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Thread: Diana Degarmo - FINALIST

  1. #1331
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    Here’s a nice article/interviewwith Diana from Playbill.

    http://www.playbill.com/news/article/98418.html

    Meanwhile, Broadway's Hairspray, which won eight 2003 Tony Awards, just racked up 1,480 performances at the Neil Simon Theatre. Currently (through May 14) playing Penny Pingleton, the heroine's best friend, is a newcomer making her Broadway debut: Diana DeGarmo.
    Runner-up on the third season of "American Idol," the enthusiastic 18 year old explains how her journey from TV took place. "They asked if I'd like to audition. Obviously, theatre wasn't the first thing I was doing. [Her career] was mainly recordings and concerts. I thought: 'I guess I can audition. You never know -- you may meet somebody.'"
    She flew to New York from her Atlanta home, and "didn't think it went well at all. Five minutes and they said, 'Thank you.' I got back on the plane. But before I had even landed, they had offered me the part. My mother was waiting at the airport. She said, 'You've got to call your agent.' I called; he said, 'You got it.' I could hardly believe it. It's been a great experience so far!
    "No matter who you are, it's always nice to say you've done something on Broadway," claims the former Miss Teen Georgia (2002). "I feel very fortunate to have gotten in with a great cast and crew. We call it 'the Spray Family.' [Laughs.] They've been really great in welcoming me — and not scaring me with too much Broadway. I was a little nervous."
    How was her first Broadway performance in comparison with "American Idol"? Says Diana, "The great thing about it is you're not being judged. [Well, Simon Cowell's not sitting front row, center.] It was pretty calm. You're standing backstage, and all of a sudden the music starts for 'Good Morning Baltimore' [the musical's first number]. Every night, the reaction is different. That's what I love about live theatre.
    "I think Penny's character has space to do a lot more than any other character in the show. I get to be goofy and funny, and yet she's sweet. I really play off being the best friend. After the show, so many people say, 'I just loved your character,' and I say, 'Yea!'"
    Singing since childhood, DeGarmo recalls, "I started to get paid about age five. I've always been a ham! In middle school I started taking it seriously, and it just sort of snowballed. I auditioned for 'Idol'; here I am today."
    Having done "some theatre stuff in the Atlanta area when I was young," she considers her real stage debut to be when she played Maria in the November 2005 production of West Side Story at San Jose's American Musical Theatre. "It was great! The cool thing was that half the cast was from New York and half from the Bay Area. So, now I have friends both places."
    One thing Diana "loves about the theatre industry as a whole is that it's so regimented. There are eight shows a week, and if you don't do your job, you get fired. The rest of the entertainment industry is flying by the seat of your pants and holding on for dear life."
    Right before her Broadway stint, DeGarmo "did a USO tour with General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was one of the most amazing and humbling experiences I've ever had. I come from a military family — my grandfather, uncles, my brother have all been in the service — and I had a respect for [the enlisted]. But to see what these men and women do, up close and personal, was eye-opening. We started the day after Christmas, and did thirteen shows in eight countries [including Iraq and Afghanistan] in seven days."
    Her first solo album, "Blue Skies," was released in December 2004, and DeGarmo's at work on the follow-up, for which she's writing songs. "And I don't call myself Diane Warren by any means." (Warren is a multiple Grammy/ASCAP/BMI awards winner, whose songs have been recorded by several top names.) Will the new album consist of all original material? "I don't know yet. We're taking it slowly because we want it to be the best it can. A good song is a good song — no matter who wrote it."
    Has she stayed in touch with any of the "American Idol" contestants? "Oh, yes, quite a few. Some of them are coming up to see me in [Hairspray] in a couple of weeks. Amy Adams, who was from my season, is doing a tour as the Narrator in Joseph [and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat]. She said, 'Look at us. We're doing theatre. Who would have thought?' I'm so proud of her."
    A fan of musical theatre, DeGarmo remembers "coming up to New York and seeing Les Miz and Chicago. And whenever Annie or Camelot would come to Atlanta, my mom and I would go. But I never really thought that I could do Broadway."
    Does she foresee doing more theatre? "This summer, I'm doing a tour of Brooklyn [with Melba Moore]. I'm terribly excited; I can't stand it. After that, I don't know." There are also several concerts lined up. Admits Diana DeGarmo, "It's non-stop. I wish there was a break, but there isn't. [Laughs.] Later on in life, I'll have time for a break."

