American Idol has promised one of the most talented groups for its Season 7 Top 24. But has Idol found an untapped resource of talent or has this cast had plenty of time to hone their abilities?
If it seems like the women in the Season 7 Top 12 look pretty comfortable singing on stage, it’s because they’ve got plenty of experience.
Three of these ladies have been contestants in singing competitions before. At least four of them have already released an album. And two have successful modeling careers, although a couple of the others have dabbled in it.
Only two – Ramiele Maluby and Asia’h Epperson – appear to be untapped sources of talent. And Amanda Overmyer’s experience is limited to playing with local bands.
I already gave you a peek at the Top 12 men and their experience. Here’s a little closer look at the experience of the Top 12 women.
Named Miss PHAT on the first season of Mon’Nique’s FAT Chance, Joanna went on to become a plus size model. Her credits include Plus Magazine Cover Model in 2007 and a spread in Essence Magazine. I didn’t find any examples of prior singing experience though.
Kristy was signed by RCA when she was just a teen but at 17 she was dropped when the label put plans for young acts on hold. Then in 2005, under the name Kristy Lee, she released her first album, “Devoted,” with Red-Hen Records. In addition to opening for Gary Allan and Neal McCoy, Kristy has done commercials for Sprite and Pier 1.
In 2007, this model made it to the second round of Nashville Star. Although she has no record deals, Amy has logged in some serious band time singing with 6th Element, a cover band in Northwest Indiana. She also recently started the Amy Davis Trio, an acoustic band and sings backup for the Pink Floyd tribute band, Echoes of Pompeii.
Asia’h might be cutting her singing chops on Idol. I could not find anything to indicate she had some past singing or performing experience. But if her ability to audition right after losing her dad is any indication, she’s got courage.
Alex got her start, under the name Miz Alex, as an Apollo Kid on Showtime at the Apollo at the tender age of seven. According to her bio, she’s now considered an Apollo Legend. It also says she’s performed on BET’s 106 & Park and Star Search, but I couldn’t find any video of either performance. Alex has received vocal training from the famed Robin Brown, who has worked with such artists as Usher.
A couple of years ago Kady came out with her self-titled debut album produced by Nick Trevisick, the same man that brought you Mandy Moore. However, the album is nowhere to be found now. Other than the album, I’ve found little else on the 18-year-old Houston native who does impersonations.
This Filipino-American, a heritage she’s proud of, started singing when she was 12 and has a voice coach. This little girl with the big voice seems to be an undiscovered talent with no professional past.
Idol is not Syesha’s first foray into a reality-based singing competition. She was a contestant on ABC’s The One: Making a Music Star in 2006. But since the show was canceled before it really got started we have no idea how far she would have gone.
This Harley-riding nurse’s expertise is limited to singing with several local rock bands to include Steeleto. Amanda has recently recovered from an automobile accident she had just before Hollywood week.
Carly has already hit and fallen from the big time. In 1999, Carly signed a six-album deal with MCA that included an advance and monthly living expenses. But when her first album, “Ultimate High,” debuted in 2002 and only sold 379 copies she was dropped.
Winning Reasor’s Rising Star competition paved the way for Alaina to compete on American Idol literally – the prize was an all expense paid trip to the audition.
But competition is nothing new. Together with her sister Brittney, Alaina has been performing locally at everything from the Pecan Festival to an Oilers game. Recently the duo won “My Big Break.” She’s won a handful of competitions herself.
It’ll be interesting to see how these newbies stand up against those with all this professional experience.