Last week was American Idol's first week, and already we were treated to sob stories, annoyed contestants, and the ubiquitous "Pants on the Ground", with some good singing scattered in between. This week, I expect things to stay the same. Well, except for the viral hit. And there's the benefit of those spoilers we've been getting our hands on over the weekend--it'd be interesting seeing some of those names impress us on TV rather than on YouTube.
Tonight, we head to Chicago, that windy city that Oprah calls home. The show hasn't been there too many times--they've held auditions twice there, I think, including that little bit about Mandisa confronting Simon after his quips during audition. Random fact you probably know already: she was never in the bottom three until she was eliminated. That week, she sang a song from Shania Twain, who happens to be tonight's guest judge. Wasn't that a convenient transition?
It's been a while since she released an album, but I still remember her biggest hits. I remember my childhood with "You're Still The One" and "From This Moment On" in the background, although I never really memorized them. Twain, of course, established herself first in country, after successfully crossing over to pop markets with her 1997 album Come on Over.
But her career goes way, way back--and her sob story, if we can call it that. Her childhood wasn't a comfortable one, as her parents earned little, and she had to pitch in to make ends meet. She began singing in bars at eight years old, and got her biggest break at 13, when she performed on Canadian television. Earning a reputation for her impressive vocal range, she became part of several bands before she was signed by Mercury Nashville and released her eponymous debut album in 1993.
Twain's success in the country charts became bigger, with, of course, Come on Over. After her first major tour, she released Up! in 2002, which also saw international success. That would be her last studio album to date, although she included three new songs with a compilation of her best hits in 2004. While she's been working on new songs, that new album has been getting delayed, and delayed, and delayed...
...which explains why the newest photos of her I could find are three years old. That one up there, it's three years old. Of course, there's a photo of her with the Idol judges, but I'll put that up tomorrow, when I write down her report card. Fingers crossed she does well on the panel, and we get good talent, too.