Season 9 Preview: Maddy Curtis and Savannah Low

This is our continuation of our preview of possible Season 9 contestants. Remember, that the Hollywood round doesn’t occur until January 9th this year. We don’t know how far any of these contestants might go. And since we never see some of the competition round contestants until the competition starts, we might never see some of these people. We might have even found the wrong person with the same name.

Number 13 : Maddy Curtis
Hometown: Loudoun County, Virginia
Age: 16 or 17
Style: Theatre?/Jazz?

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Number 14 : Savannah Low
Style: Theatre?

Pictures/Myspace/Links after the jump

Maddy Curtis:
On My Own (youtube)
How Beautiful (youtube)
Mom’s Blog Another Blog Third Blog

Savannah Low:
Maybe This Time (youtube)

Idol has often had contestants with theatre background (and then one or more of the judges complain that they are too theatrical) or who eventually ended up on Broadway. This list is far from complete, but Season 2 had Frenchie (Rent) and Ruben (travelling version of Ain’t Misbehavin’). Season 3 had Fantasia (The Colour Purple), Diana (Hair and others) and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls movie). Season 4 had Constantine (Rock of Ages). Season 5 had Katharine (various local productions) and Ace (Grease. Taylor also performed in Grease). Season 6 had Lakisha (The Colour People). Season 7 had Syesha (several musicals over the years). And S8 had Adam (Wicked and others). They have even had show tunes as a theme night a couple of times (S4 and S7) with mixed results (Bo just jabbing at a song list to pick Pippin and Lord ALW ending up going on a bit of a jihad against Jason who sang “Memories”)

So, will they have another contestant with experience with show tunes? Likely. It may be one of these two. Neither really seems to set the world on fire with their singing, but they have pretty voices. Mandy tackle that ever-popular defeated young girl song, “On My Own” from Les Miz. Given that Susan Boyle had SO MUCH success with singing the “older, defeated woman” song from Les Miz (“I Dreamed a Dream”) earlier this year, Idol may be eager to see if they can replicate the success. Maddy does have a bit of a backstory. She comes from a family of 12 with 4 sibblings with Down Syndrome (3 adopted). Idol will probably work the backstories like crazy this year, again, because Susan Boyle used hers so successfully. They have to have a gentler touch, though, because they clearly turned people off with Danny’s backstory last year.

I don’t know a lot about Savannah, but based on the youtubes we have, I think that she has the stronger voice than Maddy. She sings the “won’t be defeated” woman song from “Chicago” (that Rachel and April sung as a disconnected duet on Glee this year. Rachel also sang “On My Own” for her Glee addition as did the actress that played her to get the role).

What do you think? Will either of these girls get a shot at the confetti shower? I don’t think they can win, but they could be cast for diversity.

Thanks itsalleternal for tracking down these two.

About Kirsten 3046 Articles
Kirsten has had a long love affair with numbers. Marry that with her love of cheese and the Numbers Threads at MJs were born.

18 Comments

  1. I don’t really see a contestant like them doing really well on the show…just doesn’t seem to have the commercial success. Many Idol’s turned to theater since it was a good opportunity, but also because their careers as pop stars may not have been going exactly their way. (Except for Fantasia and Ruben, both who found moderate to high success as recording artists)

    They have nice voices and are easy listening, I just don’t see pop stars in them. Who knows, maybe their auditions will convince us otherwise.

  2. Maddy is what I would call a singing head — years of voice lessons, no stage presence, no idea of the emotion or character behind a musical theater role. Savannah is better, but not so great physically, either (like she doesn’t know what to do with her arms and she kind of looks like she’s wandering around the stage instead of moving for a reason.) Maddy is very young, so maybe she’ll get better, and Savannah may be, too, for all I know. But Savannah definitely by comparison to Lea Michele, who so recently tore the hell out of that song. If Savannah is 18 or something, okay. But Lea is only 23 and she’s already got the whole package. Of course, that’s also why she got major Broadway roles before Glee, and none of the people we’ve seen on Idol have had that level of success.

  3. Of those that have gone to Broadway after Idol and a recording career you have forgotten Clay Aiken. Success with album sales, concert tours and then one of the starring roles in Spamalot. He was the reason Simon treated Broadway like it was a dirty word as he never believed that a big voice (theatrical style) could sell albums, but he did.

