American Idol is now on its 10th season and down to 11 finalists. The top 10 will be chosen this week based on the votes of viewers from across the nation. If things remain the same as previous seasons, these top 10 contestants will also be the ones going on tour this summer. It’s obvious that out of the past nine winners, there are only a select few that have achieved great success outside the show. However, the exposure the contestants receive from week to week is sometimes enough to open the doors to new ventures, once the show is over. This has been the case for two contestants who proudly represented San Diego in recent past seasons.
Season 7 gave San Diegans an even bigger reason to tune into American Idol each week. A tattooed rocker chick, with edgy vocals named Carly Smithson earned the respect and praise of judges and viewers alike. Unfortunately, after the top 10 participants were chosen, she was the fourth person to be eliminated, ending in 6th place in the competition. Her pursue of a career in the music industry, however, didn’t end there. In the summer of 2009 she found a new opportunity with the ex-members of the band Evanescence. She became the band’s vocalists and together, they formed the band The Fallen.
The following year, another San Diegan hit the Idol stage. This time it was none other than the eccentric and always astounding Adam Lambert. With his impeccable voice and flashy choices of attire, Lambert quickly became one-of-a-kind among his peers. His trademark screaming became a stamp on almost every song he performed; he made glam rock cool again. The viewers were just waiting to see what he would do next. Lambert was like the Lady Gaga of Season 8, except not as controversial but definitely outrageous. After all, who can forget his peculiar rendition of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’? Even the judges didn’t know what to make of it. He definitely became a crowd favorite and although America didn’t have the voting power to crown him the winner of American Idol, he came in a close second. Soon after his exit he began working on his debut album ‘For Your Entertainment’, which was released in 2009. He also recorded a live album that just went on sale yesterday, March 22, titled ‘Glam Nation Live’. The album also features a DVD containing footage from his 2010 Glam Nation tour.
Although these contestants weren’t San Diego natives since the beginning, Smithson was born in Dublin, Ireland and Lambert in Indianapolis, Indiana; they were raised in San Diego and they consider this their hometown. Other not-so-memorable Idol contestants who also represented San Diego in the mega-hit talent competition were Season 1’s A.J. Gil and Season 2’s Joshua Gracin. This season, however, there are no hometown idols to root for. Perhaps that’s a bit of a relief; at least you won’t feel like a traitor voting for someone other than your hometown hero. So, putting geographical differences aside, which Season 10 contestant has been winning over your votes each week?
Don’t forget to tune in tonight at 8 PM PST on FOX to watch the remaining contestants perform and cast your votes after the show.