  2. #1332
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    I saw an interview with Diana last night & she said she was working on her second album, & doing it her way. When she was asked about her future, she said that she would be touring with Brooklyn & that when that was over she had just been offered another 6 months with Hairspray. So she must have made a positive impact on Broadway. Way to go girl.

  3. #1333
    FORT Fogey Tigerusty's Avatar
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    http://www.calendarlive.com/stage/cl...op-blurb-right

    STAGE
    'Idol'-ized
    Broadway fortunes get a boost when "American Idol" exes join casts


    By Greg Braxton, Times Staff Writer


    She was already a big star, adored by millions. But when it was announced that she would make her Broadway debut this spring, the anticipatory buzz went through the roof.

    with her name splashed in large, bold type popped up all over New York City. A mad scramble for tickets erupted. Fans squealed the moment she stepped on stage. Crowds mobbed her at the stage door, clamoring for autographs and pictures. And producers of the show rejoiced in their financial good fortune.

    But all this fuss isn't over movie star Julia Roberts and her theatrical debut in "Three Days of Rain." One of the hottest marquee draws on Broadway this year is Diana DeGarmo, who is appearing in a supporting role in the musical "Hairspray."

    Diana who?

    If you have to ask, you're probably not one of the 31 million viewers who tune in to or TiVo "American Idol" every Tuesday and Wednesday, making the singing contest not only television's top-rated show but also a cultural phenomenon.

    "Idol" has spawned numerous imitators. Its far-reaching influence has drawn in seasoned entertainers, such as Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow, seeking to reinvigorate their careers as well as boost their own record sales. Then there's the record deals not only for the winners but also for the losers; "Idol" concert tours; movie roles; trivia games; perfume; shower radios; and Pez dispensers.

    And now class is trying to cash in on flash.

    "Theater of the 21st century needs to appeal to a younger generation," says "Hairspray" producer Margo Lion. " 'American Idol' has certainly brought in audiences people are dying to see these performers. It brings in a hip factor, just like Disney brought in family audiences."

    Of course, success isn't always guaranteed. Last week, 2003 finalist Josh Strickland made his Broadway bow in the title role of Disney's "Tarzan," which opened to very mixed reviews. Strickland's debut on the Great White Way followed triumphs by earlier "Idol" castoffs DeGarmo, Frenchie Davis and Tamyra Gray. Davis, who was bounced from the series in 2003 following revelations that she had once worked for an adult website, landed a role in "Rent," with a featured solo in the musical's anthem "Seasons of Love." First season also-ran Gray appeared in the musical "Bombay Dreams" in 2004.

    " 'American Idol' has absolutely become a big deal here in terms of finding new talent," says New York casting director Bernard Telsey, who placed DeGarmo, Strickland and Davis in Broadway shows. "Watching this show has become another way to locate incredibly talented people it's like a televised open call. I watch it, and certain people on our staff have to watch it. Our inside joke is we root for our favorites to lose so that they can become available to us."
    No longer can acerbic judge Simon Cowell's criticism of being "too Broadway" be considered a slap in the face. MTV's "Total Request Live" may have closed its doors to these "Idol" wannabes, but the Great White Way is laying out the welcome mat and with good reason.

    After losing a singing showdown to Fantasia Barrino last year, DeGarmo, who had performed in theater in Georgia ("but nothing really huge," she says), appeared in "West Side Story" in San Jose. Last February, the 19-year-old DeGarmo joined the cast of the 2003 Tony Award-winning "Hairspray," playing not the leading role in the '60s-era musical based on the 1988 John Waters film, but the smaller part of Penny Pingleton, a perky and slightly clueless teen. Just before DeGarmo signed on, "Hairspray's" net receipts were about $465,000, reported Variety. Her first week in the show, box-office figures jumped to $530,000, then $673,000, topping $855,000 for the second week in April.