  4. Meh I’m not impressed with either of them. Maybe they will surprise me during their audition. :) We will have to see. IF they show them. :)

  5. They are definitely unique, but certainly not traditional Idol material. Savannah is the better of the two, and on voice alone probably deserves to make the top 24. However, they will be hard-pressed to get there considering Simon hates theatre-type singers, perhaps he doesn’t see them as marketable. Maddy also has a backstory to help her out, perhaps Susan Boyle 2.0? She’s also good but not as good as Savannah.

    If either of them can make it though (highly doubtful that both will), she could be a real dark horse. Can she draw a new group of fans to Idol (just like Daniel Murillo might be able to) and stun Simon big time?

  6. I think they’ve both got a good shot. While Simon has traditionally disliked theatrical singers, and he even told Adam this last season that he was theatrical and therefore Not Current, I think Simon has come to realize that he was the one that wasn’t current. Theatrical is IN again in pop music. Their acting experience should help. But their versions of theatrical will need to be unique. Mandy’s got a back story AI will love which should gain her camera time. And if Savannah doesn’t have a good back story for the show, she can overcome that with better vocals if she’s also got a great personality that gains her camera time. Neither have to be great actresses to sing, but being an okay one is a massive help. Especially when it comes to performing songs during theme weeks. Either way, if they manage to break into the top 12 they should each get decent careers out of appearing on AI, even if those careers aren’t as recording artists.

  7. Is it bad I already despise Maddy and I have yet to see her on TV

    Do you know her personally?

  8. Do you know her personally?

    Let me reword that.. “Musically” I depsie her already. I will never be able to judge her personally because I don’t know her. But musically she just seems like one of those over trained singers who have never been given any critisim

  9. terps says But musically she just seems like one of those over trained singers who have never been given any critisim
    ======================================
    Hahaha she will soon with Simon! :)

  10. But musically she just seems like one of those over trained singers who have never been given any critisim

    Can you explain this, please? At first glance this sounded quite the intelligent analysis by someone that knows music. But after it sunk in, I went “huh?” as criticism is part of training. Is it more that you mean she’s never stretched herself and developed any individuality beyond her technical training?

  11. Historically, the over trained singer has provided the show with a good number of cannon fodder contestants. They are there for Simon to say they sound good, to assure the viewers/voters their ears are working correctly, and they aren’t relevant/current, to keep the viewers/voters from picking up the phone for them. The theatrical types who have been successful on the show have stage presence beyond the “stand there and sing” style, enough to sway Simon from dismissing them out of hand.

    Unless they show some sort of relevance in Hollywood, both will likely not be in the Top 24. Savannah has the best chance, as it appears she has some stage working skills. But, Maddy appears to lack any exposure to anything but vocal teachers.

    terps
    Is it bad I already despise Maddy and I have yet to see her on TV

    I sort of get the same vibe, but not toward Maddy. I clicked on her Mom’s blog link and got an immediate ” oh no” feeling. I just hope the show doesn’t give her a platform to promote her vision of child rearing. Please AI, pass on this backstory.

  12. chessguy99 says I sort of get the same vibe, but not toward Maddy. I clicked on her Mom’s blog link and got an immediate ‘  oh no’  feeling. I just hope the show doesn’t give her a platform to promote her vision of child rearing. Please AI, pass on this backstory.
    ===============================
    Huh? What do you mean? I read the blog what’s wrong with it? And what do you mean her vision of child rearing?

  13. Can you explain this, please? At first glance this sounded quite the intelligent analysis by someone that knows music. But after it sunk in, I went ‘huh?’  as criticism is part of training. Is it more that you mean she’s never stretched herself and developed any individuality beyond her technical training?

    I do think she probably has been held back (never stretched herself) because their is nobody to say “hey, you need to work on this”. I know we have only seen 2 videos, but she just screams of that type of contestant that is a trained vocalist and has an obnoxious stage parents (Archuleta and Mcphee)

  14. ‘Maybe This Time’ is from Cabaret, not Chicago ;)

    Did the youtubes get taken down?

  15. I always have a soft spot for the drama kids because I love musicals and people with theater backgrounds really seem to connect to their songs and usually have decent voices, but I think audiences often have a difficult time connecting to them as American Idol contestants…especially when they’re female. Whereas theatricality is seen as kind of quirky and different in a male contestant, I feel like it’s seen as old-fashioned or boring in female contestants…? So I can’t see either of these women winning, either, unless they end up bringing something really unique. But they do have unobjectionable voices, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them again!

  16. I like the drama kids too. I like theatrical. I have no idea if we’ll see these girls again, but I haven’t seen them do the idol thing, so I’ll wait to judge once or if they are on the show.

    Looking forward to S9!

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