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From 'American Idol' to 'The Young and the Restless': Diana DeGarmo Sings in a New Key

'American Idol' runner up talks about coming to daytime and the 'AI' judge who didn't get 'it'

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert Oct 24, 2011 5:47PM

'Young and the Restless'/Sean Smith/JPIStudios

"American Idol" Season 3 runner up Diana DeGarmo is coming to "The Young and the Restless" this Halloween, Oct. 31, and her new character Angelina will be packing tons of tricks and treats for Genoa City locals. The young songstress may even prove there's something more dangerous than a mob wife or a "Jersey Shore" diva: a mob daughter! MSN TV caught up with DeGarmo, who dished on her new character, and also reflected on the "American Idol" judge she could have done without.


Bing: Watch episodes and clips of 'The Young and the Restless'

MSN TV: Is your new gig at "Y&R" a cameo or a legit role?


Diana DeGarmo: Angelina is going to make her mark in Genoa City, don't you worry. I am the weekly pot stirrer. She's spicing things up. You're not going to see me all time, so you're not going to get sick of me, but I'm recurring.


What's your character's story?
She comes with her dad, Angelo, a local mob boss. He's been out of town and is back visiting Genoa City. Angelina's is tagging along, but slowly but surely, she's taking over the scene. She's is a hoot and a half. She's a little over the top, but she's definitely got her real moments, which I love to be able to sneak in there and catch people off guard with.


Bing: More about Diana DiGarmo


Does she know her dad is in the mob boss?


Oh, she knows exactly what's going on and she doesn't mind. She likes throwing around her weight at any time. She loves the perks of being a mob boss's daughter. She lives for it. 

As a Jersey mob girl, is her wardrobe over the top, as well?


I come in [to wardrobe] and I just laugh as soon as I see where the outfit is going. It's like having a fashion show every morning. She has all the money in the world, but she thinks she needs to show it at all times. There are some things that I, Diana, would be too terrified to walk out of the house wearing, but Angelina is not afraid.

Once I'm transformed from head to toe, Angelina comes out so easily. I love watching the other characters react to her because she is such a surprise. She's so different from everyone else.

Who have you gotten to work with, so far?


I've had the great pleasure sharing the screen with Mr. Greg Rikaart. Angelina gets a little bit of a crush on Kevin, and she's not afraid not to show it. It's a blast, because she makes him incredibly nervous. We have to try so hard not to laugh when we're shooting because she is, of course, very zealous and Kevin is not so much when it comes to the female department. The sparks that fly on screen are just hilarious. It's wonderful to be a part of.

Word is Angelina is a horrible singer but still wants to go pro?

That was one of the things that casting was a nervous I would be afraid of, but I was gung ho about singing badly. It was fantastic and hilarious. Angelina thinks she is hot stuff, from head to toe, but has no idea that she sounds like a cat in heat when she sings, and neither does her dad. Angelo, who is played by the absolutely lovely Mike Starr, thinks his daughter is the cat's meow. The magic of Angelina's voice is its own storyline. It's going to lead to some exciting and fun moments in weeks to come.


Are you flattered that you were brought on for your acting, and not so you can belt out a song at Jimmy's every week?

I'm just excited that somebody's giving me a chance. Being on "Idol" is a double edge sword. There are so many Idols out there that are still trying so hard to get past the idea that we're only reality TV personalities, but I've been able to do that in the theater community. It's great that, finally, somebody believes I am more than just that. I'm really being supported and they're letting me create this fantastic character.


Are you in contact with any former "American Idol" contestants?

A few, actually. A lot of my "Idol" friends think what I'm doing is quite hilarious, but they're super proud. Eight years ago, I used to go to the CBS lot to film "American Idol," and now I go to the CBS lot, but to the other side of the building for "Young and the Restless." It's so mind boggling. It makes me realize how far I've come.


'Fess up: Are you jealous you didn't get to audition with the new "AI" judges?

Totally. I love the originals, but at the same time I love Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. They've been fantastic additions to the show. I appreciate their critiques, because they are performers. Paula is definitely a performer and she can give a critique without ripping your soul apart, but sometimes, it comes from somebody where you're like, "And what do you do again? You've never sung in your life…" That can be daunting. I feel like they can come from a whole new perspective, but that one particular judge couldn't, if you get my drift.

"The Young and the Restless" airs weekdays on CBS.



Oct 26, 2011 9:48AM

I liked Diana much better than Fantasia too.. except for Summertime I hated all of Fantasia's performances.. for me Jennifer Hudson and Latoya were the best singers. Diana was also very good but nothing she did pleased Simon. I do normally agree with his critiques, but when he picks his winner he puts on blinders...

as for those who havent followed X-Factor he was definately pushing a couple of singers who were not only not that good but completely unlikable.. but unlike with Idol he did do the right thing in the end

Oct 26, 2011 9:05AM



Having seen both live (Tamyra, as I live in ATL), I have to respectfully disagree.  I think Kelli is fantastic live, and like DiGarmo, has a huge, powerful voice but much more unique and distinct than DiGarmo's.  True, she is a singer and therefore, her stage presentation is all about the singing and no tricks or costumes which may not serve her as well in this age of gimmicks. 


Tamyra  was adorable and her voice is good but when I hear her sing, her voice has nothing distinctive about it.  When Kelli is played, I instantly know it is her and Tamyra doesn't have "that". I always hoped Tamyra would make a name in tv as she had acting aspirations.  Maybe she has and I haven't seen/recognized her. Talented girl.



Oct 25, 2011 12:21PM
Fantasia was Simon's pick from the beginning.  LaToya was too classy for him, but had a MUCH more pleasing voice.  Thought Diana was better too.  Could not stand the emoting and screaming from Fantasia, and never understood all the promotion she got and gets.  
When Simon has a choice, he lets it be known big time, and will let that chosen one get by with very little effort.  Case in point.   Ruben just stood there and raised a hand while singing the same type songs over and over.   Simon had Clay Aiken jumping through hoops, and he had to sing a brand new song on finals night,  but Ruben got to sing one he already had sung.  Ridiculous.  Clearly, Clay was the more versatile, better choice, even though Ruben could sing ballads well.

Not watching X Factor, but I hear he is praising lesser talent, and they are usually hard luck cases.   He'll never change.  He's talented at what he does, but it's all in the promotion  -  sort of like The Emperor's New Clothes. 

  By the way, I personally think Tamyra was a FAR better actual singer than Kelly.  However, Kelly gets all the promotion and media attention in the world, and then some.  She is not so good live, but I do get the recording voice for pop music.

Oct 25, 2011 11:10AM


Not to take anything away from Diana DeGarmo - but Simon has had a lot of success with discovering talent - is this sour grapes because he didn't sign her to a record deal? 

Oct 25, 2011 11:01AM
I had the pleasure of hearing her sing when she was a child - years before AI - at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame induction for my dad and she was around 9 or 10.  Her voice was huge (and good).  I next had the privilege of hearing her sing live at the funeral of her original mentor, Mr. Bill Lowery, shortly after AI and her voice was astonishing.  So strong in fact, it almost overpowered the large sanctuary where the funeral was held.  She was always better than Fantasia, even at nine.  Doing live theater is probably where she shines most as she is theatrical.  Funny, Simon always hated her and called her "theatrical" but when Lambert came along, with all his flamboyance and theatrics and Broadway mannerisms, not a word of criticism. It was always who Simon predetermined should win, dating back to season one when the darling Christina with the mediocre voice and lovely Tamyra with the good-but-forgettable/ indistinguishable voice were his picks and he didn't even want to pass through at the first, excellent audition the cute, chubby but remarkably talented Kelly Clarkson.  Judging from the little I've seen of the X Factor, he's doing it again, passing through a pretty girl with a bare costume who completely forgot the lyrics to her song and sang none of them, not just a few wrong words and whose voice is not even mediocre.
Oct 25, 2011 9:31AM
LOL 888, you are right. ShHe was TOTALLY better than Fantashia. All Fantasia did was yell I thought. Not that I am a professional, just my opinion. I love Diana. She is real and sincere. I am so glad to see she is doing something. You rock Diana
Oct 25, 2011 8:53AM
Sounds like sour grapes to me.  Just because you can't sing doesn't mean you can't hear.  So in order to judge a singing (popularity) contest you "have" to be able to sing?  Let's get real!
Oct 25, 2011 8:49AM

That's nice.  I think Diana DeGarmo was always better than that Fantasia. Fantasia can't sing and seems like always out of breath and screaming.

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