Michael Johns, American Idol Season 7 Finalist, Dead at 35

Michael Johns Dead

Australian singer-songwriter Michael Johns, best known for competing in American Idol‘s seventh season, has died. He was 35.

The news of his passing was confirmed Saturday afternoon by the administrator of his fan page:


Though a cause of death has not been officially released, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Johns suffered a blood clot in his ankle.

“Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend,” Johns’ family said in a statement. “We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe. Please keep Michael in your thoughts and respect our need to grieve privately in this difficult time.”

American Idol, Fox, FreemantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment also released the following statement:

“Michael Johns was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of his passing. He was a part of our American Idol family and he will be truly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.​​”

Johns placed eighth during his Idol season before going on to release two studio albums, 2009’s Hold Back My Heart and 2012’s Love & Sex.

American Idol contestants of yore — as well as former judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — expressed their condolences on Twitter:


Below, enjoy one of Johns’ most memorable Idol performances, Aerosmith’s “Dream On”:

More to come…

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  1. Mik says:

    Wow, that is so sad! Big talent. RIP Michael Johns.

  2. Thilia says:

    He’s the first finalist to pass away too. May he RIP

    • LeahKittyS says:

      That’s what hurts me the most. Besides the fact that he was a kind, funny, and talented guy, to me he was a special kind of person. And even though I never knew Michael, this changes my world. I have been unhealthily obsessed with American Idol ever since I was 13. The finalists became characters in my stories, as close to me as my imaginary friends from childhood. For a while I thought they were a special kind of people, untouchable, magical, invincible. But this hits it home that they are only human, just like us. RIP Michael Johns, a beautiful man with a beautiful voice, silenced too soon.

  3. Thursday Next says:

    Blood clots scare the spit out of me. So random.

    • Amy in KC says:

      Me too!

      • Andrea says:

        I don’t watch Idol, but me three about blood clots. They are frightening. I read a TMZ article that said he was in a lot of pain after twisting his ankle. Supposedly, intense pain after an injury can be a sign of a clot. The articles I’ve read make no mention of him seeking medical treatment for the injury. If he didn’t, it’s very sad that he missed this important sign.

        • I read that he did seek medical attention and the doctor sent him home! He should have been sent to the hospital!

          • sarahliz says:

            Unfortunately at a young age an otherwise healthy person doesn’t throw clots so there’s no reason to look for them. Swelling is the primary sign, it’s also the primary sign of a sprained ankle. No one could have known because the ankle is an odd place to throw a clot, it’s usually higher in the leg. A tragedy that was unforeseeable. It runs in my family but even with that there would be no way to tell should I twist my ankle if I threw a clot because it’s not something they can truly test for that far down.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Thank you. I needed to hear that. In the back of my mind I have been cussing out the doctors who cleared Michael all day. But it won’t bring him back, it will only give me unnecessary stress. It’s time for me to be done with anger and fully move on to bargaining.

          • Jill Moy says:


            Most doctors are quacks anyway….they experiment on people.. real idiots! I could tell you things that would make you cringe! I hate doctors.

          • Me Too! I agree, I like Naturopaths better! I dont trust doctors.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Hey, don’t be blaming all doctors. If my dad had been treating Michael there’s no way he would have just let him go. He’s not in a position to prescribe medicine, but he knows trouble on an X-ray when he sees it, so he could have sent him to someone who could. And we’re in Massachusetts, so we’re close to a lot of good hospitals with professionals who know what they are doing.

          • Leah Kitty, Small story about doctors. My son had a herniated disk in his leg, very painful, and was told he HAD TO POSITIVELY have an operation or would never be able to work a job sitting, standing, stooping, lifting! I took him to a chiropractor and they sent him to the chiropractic college! They sent him home with a set of exercises to do at home and in just 2 weeks it was gone , never to return, and it has been 15 years! So I feel that Neurologist Doctor just wanted to make operation money! By the way, the chiropractic college only charged 20 dollars and then just sent him home with the daily exercises! Compared to thousands of dollars for an operation! Yah I dont trust doctors because they want to make a buck! Sorry my opinion from experience!

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Exactly. My father is a chiropractor, that’s why he can’t prescribe medicine. I really think Michael might have lived has he been in his hands.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I hate blood clots with a passion. First they killed my grandmother and now they killed an American Idol. And both were random and completely unexpected. My grandmother was not in good health, but Michael was 35?! No car accident, no drug or alcohol problem, absolutely no reason for him to die at 35. I am scared for everyone I know and love now. To think a healthy young man can just drop dead. Un-freaking-believable.

    • Angela says:

      Yeah, that’s freaking terrifying. Aneurysms scare me for the same reason.
      Truly shocking news. He was a favorite of mine from that season, too. WAY too young…so very sad. May he rest in peace.

    • Alex says:

      I had a blood clot at a younger age than Michael. Mine was high in the leg, and the doctor never did figure out what caused it–he said that about half the time, no reason can be found. In Michael’s case, of course, the injury led to his clot, but what are the odds that a hurt ankle will result in a blood clot of this magnitude? Swelling and pain generally occur with ankle injuries, as well as with clots, so it wouldn’t be super-easy for a doctor to figure out that he had a clot.

