Nadia Turner: “I was trying to keep it real, I was trying to stay true to me.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ 

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 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Idolà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  going into the show when she auditioned in 2004. à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“It was extremely overwhelming,à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  she said. à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Everyone else knew what was going on.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  After the à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Idolà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  tour, she said, à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“I needed to detox. So for me, I went into a cocoon.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  She said she needed time to absorb what had happened. à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“I was bartending and singing in bars. Then performing in front of millions of people,à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  she said. à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“It freaked my brain out to where I needed to chill out.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ 

Her ability to leverage her à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Idolà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  fame has been somewhat limited.

She lived off her à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Idolà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  tour money for awhile. à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“That kept me and my family afloat,à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  she said. She made some dough making à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Idolà ¢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 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Idol,à ¢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. Ità ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s done. But she hasnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t distributed it yet, outside a couple of iTunes releases. She funneled through three managers.

Sheà ¢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. Sheà ¢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 arenà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t quite ready for the rigors of Broadway. Sheà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s working ot get her vocals back up to speed.

à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“I just want to perform,à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  she said, à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“on a big scale. I want to act. I did a movie during this time called à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Lord Help Us.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ That was fun. I want to do theater.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ 

Exposure on the show is a foot in the door, it by no means guarantees a steady career in show business.   Take note, you would-be Idolers…

  • BootStar

    Nadia was one of my favorites that season too. The not-knowing-how-to-play-the-game background helps explain why she flamed out so early. I hope we hear from her again.

  • http://www.myspace.com/gwendolyndiane GwendolynD

    I loved Nadia. She was such a departure from the normal Idol competitors. I hope to hear more from her soon.

  • movin2thabeet

    I was a huge fan of Nadia and could not really get why people turned on her. Talking about being an innovator! Maybe she needed to know more about the whole Idol game in order to play it by her own rules. I love it that she’s such a huge David Cook fan. I wish her nothing but success. I think she is tremendous.

  • oceana

    I loved her too. She was unique. Too bad she hasn’t found a way to distribute her cd yet.

  • nomi

    I really did like Nadia on the show and thought she was a powerful performer although I often found her voice lacking range. At her age (32) she might find her window for big time fame rapidly closing, although it’s good that she moved to NY to follow her dream. Best of luck to her.

  • dogncatmom

    I was a fan of Nadia’s in Season 4 and was very sorry to see her go so soon. I wish her the best in pursuing her dreams.

  • tinydcfan

    Thanks for the update on Nadia, MJ. I really enjoyed her on the show and thought she left too soon. Scott Savol certainly should’ve been the one to go the night she was eliminated!

  • IdolFanatic

    Well Carrie won that season not knowing anymore than Nadia did. Carrie was pretty sheltered never even having flown on a plane before Idol. So to me, I think it has more to do with mental and emotional stamina than knowing how it all works.

  • IdolFanatic

    Constantine: à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Ummm.. Constantine was.. Constantine.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ 

    ROFL! Awesome…love that quote. Draw your own conclusions on that one, folks.

  • http://myspace.com/saltwatercures pj

    Thanks for posting. I started watching in season 4 and she was my fave. I switched to Bo after she got the boot.

    Good luck to Nadia! I always thought Syesha tried to cop her style (unsuccessfully).

  • Dida_D

    Aw I loved Nadia! Last season, all I could think was Syesha was a poor man’s Nadia Turner (though she changed my mind by the end of the season). “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” was a great performance.

    (I hate to prove how much of an AI nerd I am, but MJ I think Nadia was eliminated 3 weeks after the sub-par “Time After Time”. Basically she lost her footing with that one and never recovered, though she did perform a showtune and a Melissa Ethridge song between that and “When I Dream”.)

  • jjg123

    Nadia is my favorite American Idol, Bo is 2nd. My favorite song that she did was Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”. I thought her version of that song really rocked during the chorus! I have been searching for a full version of Nadia doing that song but so far no luck. Nadia kick’s ass! In a way I am glad that she didn’t win AI because now she has some street credibility instead of being seen as a media bimbo/gigilo. I hope that she covers a lot of the softer female classics and turns them into hardcore rock classics.

    Rock On Nadia!

    John – From St. Pete / Tampa