AI Aftermath: 10th place finishers - VIDEOS
by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 31st 2008 5:21PM
Welcome back to "AI Aftermath," where we explore Idol's past. Each week, as one more American Idol hopeful is eliminated from the competition, we take a look back at contestants past who were eliminated in the same week. We'll examine how they did on the show and what they've been up to since their elimination. In honor of Chikezie's elimination last week we'll be looking at other tenthth place finishers.
And for the first time, we'll be able to look back at Season One as well. This week: 10th place finishers, featuring EJay Day (Season 1), Julia DeMato (Season 2), Amy Adams (Season 3), Jessica Sierra (Season 4), Lisa Tucker (Season 5) and Chris Sligh (Season 6).
SEASON ONE - EJAY DAY
Since his tenth place finish, things have been publicly slow for finalist EJay Day. Unfortunately, American Idol was a much smaller show then. As such, Day didn't get nearly the exposure of even eleventh and twelfth place finishers in later seasons. It wasn't until we pushed closer toward the finale and the crowning of Kelly Clarkson that Idol became a cultural phenomenon.
Nevertheless, he has sung for Muhammad Ali,and in 2003 appeared in the Tournament of Roses parade. He co-wrote a single, "Pure Love," for Raven-Symone's second album. But currently, EJay is exactly where Simon seems to think lots of Idol contestants belong, performing on a Royal Carribean cruise ship, or at least he was booked from June 2007 until January 2008 on the Voyager of the Seas bound for Europe.
EJay Day's MySpace page remains active and somewhat updated, but there doesn't appear to be any other new information of value there or on the official EJay Day website. In fact, there doesn't appear to have been much movement in EJay's music career since he announced he would be appearing on American Idol rewind back in 2006 and then his subsequent booking on the Voyager of the Seas last year.
You can check out some of his tracks on Ejay Day's MySpace Music page. For me, EJay always had a pretty good voice, but an unusual look. He never really connected in a significant way and was only briefly a part of the Idol experience. His star may have fallen too far by now for him to achieve any lasting mainstream success, but at least he's out there doing what he loves and getting paid for it.
His final performance on Idol was "My Girl," and it wasn't very good. He oversang the hell out of it. And that hat was just awful.:
Here's EJay singing "I'll Be" on Idol. He showed promise here, certainly, but wouldn't last much longer.:
[via Wikipedia, MySpace, EJayOnline.com and more]
SEASON TWO - JULIA DEMATO
Julia is now a single mother to two-year old James, as well as a hairstylist and makeup artist. Back in Connecticut, she had a pretty high-profile run-in with the law in 2005, when she was arrested for drunk driving and drug possession. In 2006 she agreed to rehab and community service, thus freeing her from any jail time.
Since her ouster from Idol, continuing success has eluded DeMato. She had a brief hosting stint in 2003 on the Oxygen Network's Meow TV, but beyond that hasn't done too much. She recorded a single, "Let It Rain," through an internet company Somme Music but nothing much came of that either.
Julia DeMato's MySpace Music page is home to several recordings of Julia singing. Both her music page and Julia DeMato's MySpace page appear to be updated pretty regularly. Accordingly, she reports there that she was headed back to the studio toward the end of last year to record again and this time she even has some big-time producer interested. So Julia is keeping the dream alive, or at least trying to recapture it. I wonder if the producer is Randy Jackson. Do you think Julia knows he's worked with Mariah Carey, dawg?
On Idol singing "Breathe." If she had nothing else going for her, DeMato was rocking an incredible physique:
"Son of a Preacher Man" was also one of her stronger performances. Unfortunately, it was mostly downhill for DeMato as her song choices started to fail her. I totally forgot how much she Elvis-snarled. Good stuff!:
[via Reality TV World, MySpace, Wikipedia and more!]
SEASON THREE - AMY ADAMS
There seem to be some interesting parallels with tenth place finishers of the Idol. Like Julia above her, Amy Adams is working as a professional makeup artist. From 2005 to mid-2006, shortly after her finish on Idol, Adams signed and toured as the Narrator with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat production.
She also got married and gave birth to her first son around this time. Beyond that, I can't seem to find much about her. I found an interview with Amy Adams that was conducted shortly after her Broadway stint. This was about a year ago, and she was at that time looking for other opportunities, but clearly they weren't knocking down her door. She learned a lot while on tour with Joseph and thinks she's improved tremendously as a singer; she was completely untrained while she competed on Idol. A huge fan of Dreamgirls, movie musicals is where Amy would like to see her career go.
As for why she can't really get her own stalled career going, I blame that other Amy Adams. Ever since she became a big deal, our Amy Adams hasn't been heard from. Maybe there's only room for one Amy Adams in America's heart. Maybe she should take her husband's name.
Here's Amy from her run as "The Narrator" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat:
Here was Amy Adams on a very high-energy version of "Sin Wagon." I think she totally nailed the energy on this one. Was it too much like the Dixie Chicks, then?:
She even had a good voice when she slowed it down on songs like "You Make Me Feel Brand New":
[via BroadwayWorld.com, Wikipedia, WatchingAmericanIdol.com and where did she go?]
SEASON FOUR - JESSICA SIERRA
Again running parallel to Julia DeMato, our tenth place finisher two years later had her own run-ins with the law. And unfortunately for Jessica Sierra, this incident may just be the highest profile thing she's been involved in.
Prior to all of that though, Jessica was the subject of a pretty high profile stalking case in 2006. She went as far as to be a spokesperson for the US Department of Justice's National Stalking Resource Center. Later that year, Sierra was off to Iraq to perform for the troops and after returning home recorded that "Unbroken" single for a Toys "R" Us promotion. She was on her way toward recording with a high profile producer.
