Posted on Thu, Jan. 30, 2003
Cut from 'Idol,' teen gets call for new show
BY ANABELLE de GALE firstname.lastname@example.org
She was thisclose to stardom.
But on the final cut for American Idol, as Fox viewers saw Wednesday night, one of our Miami girls didn't land one of the 32 coveted spots on the hit show.
Hey, whatever. Who needs it anyway? Not when you've got another series calling.
Monica Minagorri, a 19-year-old from West Kendall, is already a finalist for a new ABC reality show created by the same folks who brought us Idol.
She was flown to Hollywood -- again -- by the show's execs Tuesday. The coveted title this time: All American Girl.
''After American Idol, I can walk into any audition and walk on my head if they ask me to,'' said Monica, who made it to Idol's final 45 in Los Angeles before getting the boot.
For those who didn't tune in Wednesday night -- or for those who did and missed the split second they were on television -- two people from South Florida did make the cut: Miss Homestead Jennifer Fuentes and Bettis Richardson of North Lauderdale. They will be competing against 30 contestants from across the country on national television for the title of American Idol.
Jennifer celebrated her victory with a party during the show -- surrounded by her informal fan club -- at her house in Homestead.
Tuesday, eight of the finalists will perform -- including Bettis. Viewers will get to call in and vote on their favorite.
Unlike Idol, which pits male and female contestants on a stage singing for the judges, All American Girl will have 15 women -- ages 18 to 25 -- living together in one house competing in beauty, sports and theatrical arts.
Three celebrity coaches -- not judges -- will mold the girls into America's sweetheart. The coaching cast: Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, former Motown executive Suzanne dePasseo and former NBA star John Salley, who co-hosts The Best Damn Sports Show Period.
''We wanted to reinvent the beauty pageant for the 21st century,'' said American Girl's co-executive producer Marilyn Wilson.
The first show will air March 12.
Monica, a Miami-Dade Community College student who models on the side, auditioned for the ABC show this month in Miami at the suggestion of Idol producers.
They tested her dancing ability and gave her a monologue to read: Breaking up with your boyfriend over the phone.
''That part came easy,'' Monica said.