January 17, 2007 01:32 AM by Joe Reality
While there were plenty of bad singers on the American Idol premiere, there were also some great ones as well. A common theme was that contestants that were shown making it through to Hollywood seemed to either have a sob story, were in the military, or were attractive girls. The first two contestants that made it through in the Minneapolis auditions both told stories about difficulties they had faced in the past.
Denise Jackson revealed that she was a crack baby and probably would have wound up in foster care if not for her grandmother. Reality TV Magazine did some research and found out that Denise has come a long way since her crack baby days. Denise “Miss D” Jackson is the host of a local television show in Madison, Wisconsin called Club TNT (Today Not Tommorrow). Perla Meneses revealed that at one time she was homeless and living out of her car. She insisted however that her story was not a sob story but a survival story. Even though Matt Sato didn’t have it quite as bad, he talked about how expensive it was to be in the choir and pointed out that his parents weren’t there to support him at his audition.
A Navy intelligence specialist named Jarrod Fowler and an Army Reservist named Rachel Jenkins both made it through the auditions by unanimous decisions, but received some critical comments from the judges. Jarrod was critiqued as having some pitch problems, and Rachel was critiqued for falling off near the end of her song. As Simon Cowell pointed out, despite some problems with their songs, people will like them (not just for the military reason, as they both also had likable personalities).
There were only two contestants in detailed feature pieces making it through that did not have sad stories or that weren’t in the military. Michelle Steingass and Sarah Krueger both made it through with relatively little being shared about their background. However, they did share one trait in common, they were both rather attractive nineteen year old girls.
There were of course seventeen contestants total that made it through in the Minneapolis, Minnesota auditions, and only seven of those were featured at length during the American Idol premiere. It could be that the other ten that made it through are very different from the seven that were shown on television. Sad stories, military stories, and beautiful girls make for the best segments on television, so contestants with one or more of those attributes likely hold an advantage in screen time during the early stages of American Idol.