Wednesday, February 13, 2008
7 News Features: Idol Hollywood Hopefuls
From the stage, let's take you behind the scenes. Idol coverage continues with Shireen Sandoval who has more on the Hollywood hopefuls.
WSVN -- Tonight we're one step closer to finding out who will be our next American Idol. The top 24 contestants come from all walks of life, and the talent this year is tremendous.
Finally, American Idol is one step closer to crowing its next superstar.
Syesha Mercado: "I miss Miami so much."
South Florida's own Syesha Mercado made it to the top 24. Remember her? She won Channel Seven's Fast Pass Contest. That ticket got her a guaranteed audition in front of an American Idol producer here in Miami. They loved her then and now.
We love you, Syesha.
Syesha Mercado: "I am just happy I made it this far. I'm really proud of myself, and I'm excited to see what's in store for the entire show."
But she's not the only one who calls South Florida home. Miramar's Ramielle Malubay made it too.
Ramielle Malubay: "Yeah, we are being pulled in 20,000 different places, but there are so many of us that we can take turns and chill for a couple of minutes."
In Hollywood, California, we also met up with the other fresh faces of Season Seven.
Chikezie Eze: "It's going to be freaky hearing Ryan Seacrest announcing me, as I am coming out onto the stage and then seeing the crowd."
Garrett Hale: "We are like a family now, you know. We have been together through this competition. We've had each other's backs from day one."
Kristy Lee Cook: "This has been mind blowing. It's crazy and really hard to comprehend what's going on because it's overwhelming."
You know the line-up. Twelve guys...
Shireen Sandoval: "OK, we are here, top 24, can we exhale?"
Joanne Borgella: "I'm not scared, I'm just like crazy. Every morning I wake up, and I am like, '24.'"
Robbie Carrico: "Everyday I wake up and I am like, 'I am here, I'm here.' It's a lot of work, but it's only going to get better."
In the coming weeks, the schedule will become grueling.
David Hernandez: "There are a lot of talented people, it's going to be an uphill climb whoever wins. It's going to be hard work, but I think I am capable of doing it, and I think Miami will support me."
And practice will make perfect, hopefully.
Michael Johns: "Everyday you wake up, and you have some place to be, and you have something to do, and you have an itinerary. It's pretty huge."
Luke Menard: "It's insane, I mean just the security we have to have 24 hours a day. The people back home that are trying to call us and contact us. It's a lot to handle."
Early buzz crowns Carly Smithson the front runner.
Shireen Sandoval: "Is there a musical moment in history or in your lifetime that changed the way you perceive music?"
Carly Smithson: "Live Aid."
Shireen Sandoval: "I remember Live Aid"
Carly Smithson: "Watching Freddie Mercury changes everything for a lot of people."
Shireen Sandoval: "What do you think it takes to be the next American Idol?"
Jason Yeager: "I think if you are just down to earth, and you are real, and you don't try and be someone you are not, I think people will relate to you."
Jason Castro: "I feel like this year there is a lot more intense competition. It's almost like the bar is a little higher, and you really had to come with something different or above the rest."
Asiah Epperson: "Knowing what you have to offer and letting the world see that. Don't hold anything back."
After all, holding back isn't the Idol way.
Shireen Sandoval: "Do you think, 'I've got to pack how many outfits?' I have to know, especially for a girl."
Amy: "They told us to pack about seven, but, in reality, we all brought a lot more."
Brooke White: "I play piano and guitar."
Shireen Sandoval: "At the same time?"
Brooke White: "At the same time."
Shireen Sandoval: "Shut up. That's like a one woman show."
Brook White: "It is, I play the piano with my feet while I play the guitar with my hands."
Shireen Sandoval: "You are joking."
Brook White: "Yes, I am joking."
Shireen Sandoval: "Just let her win."
And we can't forget about our youngest idols, Alexandrea turning 17 this week.
Alexandrea: "We get to go to school, we have different schedules from everybody, but it's fun being the youngest."
And David, also 17.
Shireen Sandoval: "You said you were born in Florida?"
David Archuleta: "I was born in North Miami, Florida."
Shireen Sandoval: "North Miami?"
David Archuleta: "And I lived in a bunch of cities, Hialeah, Hollywood."
Shireen Sandoval: "So you've done the greater Miami tour."
In just three weeks we'll be down to the top 12, but, before that happens, catch Idol next Tuesday when the top 12 boys perform in a special two-hour Idol from 8 to 10 p.m. right here on Seven.