Former Volunteer TV News Anchor Stacy McCloud was at Thompson Boling Arena to report from back stage at the event, which also marked the homecoming of season nine finalist and Didi Benami.
By Stacy McCloud
“All I know is I am in Knoxville and I’m happy because I am home,” Benami said. “I mean honestly, this is my dream come true! To be here today, I’ve seen basketball games here. I used to want to sing the national anthem here, so it’s better, I get to do American Idol! It’s just a dream come true and I’m so happy and blessed to be doing it here”
Immediately following last season’s American Idol finale, Didi and the rest of the show’s top ten finalists packed their bags and hit the road for 48 tour stops across dozens of cities. Each of the tour members have enjoyed the grueling schedule.
“We get to go out and play music and do what we do,” said Tim Urban, another finalist, “so it’s been amazing.”
Benami and Urban are just two of the ten members on tour. They consider it a unique concert going experience because of the diverse range of talent.
“You come here and have two genres for the first people,” said Urban. “It’s different, the entire show. Siobhan rocks the house and then Aaron comes out and does this crazy country. It’s perfect because that is what American Idol is all about.
The finalists say the biggest difference in being on the show and being on the show’s tour is going from experiencing a lot of criticism to a lot of love.
“Even if they didn’t come to see you, they are excited to be at the show,” said Casey James, another finalist. “They want to listen and that is new to me and exciting.”
“They made it possible to do what we love for a living,” said Crystal Bowersox, the first runner up, “so really we aren’t working at all”
The tour wraps up August 31st and most are ready to hit the recording studio. Some will even do so in the Music City.
“I already have my apartment picked out,” said Aaron Kelly. “My mom and I actually found it last night.”
“I am going to record a record and may even be around in these parts,” said James.
Benami only got to spend one day in Knoxville before heading off to the next tour stop in Virginia Beach, Virginia. When the tour ends, she plans to return to the Volunteer State.
“I’m going to go back and forth from Nashville to LA to write and record,” she said, “because I think it’s great to work with different people.”
American Idol just held auditions for season ten in Nashville. The judges will return there in September to narrow down the list.
via Stacy McCloud, VolunteerTV.com