  4. Cassie Barker says:

    I’m heartbroken by this news. So young and so talented! RIP Michael #MavidForever

  5. Mallory says:

    Wow. That is terrible!! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  6. Tina says:

    This is just devastating. So young. May he rest in peace

  7. ellenare says:

    Sad news :( RIP Michael Johns.

  8. Amy in KC says:

    I can’t believe this! So sad. He was one of my favorites during a stellar season of Idol. Prayers for his family, friends, and fans.

  9. LeahKittyS says:

    I wish I could up-vote every single one of these comments just as a show of solidarity. This hits me even harder than Cory Monteith’s death last year, because it wasn’t Cory I was attached to, it was Finn. And Finn wasn’t real. But Michael was a real person with a real story and real talent. And now, all too soon, it’s over. RIP Michael Johns :(

  10. Michael Johns and David Cook were two of my all time favorite Idol contestants, and was so sad to not see either or their careers go further than they had. I watched intently each week, convinced that they would both be giant superstars. I still have a mix cd that I made of music they both sang on Idol and pull it out every now and then in the car.

  11. Steph says:

    He was one of my favorites. I love his first album.

  12. Polly says:

    so sad. RIP

  13. lori says:

    So very sad. He was so very talented. RIP and so sorry for his family.

  14. Jessica says:

    That is so unbelievably sad. Reminds me so much of when Paul Walker died. They are two people who were gone too soon.

  15. Mary says:

    Wow truly shocked by this news. My prayers go out to his Family and friends. RIP

  16. Eric says:

    This is horribly sad. I don’t watch Idol anymore, but I remember watching his season, and he was my favorite contestant that year. He had a lot of talent, and it’s a shame that he left us all so soon.

  17. Jenny says:

    Sad news. One of my favorites during one of Idols best seasons. Rest in Peace.

  18. Chris says:

    ….wait what.

  19. Pat says:

    Oh my gosh, this is so sad to hear of this young man’s death. If the reports are true about a blood clot in his ankle, that is just so heartbreaking. I am speaking from a Mother’s perspective on this tragedy, because I have kids who are in their thirties. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. May He Rest in Peace.

  20. Ashley says:

    This is so sad! He was such a talent…

  21. nitemar says:

    RIP Michael Johns. He is the second person I’ve heard that has died from a blood clot in the ankle. He was so good!

  22. Joey Padron says:

    Sad news to read. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

  23. Tara says:

    The clot in his ankle went to his lung & that’s what caused it. TMZ reported he saw his Dr. The day before for swelling & pain & let him go!! If an ultrasound was done he would have started on a blood thinner & prevent this senseless tragedy. RIP Michael.

  24. fran says:

    We will miss you Michael Johns. God bless you and keep you, and may He comfort your family at this time. So young. You should have won that American Idol season.

  25. Omg! I dont even have words! We were all just talking to him on the AI comment site! I loved his voice and his hilarious personality! Rest in Peace! So sad

    • I went and looked in my old postings from AI reality check and had to look in archive postings. I found one last post from Michael Johns and its on the reality check called “did american idol just have its worst season ever? He left one comment throughout that whole blog. Sad to read it now! He asked me where I had been and asked about Jill too!

      • And my favorite idol performance by him was “across the universe” (beatles). It was so good!

      • Jill Moy says:


        I don’t think it was him! Maybe; it’s possible

        I’ll say one thing
        , he sure was better than the two Davids that were in the final. I picked Johns to win from the start and the younger David to be runner up! Close!

        Johns had a great sense of humor for sure! I enjoyed his comments. I am not sure who he was. RIP MJ!

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I doubt that was actually him in the comment section. But it’s still incredibly sad.

      • I think it was because there was a time when we were all listing our favorite performances ever(when slezak put up the best 30 performances ever) and he made his top ten list and put himself at number 1 or2 and then someone commented back,”yes you were one of the best and you left the show way to early!” Do you remember when we were all making those lists? and also there were other people questioning him about being on the idol show. Thats when I realized it was probably him for real!

  26. kenn says:

    One of my 2 favorites. .from the same season. .him and David Cook. .. I own both his albums. . Omg I’m Speechless. . Can’t believe this

  27. Name That Tune says:

    This just reminds me that Idol used to look for the best talent.

    He finished 8th. He was good enough to beat the field this year.

    RIP Michael Johns

    • Hey name that tune! Hi there is an article online that says they are trying to get simon to judge season 15 and they went on to say since there is no x factor anymore that he might do it. The article is ” American Idol is renewed and original judges could return to season 15.” Wouldnt that be great? The article is online, but I dont jnow if its really going to happen! Rest in Peace Michael Johns!

    • Jill Moy says:


      He was good enough to win that year….He was robbed but good! Much better than the 2 Davids in the final!

  28. Jeff Marley says:

    Rest In Peace Michael john. You were a shining light in are eyes. We will dearly miss you, you are an angel. RIP

  29. karenb says:

    Shoulda posted It’s all wrong but it’s alright instead of Dream On. One of Slezak’s faves and mine too. He got nice feedback with that song and not so much with Dream On.

  30. chris says:

    I am so sad met him in Chicago at a cubs game he shook my hand I was so star struck forgot to get his autograph and a really nice guy and such a wonderful voice

  31. Pavanne says:

    The last photo in that slideshow just killed me. How much freakin’ talent was there in that season?!? And it just demonstrates what a hollow shell of its former self the show has become.