    When Davis first joined "Rent" in the spring of 2003, there was a noticeable boost in the box office, according to producer Jeffrey Seller.

    "I really didn't know who she was, but my staff said we needed to get her," he recalls. "I didn't think an 'Idol' contestant would sell tickets. But lo and behold, for her first four months, we saw a rise in sales of about 20%. Frenchie had an immediate impact. People wanted to see her sing 'Seasons of Love.' "

    But the theatrical tentacles of "American Idol" stretch far beyond New York's Times Square.

    Amy Adams, a finalist from the 2004 season, is making her theatrical debut in a touring production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which opens July 11 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Jennifer Hudson, an "Idol" finalist last year, is in the upcoming film of the Broadway hit "Dreamgirls." "Rent" continues to audition "Idol" contestants. A production of "Ain't Misbehavin' " with former "Idols" is in the works. And producers of "The Color Purple" have also shown interest in contestants.

    "The show is a very legitimate venue for talent," Seller says. "The whole thing may be totally insipid, but in a culture where it seems that football and basketball are our most important competitions, it's very heartening when the highest-rated show in America is a competition of singers. It's a good thing for the culture, and I can't help but think it's a great thing for those of us who work in the world of live performance."

    The road to Broadway has become so lucrative that key "American Idol" honchos are advising contestants to explore a range of opportunities. "Many of these kids come in with tunnel vision, saying they want a hit record, and I'm telling them now there are more ways to have a wonderful career," says Debra Byrd, "Idol's" vocal coach and vocal arranger, who has guided each of the show's contestants since the series started in 2001.

    Byrd says she's already positioning one of this season's three remaining finalists, Katharine McPhee, as a Broadway prospect. "She's got real potential," says Byrd, adding that after first hearing McPhee sing, she told the contestant that she sounded "like a gifted theater singer."

    DeGarmo admits that her "Idol" past can provoke tension at times: "A lot of people in the industry don't think you can back it up. I've really enjoyed the challenge of having to prove myself. There comes a point where you have to stand on your own two feet rather than use that show as a crutch. I'm glad I didn't win 'American Idol.' It wasn't meant for me to win. And I think I've paid my dues. If anyone wants to challenge me on that, tell them to bring it on."

    Despite her theatrical success, she isn't abandoning her pop star dreams: "My next thing is winning a Grammy."

    DeGarmo ended her run in "Hairspray" this week to embark on a national tour of "Brooklyn: The Musical," in which she'll play the title role. On Sept. 8, she'll return to "Hairspray."

    For Davis, being on Broadway "was always the ultimate goal. I was a theater major in college. My goal was not to be a pop star. I went on every audition I could, and I just saw 'American Idol' as just another audition."

    Making her debut in "Rent," she says, was "an amazing experience. There are no words to describe how amazing it is to be part of this show. I've enjoyed my life and being on Broadway."

    But don't ask her too much about "American Idol." She doesn't watch it and she really doesn't like to look back.

    "It comes up a lot. That may be how people define me, so I don't talk about it. I want them to see there's so much more to me," she says. "I've moved on."


    I found this to be a very interesting article and it seems that Paula and the like aren't blowing smoke when they tell an ousted contestant this isn't the last we've seen of you
    Last edited by suncat7; 05-16-2006 at 01:59 PM. Reason: edited for color text
    "So, what is fame? It's lightening that strikes some people. It's lightening that some people seek." Jewel

  4. #1334
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    I wrote a response to this but when the article got moved my response got lost, so I'll try again. This is the thing that I found most interesting:

    Just before DeGarmo signed on, "Hairspray's" net receipts were about $465,000, reported Variety. Her first week in the show, box-office figures jumped to $530,000, then $673,000, topping $855,000 for the second week in April.

