IDOL INTERVIEW: an Indy girl talks about making it all the way to Hollywood

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She made it farther than most. She beat out 100,000 others to be in the 147 who headed all the way to Hollywood. What's it like to hit the west coast with American Idol's Fab Four? Indy's own Tryphaena Nimmons got to find out.

Their names both start with "T", they were in the same group on Group Day, but that is where the similarities end. Indy's own Tryphaena Nimmons is nothing like drama queen Tatiana Del Toro and for that we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

I was able to interview 18 year old Tryphaena (trih-PHEE-na) right after she was allowed to talk about her Hollywood experience. (Some things she couldn't discuss until certain shows aired.) Here's a glimpse behind the scenes:

Louisville auditions
Lots of waiting...lots of interviews...telling her story over and over...Tryphaena tried out in Louisville on impulse but knew exactly the reason she wants to share her singing: she sees music as her diary. She's been through a lot of hard times including being homeless while growing up and she wants people to "invade her diary" so they can see what she's been through.

Being in the same group as Tatiana
Group Day might be the most memorable for America because Tryphaena was in the same group as Tatiana Del Toro. In case you've forgotten, Tatiana started out with Tryphaena's group, tried to switch groups around midnight and then decided to go back to her first group. It's no wonder the singers are so sleep-deprived. They didn't choose their groups until after 10 p.m. and then they're scheduled throughout the night with the vocal coaches. Tryphaena's group worked with the vocal coach at 2:00 a.m. They then stayed up until 4:30 practicing and were up again at 6. All of that plus the time difference between Indiana and California led to some massive fatigue.

Tryphaena's take on that night? She thought it was kind of entertaining and found Tatiana to be over-exaggerated and a little manipulative.

Faith Before The Vote
In this round, contestants are herded into separate rooms depending on their standing. Of course, they don't know what they're standing is so they spend many anxious hours waiting for the judges to finish deliberating and bring all of the groups the news. Tryphaena said she and her friends had been talking about it and they knew if certain people were in the room with them, they would likely be told "No". She prayed and told God that if this isn't what God wanted for her to do right now, then she was okay with that. She decided with friend India Morrison (who rapped in that stellar first group on Group Day) that they were going to be happy, even if they got the news they were going home. India said they need to be happy because God got them this far. They screamed and cheered when they got the news, though that didn't make it on air because that wouldn't be good television.

Take-away from the show
Tryphaena learned several things from her experience. She says she realized she's not as confident as she thought she was. She took a lot from that and also learned a lot about stage presence. She's excited about going back. She added that not a lot of people have an experience like this and she feels very blessed.

Tryphaena's take on the judges
She says the judges are actually amazing. She found Simon to be very nice. (It might have helped that he told her she's cute.) But Tryphaena went on to say that he also told her she chose a terrible song. She said he seems brutal but is just really honest. She added that a lot of the things shown on the air are him retorting to something negative that was said. She found Randy to be "interesting" and called Paula "sweet" and "just as she seems". She added that Kara is "feisty, but very nice."

Tryphaena says she's close to Scott MacIntyre and predicts, not only will he do really well, but that he's going to win the whole thing. She also has future plans with Scott, since she told him she was going to marry him. Time will tell on both these counts. She continued, saying there's no doubt Jasmine Murray will be in the Top 5 and Danny Gokey will be in the Top 2. So there you have it from an insider!

Thoughts on two memorable people
Comedian Norm Mitchell/Nick Gentle
- She's not surprised he made it through. She says he's really funny and can sing really well.

Drama Queen Tatiana Del Toro - You'll remember Tatiana got yanked from her room at the last minute on Group Day and ended-up being put through to the next round. Tryphaena says she was surprised Tatiana made it through. Her thoughts on the reason: she says they need a show that's entertaining and Tatiana is kind of dramatic. But Tryphaena felt there were others who deserved it more than Tatiana did.

Future plans
Tryphaena is working toward going back next year. She's going to get back to taking voice lessons again. She's also going to work on improving her confidence and her stage well as her slouching. Tryphaena has a solid head on her shoulders. If singing doesn't work out, she wants to go into Speech Pathology, saying, "You always need a Plan B."

Breath of Fresh Air
You ever feel like you've come into contact with someone who is just living with gratitude and is trying to make the world a little bit better? That's Tryphaena. She couldn't stop talking about how blessed she was to have this opportunity and have such a supportive family, as well as meet so many amazing people from the show. Tatiana may make better t.v. but Tryphaena makes better life. If there's a side to fall on, I'll take hers.

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