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Diana DeGarmo talks about channeling her inner Snooki on ‘Young & the Restless’

Former American Idol runner-up and Broadway star Diana DeGarmo will be playing Angelina, the Jersey-girl daughter of mob boss Angelo Veneziano (Mike Starr).  She starts Oct. 31.

Former American Idol runner-up and Broadway star Diana DeGarmo will be playing Angelina, the Jersey-girl daughter of mob boss Angelo Veneziano (Mike Starr). She starts Oct. 31.

Former Snellville resident Diana DeGarmo possesses a soaring, powerful voice — which is why she came in second on “American Idol” seven years ago and has built a steady career in Broadway productions from “Hair” to “Hairspray.”

But she’s facing perhaps her biggest career challenge as she plays “Angelina” on the most popular soap opera, CBS’s “The Young and the Restless,” starting Monday, October 31. Her character — a mob boss’s daughter with an over-the-top, Snooki-like attitude and look from “Jersey Shore” — shows up wanting to become a professional singer. The truth is, Angelina can’t sing a lick.

“I have to place myself in a different mindset,” DeGarmo said from Los Angeles during a rehearsal break last week. “As a singer, you automatically find the melody and follow it. I have to throw all that out the window. I ignore the music and just start making up melodies that are just barely what the song actually is. It’s like being a kid and you don’t care what people think. Of course, Angelina thinks she’s amazing!”

DeGarmo, a 2005 Shiloh High School graduate, is the second “Idol” alum to nab a regular role on a scripted show after Constantine Maroulis, who played a record producer and singer on “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 2007. She said she is committed to the role for several weeks but it could last far longer if viewers want her character around.

“I’m crossing my fingers,” she said. “Sometimes being a ‘reality’ person can be a bit of a stigma. ‘The Young and the Restless’ was willing to take a chance on me. They are so fantastic.”

The soap’s producers caught her in a production of “Hairspray” in Los Angeles earlier this year. They liked what they saw, called her and gave her the job, which was a first for the 24-year-old DeGarmo.

“I’ve had to audition for everything I’ve ever gotten,” she said. “I guess my audition was ‘Hairspray’!”

She’s had to adjust a bit to the paces of soap opera acting.

“I would equate this to guerrilla theater. It’s very fast. You do your presentation and you’re done. It keeps me on my toes. I have to give my best performance at that very moment.”

Coincidentally, “The Young and the Restless” set is on the same lot as “American Idol.”

“I have a badge now to get in,” she said. “It opens all the gates and doors. It’s exciting! I’m really hoping Angelina stays around long enough for season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ “ which starts in January.

On TV
“The Young and the Restless”
3 p.m. weekdays, CBS

P.S. to the regular “Idol” bloggers: As usual, I always seem to have better conversations with Diana by phone. Odd, eh?

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

66 comments Add your comment

Rickster

October 26th, 2011
4:44 pm

Yeah Diana! (and yeah! first! :-) )

Deirdre

October 26th, 2011
4:52 pm

Um, Rodney, Diana is not the first Idol to land a role on a scripted show. What about Kat? True, that show starts in January but she’s been working on it for quite awhile now.

Deirdre

October 26th, 2011
4:54 pm

However, a big congrats goes out to Diana. Looking forward to seeing her on Y&R.

Rodney Ho

October 26th, 2011
4:54 pm

I give Diana credit because her show airs first. Technicality!

Rickster

October 26th, 2011
4:55 pm

RoHo: “As usual, I always seem to have better conversations with Diana by phone. Odd, eh?”

Not necessarily. It’s the hat, dude. She doesn’t like the hat.

Rickster

October 26th, 2011
5:00 pm

Sara Ramirez was on Broadway and was seen by some ABC big wigs. They liked her so much they gave her the choice to appear on any show she wanted. So she joined Grey’s Anatomy as Callie Torres.

Rickster

October 26th, 2011
5:08 pm

Have a great evening, everybody.

JTesla

October 26th, 2011
5:09 pm

Wait, what about Tamyra Gray being on Boston Public? I know you set the rules Rodney, but I’m just trying to find out what those rules are… so I can break them of course ;)

Love me a Diana thread. Glad she keeps working, the girl has talent.

Deirdre

October 26th, 2011
5:27 pm

Aha! Good catch JT!

ETM4ever

October 26th, 2011
7:03 pm

I’m sure Eric The Midget has his DVR set. I don’t see the attraction to her, however.

