December 12, 2010 12:00 PM by Shayla Perry
Diana DeGarmo, former runner up on FOX’s American Idol, is taking to the stage again, but this time, she’s got some pretty big, um–shoes to fill, as she steps in to the role made famous by country icon, Dolly Parton, in “9 to 5: The Musical.”
“I’ve always been a fan of her work,” said DeGarmo of her idol, Dolly Parton. “Not just as a singer, but as a brilliant songwriter and business woman. She’s down-to-earth; she knows who she is. It’s pretty awesome to work with her.”
In “9 to 5: The Musical,” which is based on the 80′s movie of the same name, Diana DeGarmo plays Doralee, the blonde bombshell of a secretary, first played by Dolly Parton, who wrote the chart-topping title song, along with the music and lyrics for 16 additional songs in the show’s Tony nominated score.
But this isn’t Diana DeGarmo’s first experience with musical theater; she also played the role of Penny in “Hairspray” in 2006.
“The role just fell into my lap,” DeGarmo recounts. “I sort of paved the way for other American Idols to do Broadway shows. I was the first Idol in a Broadway role and, the next thing you know, there’s an Idol in every other show.”
And though Diana has put out a couple of pop albums as part of her deal with American Idol, she says that she feels more at home with country music and working in the theater, so playing the role of Doralee is the perfect combination of both.
“She’s really over-the-top in the beginning and makes everybody laugh,” DeGarmo said of her character. “But, then, she sings this song, ‘Backwoods Barbie,’ and it explains she just wants to be pretty, and this is her version of pretty. It’s Dolly’s story; it’s about herself. I love the song. It makes her seem really real.”
As for her character’s trademark big, blonde hair…
“I enjoy wearing a blonde wig in the show and blonde is part of my personality. But I’ve been a brunette for four or five years now. That’s the real me.”
Season 10 of American Idol premieres Wednesday, January 19 on FOX.
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Photo Source: WireImage