Remember Justin Guarini? In 2002, he was the runner up in the inaugural season of “American Idol.” Not only did he have the big voice, he had the big hair to match. That season of the series may have launched the career of Kelly Clarkson, but it also sent Guarini on his own interesting path … and no, we’re not referring to “From Justin to Kelly.”
Since leaving “Idol,” it seemed that Guarini disappeared into obscurity. Putting his music career on hold, Justin began pursuing acting and appeared in items like “The Wizards of Waverly Place” and the Orlando Bloom-starring “Romeo and Juliet.” But those roles were just stepping stones as it looks like Guarini was biding his time until the right role came along. In 2015, it did.
You may have seen the Dr. Pepper commercials with that flamboyant — tiny Prince-like — R&B singer character. They call him “Lil’ Sweet” and the man under that wig and those scarves is non other than Mr. Justin Guarini.
When the ad campaign first premiered, Guarini informed Entertainment Weekly that the character was defined between him and Dr. Pepper:
Lil’ Sweet is a collaboration between Dr. Pepper and I. The whole thought behind him is that we wanted him to be a rock god. He’s not necessarily one person – I think he personifies an era of rock and glam. His whole thing is that he also personifies the benefits of Diet Dr. Pepper – you have all the sweetness with none of the calories. And that’s why he’s so small.
Going into the “American Idol” series finale, a lot of eyes are looking back over the show’s 15 years. With so many success stories to consider when taking a look at “Idol’s” past, you best not gloss over Guarini!
Lil’ Sweet may just be the best post-“American Idol” gig, ever!