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Rosita

October 26th, 2011
9:46 pm

So good to see posts from the Idol gang again!

Karen

October 26th, 2011
10:15 pm

Good for Diana!!!! Hope she does well.

Julie

October 26th, 2011
10:21 pm

I hope she has a great time and it leads to something else, either a longer stint on Y&R or something in prime time. Heck, it might even propel her a bit faster towards originating a Broadway role in a brand new show.

Mercedes S.

October 26th, 2011
10:22 pm

Rosita!!
You have been missed!

Before I got rid of yesterday’s XF, I showed a few select bits for hubby who said that was it for him, he was not going to follow the contest, which, in his opinion, is no contest. “They have already picked their winner,” he harrumphed. Harrumped? The worst part, he said, was the rude host, whose ill-fitting suit “made him look like a turtle.”

Mercedes S.

October 26th, 2011
10:22 pm

And thanks for interview, Rodney.

Jay

October 26th, 2011
11:16 pm

Congrats to Diane but didn’t Tamara Gray also have a tv role too?

B&B

October 26th, 2011
11:34 pm

Constantine Maroulis had a role on Y&R’s sister show The Bold and The Beautiful in 2007

Rodney Ho

October 27th, 2011
12:06 am

@B&B Darn. You are right! I’ll have to fix my story!

Rodney Ho

October 27th, 2011
12:13 am

Tamyra Gray was not a regular on Boston Public. She was only on for a few episodes. Someone reminded me that Constantine Maroulis was on for several months of “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 2007. So he was the first. I had to correct that. So much for my magical memory!

JTesla

October 27th, 2011
1:34 am

Seven episodes for Tamyra isn’t too shabby, but nothing compared to Constantine’s 70.

Judy

October 27th, 2011
3:25 am

If Diana’s fans are lucky, they might get a chance to attend an up close and personal in-studio taping like Constantine’s B&B ‘concert’ episode. He was the star but in between takes, he sat on the edge of the stage with mic in hand, chatting with the ‘audience’. He and couple of the other B&B stars kept us entertained for many hours during the full day of taping and we were all in a soap opera episode!
The entire day was a total blast and it certainly didn’t hurt his career a bit; he went on to be the first Idol alum to be nominated for a Tony award for Best Actor. Maybe Diana will be the next:)

Lurking Larry

October 27th, 2011
6:32 am

I would say 7 episodes is enough to qualify for a regular. Diana may not make it to 6 episodes, remember she is a mob bosses daughter, she can be “wacked” at any moment.

allen981

October 27th, 2011
7:23 am

In such a difficult business, it’s great to see people perservere and be rewarded. Diana and Kellie Pickler are two of my all time favorite Idol alums, not because of their talent necessarily, but because of their street smarts and apparent willingness to work harder than everyone else to build a career.

Deirdre

October 27th, 2011
7:41 am

Morning!

I’m still piggybacking on a neighbor’s internet. Cable guy should be here between 11 and 2.

Rosita! Where’ve you been? If you look near the top of the right hand column, you’ll find 2 links related to Idol. Click the bottom one and you’ll go to a section where the Idol crowd now hangs out.

As for Diana, I have no doubt she’ll do well in this role. She never fears to put herself out there and work hard.

Y&R fan

October 27th, 2011
8:49 am

I hope she acts better than she sings! Y&R could use a few new faces right about now.

Edwin

October 27th, 2011
9:05 am

It’s not ironic that the Y&R set is on the same lot as American Idol. It is a coincidence. No irony is involved.

Will

October 27th, 2011
9:12 am

Shiloh HS alum, Yeah baby !!!! Snellville rocks

Harriett

October 27th, 2011
9:16 am

Well, I am a Y&R fan who DVRs the show and watches when I get home every afternoon. I do not like the mob character and think the Diana role is not going to add a thing to the story line. I am happy for her in getting the work, but it is going to further dilute what was once a great soap, IMO. I have watched this show for more years than I care to talk about and think it has taken a stupid turn lately anyway. Now this!!

And, good morning all. Rosita! Come on back to us!

Woodpappy

October 27th, 2011
9:21 am

Rodney thanks for the information on our girl Diana. Here’s hoping she enjoys a long run on the show.

Deirdre

October 27th, 2011
9:28 am

Harriett, soaps are desperate so stunt casting and over-the-top story lines are all the rage right now. There are hardly any soaps left. CBS only has 2, ABC will soon only have 1 and NBC only has 1. I predict General Hospital will die soon, then Days and the 2 highest rated soaps Y&R and B&B are losing viewers as fast as the Titanic sank.

