By Stephanie Lysaght
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 29, 2008
Colton Swon, the 18-year-old crooner and "GIH-tar" player, is already making the girlies swoon. Patrons of the "American Idol" chat rooms compare the Muskogee, Okla., native to last season's Blake Lewis yes, in a good way.
So far, we know that Colton plays guitar, drums, and bass and that he has a band with his brother, Zach Swon.
According to an article in the Muskogee Phoenix, Colton got his start singing church songs and performing in variety shows with his parents. No word yet on whether or not he can beatbox.
Drew Poppelreiter, a 24-year-old farmer from Saltillo, Miss., may not have been Simon Cowell's cup of tea, but you'll still be seeing him again in Hollywood; Randy and Paula dug his country style. In order to get to Hollywood, Drew will have to board his first plane. And he's nervous.
Drew's high school geometry teacher told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Drew's impeccable manners during his audition were the real deal: "That was not an act; that was Drew. He was always respectful."
While Drew was singing on his tractor, Nina Shaw, the 24-year-old stunner from Burleson, Texas, was competing in the Miss Texas 2005 pageant.
No stranger to competition, Nina won a guaranteed audition for "American Idol" at the FOX 4 DFW Idols competition, which precedes the "American Idol" audition. Thanks to her early win, Nina was able to beat the heat and cut the line to audition.
Jessica Brown of Longview, Texas, has crammed a lot of living into her 24 years.
"There was a time when I was using Meth every day," Jessica confessed in her audition tape. She got in trouble, and even got arrested, but now she's turning her life around. Response to Jessica's sob story has been very positive in the blogosphere, with "Idol" fans praising her "smoky" voice and moving story.
For a mere 16-year-old, Alaina Whitaker showed a lot of confidence at her audition. According to the Greater Tulsa Reporter, Alaina, a Tulsa, Okla., native and self-proclaimed Carrie Underwood look-alike, has been performing with her sister Brittney since she was young. Anybody catch 'em at the Bixby Green Corn Festival?
Pia "Zpia" Easley has spurred a healthy debate on the "American Idol" boards, over, well, hotness. The funky 24-year-old backup singer, hailing from Chicago, has divided "Idol" fans. "Nothing to look at," remarked one. "A refreshing change from the endless parade of blonde country singers," argued another. But what will America think?
Even Simon has to be wrong sometimes, and for this reason, you'll be seeing Kayla Hatfield again in Hollywood. The 24-year-old from Campbell, Texas, lives on a farm with eight horses and two children, ages 3 and 4.
Kayla survived a terrible car accident that left her unconscious for a week. Her optimism, despite her circumstances, impressed Simon, but to me it just seemed manic.
Wow, Simon really liked Kady Malloy, the 18-year-old Houston stunner with a talent for vocal impressions. With Simon's endorsement and "Team Malloy" T-shirts already selling online, Kady isn't going anywhere anytime soon. She's getting a little flack in the blogosphere, however, because she isn't the sort of undiscovered talent "Idol" aims to uncover; she released a self-titled debut album with Nick Treviseck, who has produced albums for Natalie Imbruglia and Mandy Moore.
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