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The Quick Rap with … the First Four ‘Idol’ Castoffs

For over a month, American Idol was all fun and games: SimonPaula and Randy passed the good auditioners “through to Hollywood” and mocked the bad ones (well, maybe not so much Paula) with equal whimsy. But the honeymoon is officially over and the competition officially stiff, as the first four contestants to be voted off can attest. Last Thursday night, two teenage guys, Colton Berry and Garrett Haley, and two 25-year-old gals, Joanne Borgella and Amy Davis, suffered the dreaded fate of being let go on Idol’s first results show, but none of them is especially bitter–or at a loss for words.

[IMG:R]Colton Berry, 18, from Staunton, Virginia
On Simon Cowell’s advice to find a job and forget about singing as a career: “You know what? Simon’s job is to be Simon Cowell. There is no one else in the world like Simon Cowell and that’s who he’s supposed to be, so I expected him to say something like that. But I also kept in mind–and I think America kind of kept in mind–when he said that comment, he did pick the top 24 and out of hundreds of thousands of people, he picked us to be the top 24 singers in America, so obviously we’re all going to continue on with music careers. I mean that’s who we are, and obviously, he had a hand in putting us there. So I think he was being a little hypocritical in itself. But he’s Simon and everyone loves him, and I love him for who he is.”

On potentially following former Idol stars into a career on Broadway: “You know, I’ve had two dreams in life–I’m 18, I was born in 1990, I know, right, I’m a… I was born in 1990, so my dreams since I was young, number one was to be on American Idol, because I grew up with the show, and number two was to be on Broadway. So I can check off my first one, and hopefully that first check will lead into the second one, and yes, that’s what I’m actually getting ready to pursue. I’m going to set up as many auditions as I can and really go for that.”

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[IMG:L]Garrett Haley, 17, from Elida, Ohio
On the all-important song choice, or lack thereof: “Well, we’re allowed to choose three songs from a list. And every contestant is for sure to get one of the songs, and I didn’t get to get any of my songs, because they gave the songs out to all of the contestants before that. So I just ended up with having to choose from the list again, and I didn’t really get to choose–they just threw the song [‘Breaking Up Is Hard to Do’] at me and said, ‘Here, sing this one,’ and I was like, ‘Okay.’”

On his famous-looking hair: “Nobody has ever compared me to Peter Frampton or Leif Garrett before this, so that was new. I went back to the house that I was staying at, and I Googled them, because I had no idea of who they were and I was hoping that they were, like, decent-looking guys and talented. So I was pretty happy when they popped up. I don’t just do my hair, I use Garnier Fructis and I’ve been using that for a long time.”

[IMG:R]Joanne Borgella, 25, from Hoboken, New Jersey
On being eliminated: “I wasn’t surprised. You know, there are 24 of us. I know every week at one point one of us is going to be going home and one is going to stay. So for me, I always had a mindset, ‘It may not be next week, maybe it might be the last day–I could be the winner.’ So when he [Ryan Seacrest] called out my name, I had a moment, I prayed, and when he said it, I got up there and I performed.”

On balancing modeling ventures with her love for singing: “For me, singing, by far, is always going to be my favorite. I mean if the world could be a musical, I would be the lead singer in it. As far as modeling is concerned, I absolutely love doing it… I’ve never thought about doing America’s Next Top Model, because I was with Wilhelmina, which is one of the number-one agencies. And I actually made the decision to leave there in order to pursue American Idol, because you know you can’t have any contracts when you join with the show. So it was a big decision I made, but it wasn’t hard, because singing is my passion.”

[IMG:L]Amy Davis, 25, from Lowell, Indiana
On the surprising benefits of being a contestant: “Honestly, the most surprising part for me was to see celebrities. I’m from Indiana–I’m just outside of Chicago, but I am on the Indiana side–and you just don’t see a lot of celebrities in Indiana. And to come out here to Hollywood… I remember I saw Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton and I was just completely star struck. I think Patricia even looked at me a couple of times, because the first time she actually had eye contact with me I was looking at her like, ‘Whoa, there’s Patricia Heaton, I’m seeing her in person–normally I watch her on Everybody Loves Raymond.’ So that was surprising, how star struck I was.”

On her advice for next season’s Top 24: “Number one, stay true to who you are, of course; you’ve always got to do that. But number two, just pay attention to everything that is going on around you, try to take as much of it in–take notes. Just try to stay grounded so that you can take as much as you can from the show when you ultimately leave, whether it’s as the second-place contestant or as the next American Idol.”

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