But if 2006 was a good year for Sierra, by late 2007 it was all unraveling. By the end of that year she'd been arrested twice for counts including battery, possession of cocaine and disorderly intoxication and parole violation (on the second arrest). During the midst of all this, Sierra's EP was released.
And proving that there's nothing so personal, so private, so sacred in your life that you can't exploit it for publicity, Jessica turned her drug problem into reality television fodder by appearing on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. As part of her promotional touring for that show, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show with Dr. Drew. And of course she performed her single "Unbroken" on the show to promote the EP.
Clearly all of this was a good move for Sierra, for as of March 14, 2008 her EP is now available in CD format at her website due to "overwhelming demand," and she's just released a video for that single "Unbroken." You know what they say, no publicity is bad publicity.
I have to say, she's sounding pretty good these days. Here's her music video for "Unbroken":
Jessica wanted to sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and got the chance to do so before she was cut from Idol. She really does have a strong voice and excellent control:
Early on, Jessica treated us to a very nice version of "Against All Odds."
[via Jessica Sierra's official website, MySpace, Wikipedia and more!]
SEASON FIVE - LISA TUCKER
After her impressive run on American Idol's fifth season, Tucker had to return home to finish high school. She has since appeared on television in Nickelodeon's Zoey 101, recorded a duet with Dionne Warwick for Warwick's album and appeared as the singing instructor for Dr. Rey's children on Dr. 90210.
Most recently, her television work has lead to her being cast in the forthcoming FOX series Born in the USA, itself a product of Idol's 19 Entertainment. For more on all the happenings in her life, check out Lisa Tucker's latest MySpace blog entry.This is one very busy little girl, and one of her biggest projects currently underway is the album she's working on. She anticipates it dropping in 2008.
As for performing, Lisa's already got a nice little tour schedule going, looks like she's going the mall tour route to get her name and image out there, and is even set to open three shows for Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard. Lisa may be the busiest tenth place finalist we see, and she's only 18 years old.
Barely 16 when she was on the show, Lisa has grown into a beautiful woman. Then she was an adorable kid with a big old voice, almost too big for her body. And other than some problems with maturity as a vocalist and performer, she was tremendously gifted.
Here she is a little later in 2006 performing live and playing on keyboard with "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." Even by this point you could see how amazing she could become and was already becoming.:
For example, she sounded good on "I Am Changing," but didn't have the power or the passion to really sell it:
She did so much better on lighter fare like "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." It lends credence to the argument that perhaps 16 is too young for many of these vocalists to be on a show like American Idol.:
[via Wikipedia, MySpace]
SEASON SIX - CHRIS SLIGH
Chris Sligh was an early favorite to win last season's American Idol, and then something happened. It almost seemed like he was sabotaging himself with poor song choices and lackluster performances. And he seemed almost pleased to have been eliminated as quickly as he was. In fact, he later admitted that he considered quitting two weeks before he was cut, but opted to stay on long enough to make the Top 10 and subsequent tour. Talk about making the system work for you. He later recanted, slightly, the harshness of his comments.
Shortly after getting voted off of Idol he had rejoined his former band Half Past Forever and they re-released their debut album Take a Chance on Something Beautiful with Sligh on lead vocals. He's since singed with a major Christian music management company and signed a solo deal with Brash Records, the same company he'd just signed with as part of Half Past Forever. He's also booked on a radio promotional cruise this summer to Alaska. And currently you can read Chris Sligh's American Idol commentary at EW.com
The official Chris Sligh website is currently taking pre-orders for his May 6th dropping debut album, Running Back to You. The rest of the site is down for renovations. But you can hear his debut single "Empty Me," which was released to radio play last month, as well as other sample tracks on Chris Sligh's MySpace Music page. Here's an acoustic jam of the single Sligh did while on a radio tour.:
Here's Chris playing and performing with Half Past Forever on "Know." The homemade video is clever and the song itself is well done:
This performance may have lacked the energy of other performances but could there be any doubt that Chris could sing after hearing him on "Trouble":
As you can see, his earlier performances were so much stronger. His heart was just so much more into it here during Top 24 week with "Typical":
We all pretty much fell in love with Chris Sligh from his first audition. His humor and personality stood head and shoulders above most of the other contestants on the show. It's a shame that he lost interest in the show as it progressed because he came in like a juggernaut. Is there a better reason to want to be on American Idol than wanting to make David Hasselhoff cry?:
[via ChrisSligh.com, Wikipedia, MySpace and more!]
SEASON SEVEN - CHIKEZIE
And now, joining their ranks, is Season Seven's mono-monikered bluegrass soul singer Chikezie. Chikezie just never really figured out what his groove was, and during a competition just happens to be the worst place you can do it. I think we saw traces of who he should be during his bluegrass-infused performance during Top 12 week, but Chikezie kept trying to do straight up R&B ballads, and it just didn't work for him.
Poor Chikezie really didn't stand a chance on this competition, as he remained toward the bottom of most popularity ranks no matter what he did on the stage. Of course, he didn't help himself with some of his song selections and lackluster performing. And I still say he came across a little too cocky on Top 24 night. Still, though, Chikezie grew on me and I wish nothing but the best for him. For the best (and worst) of Chikezie check out our "Farewell to Chikezie."
NEXT TIME ON AI AFTERMATH
We take a look at the ninth place finishers, featuring Jim Verraros, Corey Clark*, Camile Velasco, Nikko Smith, Mandisa, Gina Glocksen. See you there!
* - Corey Clark wasn't voted out by viewers but was disqualified.
11th Place Finishers
12th Place Finishers