Monday, September 5, 2011

#119 Vanessa Olivarez

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown: At number 119 in my preference is Vanessa Olivarez, hence my second least favorite American Idol finalist. She got 12th place on the second season of American Idol. She is the vocalist, primary songwriter, and autoharpist of the new alternative country band Granville Automatic. She has written songs for country stars. As of May 2010, LA Times placed her at number 117 on their "Ultimate Power Ranking" list. She is the only finalist of season 2 who was not featured on the season's compilation album.

Vanessa Denae Olivarez was born on April 7, 1981, in Atlanta, Georgia. Before her stint on American Idol, she worked as a chemical assistant. She also worked as a hair colorist doing highlights at Salon Corsica. She had six months of vocal training at Gwinnett School of Fine Arts during her teenage years in 1997. At the age of 3, she once sang "Rainbowland" on the Rainbow Brite Record. Her favorite male artist is Justin Timberlake. Her favorite female artist is Norah Jones.

Olivarez auditioned for the second season of American Idol in Atlanta, Georgia, with a rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Paula Abdul was absent from the audition, but Olivarez impressed both Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson and made it to Hollywood. Olivarez impressed the judges in one of the Hollywood rounds, where the contestants had to write their own songs. She wrote a song called "The Only Thing Special About You Is Me." She then made it to the top 32 round.

Olivarez performed in front of America for the first time on the night of February 18, 2003. That night, she performed "Out Here on My Own" by Latin star Irene Cara. She impressed the judges, but Cowell told her that she need to lose weight. She received words of encouragement by Abdul and Jackson, and America voted her into the top 12. On top 12 week, March 11, 2003, she performed in front of America once again, singing "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes. The judges gave her mixed feedback.  When Ryan Seacreast interviewed Olivarez after the performance, she made a controversial comment, which many viewers thought of as rather discourteous, and she came off as arrogant. Seacreast informed viewers that the comment was scripted, but that still hurt her chances in the competition real bad.  According to my opinion, Equoia Coleman, who was in the top 3 of semi-final group 3 alongside Olivarez and Ricky Smith, should have made the top 12 instead of Olivarez.

After her stint on American Idol, Olivarez posed nude for PETA. She was later contacted by Canadian actor and recording artist James Collins, and he conveyed her to Toronto, Canada, for writing and recording sessions. She released a single called "The One", featuring "I'm In Love With My Best Friend's Ex" as a B-side. That single reached number 9 on Canada's single charts and Top 30 on the Canadian BDS airplay chart.

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 118 finalist. She is my least favorite finalist of the most embarrassing season in the history of the show.

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