Sunday, January 29, 2012

#59 Allison Iraheta

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 59 American Idol finalist Allison Iraheta. She got 4th place on American Idol season 8 and is the last girl standing of that season. Before her stint on American Idol, she won the Telemundo competition show called Quinceañera: Mamá Quiero Ser Artista, which was produced and broadcast in 2007 and 2008. Following the conclusion of American Idol season 8, Iraheta was signed to 19 Recordings, Ltd. and the now defunct Jive Records. Her debut album Just Like You was released on December 1, 2009. I believe that she should have made the top 2 with Adam Lambert instead of her season's winner Kris Allen.

Iraheta was born in Glendale, California, to Salvadoran immigrants who relocated to the United States before she was born. She is the youngest of three, with two older siblings Jacki and Carlos Iraheta. According to her family, she has been singing since she was a toddler, as has my number one American Idol finalist, who is also the youngest in the family. In 2001, she began taking voice lessons with Raphael Enriquez at the Los Angeles Music and Art School, a non-profit community school of the arts in East Los Angeles. Before rising to prominence, she frequently performed at the local Latin Electronics Store La Curaçao and the Los Angeles Music and Art School's annual benefit concert, Stars for the Arts. Iraheta attended Los Angeles' Animo Ralph Bunche Charter High School at the time of her stint on American Idol.

In 2007, Iraheta won the short-lived the reality television competition program Quinceañera: Mamá Quiero Ser Artista (which means "Sweet Fifteen: Mom, I Want to be an Artist"), which was produced and broadcasted in 2006-2007 on Telemundo, where she sang both in English and Spanish.

On the show, a group of teenage girls such as Olivia Bonilla, Brissia Mayagolita, and others of Latino origin competed in a singing competition for the main prize of $50,000 and a recording contract. Iraheta was the first (and only) winner of the competition and received the grand prize, but due to legal problems of the show the recording contract was never finalized and the show was canceled.

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