Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#111 Julia DeMato

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 111 American Idol finalist Julia DeMato. She got 10th place on American Idol season 2, barely being qualified to participate on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2003. She is an American cosmetologist and karaoke singer. She was ranked at number 101 on The Los Angeles Times American Idol power rankings list of May 31, 2010.

Julia Megan DeMato was born in Brookfield, Connecticut, on March 7, 1979. She is the youngest and only girl of six children. Her mother Joan is a realtor at RE/MAX in her hometown. Her father Peter owns Chase Equipment in New Milford, Connecticut. She is a 1997 Brookfield High School alumna.

DeMato was heavily featured in the television coverage of American Idol season 2's audition and Hollywood rounds, including the portrayal of drama with Kimberly Caldwell during the Hollywood round. She performed "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield in the semi-finals. In the finals, she performed "Flashdance ... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara on top 12 week and "Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes on top 11 week. She was eliminated at 10th place on March 26, 2003, after a performance of "Breathe" by Faith Hill.

After her stint on American Idol, DeMato enjoyed some success on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2003, performing "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera. She also covered "At Last" by Etta James on the American Idol 2 Love Songs CD. DeMato's renditions of the songs well received by fans and critics. However, her brief musical career peaked with an album and the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2003, and further success eluded her. Later that year, she had a brief stint as a judge for the Oxygen Network show Meow TV.

DeMato could not claim a major record deal, but she did record one song, "Let It Rain", with a company called Somme Music, an Internet outlet marketing that one song. The song got mixed reviews: Some audiences liked the vocals and the music, but others complained about the composition and the negative tone of some of the lyrics, written by the head of Somme Music. No further songs were recorded.

On July 6, 2005, DeMato and her fiancé, electrician Jim Polches, claimed parenthood when she gave birth in Danbury, Connecticut (I went there back in 1998). She and Polches married the following year.

In December 2005, DeMato briefly returned to the news when she encountered the law on charges of possession of marijuana and cocaine, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol after failing a field sobriety test. At first, she claimed that they were misunderstood. While Connecticut has severe penalties against driving under the influence, she avoided incarceration and a criminal record by negotiation through her attorney, an alternative sentence involving community service and a program of drug and alcohol education.

Residing in her hometown Brookfield, Connecticut, and working as a cosmetologist once again, she has appeared as a singer and humanitarian occasionally, mainly in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Between July 22 and August 2, 2008, Julia and fellow American Idol season 2 finalists Trenyce and Rickey Smith, disqualified season 2 contestant Frenchie Davis (who competed on The Voice season 1), and season 1 finalist RJ Helton performed at the Razz Room in San Francisco, California. American Idol season 4 finalists Vonzell Solomon and Constantine Marouls, and season 7 finalist David Hernandez also performed at the Razz Room from August 5 to 16, 2008.

On June 18, 2009, DeMato began to host a twelve-week "Summer Idol" Karaoke contest at Rowley's Tavern, a local Irish style pub located in Norwalk, Connecticut. Julia opened the night singing a song, the offering color commentary and announcing upcoming karaoke singers. Her other appearances in Connecticut include performing the U.S. National Anthem at the Thompson International Speedway at a NASCAR event.

On April 15, 2010, during the time of American Idol season 9, DeMato participated in a humanitarian aid mission in New York City by delivering food to hungry New York City residents with City Harvest, alongside American Idol season 5 finalist Ace Young, season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo, season 8 finalist Jorge Núñez, and season 1 finalist RJ Helton.

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 110 American Idol finalist, who is from season 6 and hails from Greenville, South Carolina.

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