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American Idol Live! Tour Rocks Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City

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Thousands of people vied to gain a top ten spot on FOX’s hit series American Idol, American Idol Live! Tourall with one dream—making it big and becoming a star. Along the way viewers were introduced to a variety of characters and of course some standouts named Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Aaron Kelly,Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, and Tim Urban.

Currently on the road this summer, meeting fans across the country for the American Idol Live! Tour, the top ten recently performed in Atlantic City at the Mark G. Etess Arena inside the Trump Taj Mahal Casino. Before the show we spoke with some of the Idol’s about their experience on the competition, their new celebrity status and their future careers.

This season’s contestants have been said to be the closest yet, including DeWyze the winner and runner up Bowersox. Before auditioning for Idol, Bowersox was playing her music and doing everything she possibly could to make it in the music industry. She explains, “My whole life has been ever-changing and morphing and evolving so really this is just another step in my life.”

Describing her music as “folksy-blues,” the 24 year-old says her strong-will and determination are just some of the reasons why her fans look up to her, “The thing that my fans find appealing about me, I believe is the fact that I’m just like them,” she shares, “ I’m normal—I’m a mom, I’m a Type 1 diabetic, I have every day issues the same as many of my fans do and I don’t hide anything from anyone, I’m just open and honest about everything so there is no dichotomy as to my personal life and my celebrity life. On and off stage, it’s all the same to me.”

Bowersox says she has a very simple future goal in mind, “After the tour I’m finishing an album and do it all over again.”

Audiences also fell in love with Urban, the Texan whose smile became quite a talking point on the competition. Now the 21 year-old say’s he is thankful to the fans for their support and has some big plans for his singing and acting talents after the tour, “I’ll be working on my own album hopefully I’ll have that out before too long, I’ll be going home back to Dallas for a couple of months and working on that. As soon as that’s done, I’ll be moving out to LA to work on some acting. I’ve got some opportunities out there with that and I’m just going to try to go out there and see what happens.”

Again, Idol found a familiar story line with 23 year-old Benami, the waitress whose rendition of “Hey Jude” stole the judge’s hearts and America’s. Smiling and full of energy she shared her goals, “I want to travel the world, I want to see some really beautiful inspirational places and one day I would like to get into acting too at some point. Then when everything is said and done, I want to just settle down, live a nice life, be relaxed, get married, have kids, and be normal again.”

At 17, Kelly is among the youngest of the Idol’s. A Sonestown, Pennsylvania native, Kelly says the show has been life changing for him but he’s still had time to fit school in along the way, “I’m almost finished with school actually, just about to graduate 12th grade, then I’m going to remain very much focused on my career—so yeah it’s been a major impact on my family and all my friends, but they’re very, very supportive of me and everything I want to do.”

Pursuing music ever since he was 9 years old, Kelly says he’s waiting for a label Casey James of American Idol Live! Tourto approach him and if one doesn’t, then after Idol he’ll cut a demo. He describes his sound as, “Modern-Pop-Country, you know Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, kind of a Taylor Swift  spin to things because I’m young, she’s a young artist in country music and with the song writing and also Rascal Flatts being another factor they are so huge and that’s more the style that I sing. I’m doing one of their songs on tour and I always followed their music and sang their stuff."

One Idol who created quite a buzz when advancing in the competition was James. The 28 year-old tried out for the show having never seen an episode of American Idol and in the beginning he says he took the competition very seriously he explains, “I was more concerned with just doing what I needed to do, it was business for me and I was very intent on making the best of my situation. So, for a while I really didn’t have a ton of interaction with everybody, but as time goes by your around these people a lot and you begin to get to know them. People start to treat you differently and expect you to be their friend. It can be tough, and the only people who really understand are the people that are right next to you. It’s nice because now here we are all together having the time of our lives and getting to do what we love to do.”

Excited fans waited anxiously for the show to begin inside the arena. Once it started, each Idol sang their own set which embraced their unique style with different colored lights, backgrounds, pictures and outfits. The American Idol Live Tour says it all- giving fans the opportunity to see their favorite Idol’s live, up close and personal!

Contact Veronica Dudo at vdudo@philly2philly.com

Photo credit: www.americanidol.com