    So there is no doubt as to why they invited her back for another 6 month run after her obligations & tour of Brooklyn is finished. I would imagine that there is going to be a bit of a raise as well. Diana's future looks exceedingly bright. Now who was it that called her God awful?

  5. #1335
    FORT Regular Abbycat9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razorbacker View Post
    I wrote a response to this but when the article got moved my response got lost, so I'll try again. This is the thing that I found most interesting:

    Just before DeGarmo signed on, "Hairspray's" net receipts were about $465,000, reported Variety. Her first week in the show, box-office figures jumped to $530,000, then $673,000, topping $855,000 for the second week in April.

    So there is no doubt as to why they invited her back for another 6 month run after her obligations & tour of Brooklyn is finished. I would imagine that there is going to be a bit of a raise as well. Diana's future looks exceedingly bright. Now who was it that called her God awful?
    I saw her in "Hairspray" a couple of weeks ago, and she did a good job!

  6. #1336
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    Diana scores big, & the $$$ flow into Hairspray.

    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci..._entertainment

    Broadway stages thriving on appeal of 'Idol' alumni
    BY GREG BRAXTON
    Los Angeles Times

    She was already a big star, adored by millions. But when it was announced she would make her Broadway debut this spring, the anticipatory buzz went through the roof.
    Ads with her name splashed in large, bold type popped up all over New York City. A mad scramble for tickets erupted. Fans squealed the moment she stepped onstage. Crowds mobbed her at the stage door, clamoring for autographs and pictures. And producers of the show rejoiced in their financial good fortune.
    But all this fuss isn't over movie star Julia Roberts and her theatrical debut in "Three Days of Rain." One of the hottest marquee draws on Broadway this year is Diana DeGarmo, who is appearing in a supporting role in the musical "Hairspray."
    Diana who?
    If you have to ask, you're probably not one of the 31 million viewers who tune in to "American Idol," television's top-rated show and cultural phenomenon.
    "Idol" has spawned numerous imitators. Its far-reaching influence has drawn in seasoned entertainers, such as Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow, seeking to reinvigorate their careers and boost their record sales. Then, there are the record deals — not only for the winners but also for the losers; "Idol" concert tours, movie roles, trivia games, perfume, shower radios and Pez dispensers.
    And now, class is trying to cash in on flash.
    "Theater of the 21st century needs to appeal to a younger generation," says "Hairspray" producer Margo Lion. " 'American Idol' has certainly brought in audiences — people are dying to see these performers. It brings in a hip factor, just like Disney brought in family audiences."
    Of course, success isn't always guaranteed. This month, 2003 finalist Josh Strickland made his Broadway bow in the title role of Disney's "Tarzan," which opened to mixed reviews. Strickland's debut on the Great White Way followed triumphs by earlier "Idol" castoffs DeGarmo, Frenchie Davis and Tamyra Gray. Davis, who was bounced from the series in 2003 following revelations she had once worked for an adult Web site, landed a role in "Rent," with a featured solo in the musical's anthem, "Seasons of Love." First-season also-ran Gray appeared in the musical "Bombay Dreams" in 2004.
    " 'American Idol' has absolutely become a big deal here in terms of finding new talent," says New York casting director Bernard Telsey, who placed DeGarmo, Strickland and Davis in Broadway shows. "Watching this show has become another way to locate incredibly talented people — it's like a televised open call. I watch it, and certain people on our staff have to watch it. Our inside joke is we root for our favorites to lose so that they can become available to us."
    No longer can acerbic judge Simon Cowell's criticism of being "too Broadway" be considered a slap in the face. MTV's "Total Request Live" may have closed its doors to these "Idol" wannabes, but Broadway is laying out the welcome mat — and with good reason.
    Last February, 19-year-old DeGarmo joined the cast of the 2003 Tony Award-winning "Hairspray," playing not the leading role in the '60s-era musical based on the 1988 John Waters film, but the smaller part of Penny Pingleton, a perky and slightly clueless teen. Just before DeGarmo signed on, "Hairspray's" net receipts were about $465,000, Variety reported. Her first week in the show, box-office figures jumped to $530,000, then $673,000, topping $855,000 for the second week in April.
    When Davis first joined "Rent" in the spring of 2003, there was a noticeable boost in the box office, according to producer Jeffrey Seller.
    "I really didn't know who she was, but my staff said we needed to get her," he recalls. "I didn't think an 'Idol' contestant would sell tickets. But lo and behold, for her first four months, we saw a rise in sales of about 20 percent. Frenchie had an immediate impact. People wanted to see her sing 'Seasons of Love.' "
    But the theatrical tentacles of "American Idol" stretch far beyond New York's Times Square.
    Amy Adams, a finalist from the 2004 season, is making her theatrical debut in a touring production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Jennifer Hudson, an "Idol" finalist last year, is in the upcoming film of the Broadway hit "Dreamgirls." "Rent" continues to audition "Idol" contestants. A production of "Ain't Misbehavin' " with former "Idols" is in the works. And producers of "The Color Purple" also have shown interest in contestants.
    "The show is a very legitimate venue for talent," Seller said. "The whole thing may be totally insipid, but in a culture where it seems that football and basketball are our most important competitions, it's very heartening when the highest-rated show in America is a competition of singers. It's a good thing for the culture, and I can't help but think it's a great thing for those of us who work in the world of live performance."

