon characters make out, when TV shows name check their titles, drawn out premieres and finales. TV words to live by: "If every porkchop was perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs."