Sunday, September 18, 2011

#107 Tim Urban

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 107 American Idol finalist Tim Urban. He got 7th place on American Idol season 9, the most embarrassing season of the show. He stole a spot in the top 12 from Todrick Hall, possibly due to the "frau vote", or "tween and cougar vote." On November 10, 2010, he released his debut album and EP titled "Heart of Me." He is now working on his first LP to be released sometime this year. As of May 2010, he was ranked at number 90 by the Los Angeles on their American Idol power rankings list.

Timothy Joseph Urban was born in Tacoma, Washington, on May 1, 1989. He resided there until the age of 5, when he relocated to Duncanville, Texas. He has been singing and playing the guitar since the age of 13. He was homeschooled by his mother. He is the sixth of ten children and has two brothers serving in the U.S. military. His oldest brother was awaiting Air Force pilot training at the time of American Idol season 9. His second oldest brother returned from a tour in Afghanistan as a Marine. Urban had three months of formal vocal training in a music studio and cites several recording artists as his musical influences. These influences include John Denver (known by his mother as Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.; born on New Years Eve 1943 and died on October 12, 1997), Jack Johnson, John Mayer, OneRepublic, Jim Croce, and James Taylor. According to his American Idol interview, Urban stated that he never bothered to consume or possess alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substances.

Before his stint on American Idol, Urban was a member of Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ (AMTC), a talent development agency that also credited American Idol season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo as a past participant. He was once a hotel and restaurant singer who played in the Dallas / Fort Worth Christian music circuit with his band.

Urban auditioned for American Idol season 9 in Dallas, Texas, with the song "Bulletproof Weeks" by Matt Nathanson. He made it through to the Hollywood round, but he was originally cut in the green mile round. However, he was called back to American Idol upon the disqualification of Chris Golightly, who was disqualified on February 17, 2010, over an old recording contract. Golightly's contract expired by the time the voting rounds began, but American Idol disqualified Golightly because his old recording contract was valid at the time of the auditions, in violation of American Idol rules. Golightly later appeared on a Korean television show called Superstar K, a singing competition show in the vein of American Idol. In there, he states that he once wrote songs for Korean recording artists.

Urban was subsequently voted into season 9's top 10, but I believe that Todrick Hall should have made the top 10 instead of him. When American Idol asked Urban what his proudest moment is, he answered, "Handing out nutritional products to orphans in South Africa and Swaziland."

Through his stint on American Idol, Urban received mixed feedback from the judges, who praised a few of his performances but regarded most of them as tedious, "pedestrian" and "pointless and silly." However, bloggers, who often compare him to American Idol season 6 finalist Sanjaya Malakar, noted how the judges' critiques never seemed to affect the perpetually smiling Urban, or his chances of making it through week after week. On top 12 week, he was in the bottom three with Paige Miles as Lacey Brown was eliminated. On top 11 week, he was in the bottom three with Katie Stevens as Paige Miles was eliminated. On top 10 week, he was in the bottom three again with Katie Stevens as Didi Benami was eliminated. He was dubbed "Teflon Tim", a nickname that Ryan Seacrest alluded to during the March 31 episode. On the same night, Simon Cowell said "I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever what we say. You're going to smile, the audience is going to vote for you, nobody cares, and you'll be here next week. So well done." As controversy over Urban's lackluster performances escalated, American Idol critics began to fault the judges' comments as "little more than displays of ego or thinly disguised bullying," and suggested that Urban may be good for the show, because he put the judges in their place.

Vote for the Worst endorsed Urban during his entire American Idol run. The Web site claims that he holds the record for the contestant to survive the longest with its endorsement. Urban commented about the Web site, "I'm actually kind of sad that I was on that website."

Urban was eliminated in 7th place during the "Idol Gives Back" special on April 21, after receiving negative reviews for his performance of "Better Days" by Goo Goo Dolls. A montage of his American Idol run followed the announcement of his fate. Because the show ran beyond its scheduled time, it ended abruptly, and Urban had no chance to deliver a final performance. Urban later said, "I was a little sad that I didn't get to sing one last time on that stage, but... you don't always get what you want. I'll be back for the finale and hopefully get to perform on that stage again. It was a little bittersweet, but overall, it's all right."

After his stint on American Idol, Urban went on a media tour on local FOX affiliates, in addition to planned appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, and The Wendy Williams Show. He visited the If I Can Dream house. He participated in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2010, which began July 1 and ended August 31, where he performed  "Better Days" by Goo Goo Dolls and "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay.

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 106 finalist. According to Paris Bennett, he has a striking resemblance to the Disney character Chicken Little. He is a type 1 diabetic like his fellow contestant Elliott Yamin. He was in the bottom three with Bucky Covington and Lisa Tucker when he was eliminated.

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