  7. #1337
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    Diana sang the National Anthem yesterday before the NASCAR Race in Chicago. She sang it a capella & sounded really great. Good to see her again, she is growing up nicely.

  8. #1338
    FORT Fogey Tigerusty's Avatar
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    Aussie accused of Idol stalking

    Aussie accused of Idol stalking
    From Sydney Confidential
    30nov06

    AN Australian woman has been charged over the alleged stalking and blackmail of 2004 American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo.

    After an extensive search spearheaded by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police, Confidential can reveal Tanya Ouattrocchi, 20, is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on December 11 for her alleged behaviour towards the US pop performer.

    Assuming the guise of a 14-year-old "big fan" from Minnesota, Miss Ouattrocchi was initially pleasant and complimentary when she first contacted DeGarmo via her MySpace homepage.

    But the communication allegedly deteriorated into stalker-like rants when Miss Ouattrocchi began emailing DeGarmo explicit material and "outrageous questions" about her sex life.

    The 19-year-old singer tried to ignore the offensive material, but that became impossible when Miss Ouattrocchi allegedly hacked into her personal web page, accessing the mobile numbers of the singer and her friends.

    The singer, currently starring in Broadway musical Hairspray in New York, appeared clearly distressed when speaking of the Melbourne girl while on Fox News program The O'Reilly Factor in America this week.

    The Australian Federal Police yesterday confirmed it had received a referral from the FBI relating to a former contestant on American Idol and the matter was being handled by Victorian Police.


    http://www.ntnews.news.com.au/common...E10388,00.html
    "So, what is fame? It's lightening that strikes some people. It's lightening that some people seek." Jewel

  9. #1339
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    Diana was interviewed by Bill Riley on his show, Tuesday night about this whole stalker issue. It is pretty scary stuff.

  10. #1340
    Yumpin' Yiminy roses4me's Avatar
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    Here is another article about the stalker, with a little more detail.


    http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...685616785.html

    Here is a little bit of the article:

    Between March and June she rang De Garmo 369 times and text-messaged her 570 times.

    In April, Quattrocchi emailed the singer's producer pretending to be her and was given two of her unreleased songs she later threatened to release publicly if De Garmo did not meet her online, it said.

    De Garmo said in her statement that she and her friends begged Quattrocchi to "leave me alone, but she never seemed to stop".

    "No matter how many times I changed my passwords or tried to keep my information safe, she would always break back in."


    Some of the web sites Diana used must be made to answer to her attorneys why the stalker was allowed to get Diana's passwords. MySpace screws up again!

    I hope Diana is okay now.

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