'Project Runway' designer Daniel Franco talks 'Idol': 'Musicians, they all have fashion lines. Well, why couldn't a fashion designer sing?'
by Kate Ward
Oh, Daniel Franco, where did you go? To American Idol, it seems! If you were watching last night’s L.A. audition show, you might have caught the former Project Runway contestant on your TV screen. (Blink, though, and you might have missed him!) Yep, Franco was the guy featured in the Adam Lambert look-a-like montage who told judges: “If Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle had sex, which is pretty far-fetched, I’d be it, pretty much.”
So why did he decide to audition? “Anyone that knows me knows that I love singing,” he says. “I’ve been singing before I thought of becoming a fashion designer. You see, musicians, they all have fashion lines. Well, why couldn’t a fashion designer sing?”
Yet Franco says he didn’t use his reality TV show cred to get on the show — like the rest of the 11,000 auditioners, Franco stood in line for hours. (“I decided to be authentic about it,” he says.) As for the designer’s singing repertoire, Franco sang two songs: Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” and Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.”
Of course, there was one little problem: Franco is well over Idol’s age limit.”They said, ‘You sound great, but rules are rules,’” he says. “[But] I wanted to present my case that age doesn’t matter that much. Look at Michael Bublé, Susan Boyle, and Mick Jagger. People sometimes should have other opportunities, other chances to do things. And I’ve always been a renaissance man.”
Good thing he has a back-up plan: Franco — who says his musical sound is a mix of Prince, David Bowie, and the White Stripes — says he has another show in mind. “I found out that there’s X-Factor,” says Franco, who also plays the guitar. “There’s no age limit. So I’m going for that.”
For now, Franco spends his days at The Albertson Wedding Chapel in L.A., where he hosts designer weddings as the owner of Wednow.net. (“It’s a Vegas-style chapel here in L.A. that’s not cheesy,” he says. “There are beautiful designer flowers. I’ve got fashion photographers. The business is booming.”) Owning the business also inspired Franco to launch a line of wedding dresses. “I love the idea of promoting love and style and giving people these dreams that can come true,” he says.