Rodney Ho of American Idol Buzz posted a very revealing interview with Season 4′s 8th place finisher, Nadia Turner.
Nadia was a favorite of mine that year. I loved her style and her interesting song choices, though after awhile, the audiences stopped digging her unique style-especially after performing a botched arrangement of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” with her hair styled in a mohawk (pre-Sanjaya…she was so ahead of her time!) She was eliminated the following week after singing an unfamiliar Crystal Gayle tune, “When I Dream.”
Her performances of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are some of my favorites from the entire season.
Rodney’s interview reveals what a tough road some Idols find themselves on post-show:
She said her disadvantage was she knew zip about Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ going into the show when she auditioned in 2004. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIt was extremely overwhelming,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ she said. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œEveryone else knew what was going on.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ After the Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ tour, she said, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œI needed to detox. So for me, I went into a cocoon.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ She said she needed time to absorb what had happened. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œI was bartending and singing in bars. Then performing in front of millions of people,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ she said. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIt freaked my brain out to where I needed to chill out.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Her ability to leverage her Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ fame has been somewhat limited.
She lived off her Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ tour money for awhile. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œThat kept me and my family afloat,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ she said. She made some dough making Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ related appearances. Once that cash dried up, she spent 18 months working in a paid position as music director of Life House Ministries, including out reach for inner-city kids.
Professionally, after Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdol,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ she said she met with producers but nothing much congealed. She eventually recorded her own album using some of that tour money. ItÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s done. But she hasnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t distributed it yet, outside a couple of iTunes releases. She funneled through three managers.
SheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s also been taking care of her daughter. She stayed in Florida until recently moving to New York City four months ago. SheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s looking for work there, both related to helping kids as well as auditioning for Broadway-type gigs. But she knows now her vocals arenÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t quite ready for the rigors of Broadway. SheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s working ot get her vocals back up to speed.
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œI just want to perform,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ she said, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œon a big scale. I want to act. I did a movie during this time called Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Lord Help Us.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ That was fun. I want to do theater.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Exposure on the show is a foot in the door, it by no means guarantees a steady career in show business.Ãƒâ€š Take note, you would-be Idolers…