Author Archives: Kate Martin

American Idol’s Love Connection

Most people remember American Idol in its glory days, as a place where we tuned in every week to watch stars being born on the stage. In more recent years, the show has been struggling to compete with the singing competition shows like The VoiceX-Factor, and ­The Sing-Off, which have all put a fresh spin on the performance show genre.

With these new shows taking over, what better time is there to reminisce on the better days in Idol history and revisit two former contestants giving The Bachelor a run for its money!

Diana DeGarmo
Diana DeGarmo

Diana DeGarmo, the 16-year-old singer who was runner-up to season 3 powerhouse Fantasia Barrino, was the youngest contestant to make it to the top 10 in Idol’s early days.

Her spunky and charming personality led her to become a fan favorite and crowd favorite while she was on tour with the rest of the top 10 in the summer of 2004. But despite fans voting her all the way to the finals, Diana’s debut album disappointed and sold less than 200,000 copies.

DeGarmo turned her focus towards theater, which had always been a passion of hers. She landed the role of Penny Pingleton, the dorky sidekick to Tracy Turnblad in Broadway’s Hairspray in February 2006 and performed for almost a year. Little did she know that her next big role would lead to a lot more than a Broadway future.

In 2010, Diana signed on to play the role of Sheila in the Broadway revival of Hair alongside another Idol alum – and now her husband – Ace Young.

Ace Young
Ace Young

Ace Young finished in 7th place on season 5 of American Idol, shocking his female fans across the country with his early exit. Ace, the nickname he had gone by all his life, became synonymous with his soulful sound, bright smile, and that head of hair – often hidden under his trademark beanie hat! He quickly became the heartthrob of his season.

In the fall of 2006, Ace released his first single called “Scattered” to see what he could do without being signed to a major record label. The song broke into the top 50 of Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart, but never made it big.

While his own singing career wasn’t exactly taking off, Ace was dabbling in professional songwriting. Ace wrote the chorus to “It’s Not Over”, a hit single from a major breakout star and one of his best friends from the show, Chris Daughtry.

Following in the footsteps of some other former Idol contestants, Ace made his Broadway debut in 2009, playing the role of Kenickie in the revival of Grease.

After a year-long portrayal of the popular Grease sidekick, Ace was cast in another Broadway production. He signed on to play Claude Berger in the revival of Hair, alongside an Idol counterpart, Diana DeGarmo.

Though American Idol wasn’t where their relationship began, it was the experience that brought these two songbirds together. This is probably why Ace decided to propose to Diana on stage during the live broadcast of the season 11 finale episode. The sappiness starts around the 1:00 mark!

The drawn out proposal we all knew was happening from the first second seemed a little overly dramatic (or maybe that was just me), but for two people who chose careers in the spotlight, I’m sure it was everything they wanted!

wedding

Ace and Diana were married on June 1, 2013 and are currently starting their happily ever after in Los Angeles, CA.

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Were They Cut Out for Cutthroat Fashion?

Why do we all love reality TV? In the case of Lifetime’s Project Runway, it might be our innate fascination to watch ordinary people transform into stars – and also to be fashion critics while sitting on our couches.

The show has continued to be successful throughout its 12 seasons and 3 “All-Star Editions”, but whatever happened to the aspiring designers from the show’s early days on the Bravo network?

One of the most memorable characters was Santino Rice, the 3rd place finisher in season 2. Santino was definitely a memorable personality who most viewers had a love/hate relationship with. His kooky designs and sarcastic comments were featured parts of every episode.

Santino’s impressions of Project Runway mentor, Tim Gunn, were a standout part of the season. As well as much needed comedic relief for the designers!

Since his early runway days, Santino has appeared as a judge on the Logo reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, a talent competition for drag queens.

He was also featured in another Lifetime show On the Road with Austin and Santino, where he traveled the country with another Runway cast-off, Austin Scarlett, and designed clothes for ordinary women.

Another standout who appeared in season 4, Chris March, was known for his larger than life personality and designs. He finished in 4th place in his season, as well as 4th place in a special Project Runway: All-Star Challenge episode that aired before the season 6 premiere.

One of the weirder moments from his season came when mentor Tim Gunn visited the designers at home to check on the progress of their final collections.

Chris’ “unique” human hair trimmed pieces became a major talking point of the final episodes. Project Runway fans know Tim is all about encouraging different points of view, but there is a limit to everything…

Tim Gunn Visits Chris March

Chris worked as primarily a costume designer prior to the show, and has returned to his eccentric roots since then. His clientele reads as a list of the biggest personalities in the music and movie industries, including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna, and Meryl Streep.

As for his latest ventures, Chris has segued his successful costume career into a line of Halloween wigs for Target.

For those of you who have always wanted to get your hands on an original piece from a Project Runway alum, this is your chance! It may not be the ball gown or perfect pair of jeans you were expecting, but at least you’ll have a standout Halloween accessory ready to go for next year.

To check up on your former favorites, current contestants, or take the ultimate trivia challenge, check out the official Project Runway site.