By Lori Bredemeyer, Copy Editor
Some people spend their whole lives waiting for their 15 minutes of fame, but last month on FOX’s American Idol, Contestant No. 18068 found his in less than two minutes.
Jonathan Rea, freshman sociology major from Conroe, auditioned for the show in Houston in August, and it aired in January. He sang Shakira’s You’re the One I Need, which Idol judge Simon Cowell later deemed as “terrible, nothing good,” and told Rea “there’s not a song in the world you could sing.”
However, Rea’s lack of vocal skill was not what made him notorious. Cowell’s comment is what Rea said motivated him to consider getting the judge back.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” he said. “Just sitting there and watching everybody come out crying and about to jump off the building, I was like ‘I have to do something to this man.'”
Rea said he saw a glass of water sitting in front of Cowell when he walked in, and he decided then to use it after he sang.
“I thought, ‘Should I shove him? What should I do?’ Rea said. “But I saw the pitcher of water, and it was like a light bulb.”
Rea said he wanted to make the bloopers by singing really bad, and throughout his audition Cowell and fellow judge Randy Jackson laughed.
Another student tried out last year at Abilene’s first round of auditions. Jenna Lucado, sophomore integrated marketing communication major from San Antonio, said her experience was much different from Rea’s.
Lucado first sang at the Ponderosa, a local dance club. She eventually went on to sing at the Paramount Theatre, where another contestant won.
Lucado said she saw Rea’s clash with Cowell on previews for the show, and she said she does not think she could have gone to that extreme.
“I would not do it; I’d rather be known for my voice,” she said.
Both Lucado and Rea said the producers of the show use manipulation to make the program more interesting, like when Rea was escorted out of the hotel by security.
“When the cameras turned off the security left, so it was all part of the show,” he said. “It wasn’t anything serious or anything real; they made a show for the camera.”