Name (required)

October 27th, 2011
9:31 am

Either you people have wayyyyyy too much time on your hands stalking former karaoke show participants, or the servers at imdb.com are cooking right now. I hope it’s the latter!

Deirdre

October 27th, 2011
9:36 am

And yet here you are commenting so I guess your either/or scenario applies to you as well. Or you just think your superior to anyone who is different than you.

Name (required)

October 27th, 2011
9:41 am

Easy there, sailor. Don’t put words in my mouth…..err fingers.

I will be the FIRST to tell you I have too much time on my hands. And if I WERE superior to you, I certainly wouldn’t be posting comments on AJC.com.

Mercedes S.

October 27th, 2011
9:44 am

Those Name (required) folks are SOO tiresome…

Rodney thinks he is god... deleting people's posts

October 27th, 2011
9:54 am

Nice way to keep people interested HO

Harriett

October 27th, 2011
10:03 am

Deirdre, I know what you say is truth. But I still hate what is going on. Again, having said that, I am happy for Diana.

Rosita

October 27th, 2011
10:16 am

Thanks for missing me, Mercedes and Deirdre. See you on the new spot sooon!

Rodney Ho

October 27th, 2011
10:23 am

@Edwin. You know what? You’re absolutely right. That isn’t even Alanis Morrisette ironic. I will change it to coincidental. No idea why I wrote ironic there.

Mercedes S.

October 27th, 2011
10:29 am

Soaps are terrific training grounds for young actors and I’m sure Diana will do well!
At the beginning of time, when I was doing hard news, I watched the noon news. So I wouldn’t miss the lead – children, this was before recordng devices were invented – I turned on the TV a few minutes before twelve… and came upon “Love of Life”… where nasty Ben Harper was played by a gorgeous unknown young man, Cristopher Reeve. He became my first secret TV addiction.

Mercedes S.

October 27th, 2011
10:33 am

Years later, I was forunate enough to interview Chris Reeve several times, and a nicer, smarter, lovelier actor I’ve never met.
Googled “Love of Life”… and here are some other actors from the show: Bonnie Bedelia, Roy Scheider, Raul Julia, John Aniston (Jen’s dad) Paul Michael Glaser, Nancy Marchand, Irene Cara, Beatrice Straight, Marsha Mason, Frances Stermhagen (”The Closer’s” mom).

Mercedes S.

October 27th, 2011
10:34 am

I’ve been called much, but loathsome – never. Explain yourself, Hodney!

Twobits

October 27th, 2011
10:37 am

Diana you are the best, met you at a wedding once. Thanks for being so nice.

JTesla

October 27th, 2011
10:38 am

LOL, this should be good, asking a troll to explain themself.

Deirdre

October 27th, 2011
10:49 am

Name(required) sorry…having internet problems…so why the put-down? If commenting on blogs is one of the many things that make us happy, why be so negative about it? In these times, anything that brings a little light to someone’s life ought to be appreciated.

And I wish I hand time on my hands…I just neglect other duties to be here! ;-)

Sam-A

October 27th, 2011
10:57 am

To Y&R Fan back at the top, more than a few of us here think Diana is quite a fine singer, who should have won instead of “She who’s name must not be mentioned”! First saw her when she was about 8 singing at a GA Hall of Fame awards show – her voice and finesse were adult level even then.

There are a couple of nasty little critters here today! And Mercedes is certainly not “loathsome” – only an uninformed nut case would call her that! Perhaps he/she is themselves “loathsome” and looking for company.

Mercedes S.

October 27th, 2011
11:02 am

Thank you, Sam-A!

Deirdre

October 27th, 2011
11:20 am

“Rodney thinks he is god… deleting people’s posts”…..not sure that Rodney deleted the post…see the little “Report this comment” at the bottom of each post? My guess is a lot of people reported your comment and the techies deleted you. Then again, it could have been Rodney and good for him if it was!

Deirdre

October 27th, 2011
11:21 am

Sorry folks, no tv, little internet and no phone is not improving my mood!

Y&R fan

October 27th, 2011
11:26 am

Sam-A, I never said she couldn’t sing. I just said I hope her acting is way better than her singing. With that being said, I just think her singing is mediocre at best. And FYI, Fantasia was light years ahead of Diana in the talent department. She may be a complete mess now, but at that particular date and time, she deserved that win! Now, not so much.