For the most part, sixth-place finishers on American Idol fall into the forgettable category.
Siobhan Magnus won’t be lumped into that group.
It could be because of her attire during Season 9 which might be described as somewhere between Cyndy Lauper and Lady Gaga.
Or it could be because of her demeanor, she wasn’t afraid to offer a sharp retort to Mr. Simon Cowell’s criticisms of her efforts.
But what really leaves a lasting impression is what came to be THE NOTE.
Somewhere along the line in every song she sang she would hit it – long, high, energetic, almost glass-shattering.
Where did it come from?
“It’s all about placement,” Magnus said in a recent phone interview during an American Idol Summer Tour stop in Columbus, Ohio. “I figured out where you let it resonate putting it forward in your nose. I figured it out in the shower one time and, thank goodness, it is my favorite thing to do.
“I always sing in the shower. I’m an avid shower singer. I sing my best in the shower. My mother says you can hear me outside when I sing in the shower.
“I don’t think I’ve scared anyone yet, I hope not. But it is hard to scare my parents.”
The same might not be true of Tour audiences as she admits.
“Every city is a little different. Sometimes I get more people with that look on their face like, ‘What is going on?’ What is she doing?’
“I’ve had little boys making a face, looking like they were going to cry. So, you find the one guy in the audience who you know his girlfriend made him come and you get him excited to be there and you are like, ‘Yes!’
“Sometimes there are the husbands and unexpectedly the boyfriends start rocking out with me sometimes.”
Magnus and her recently-acquired 9 best friends, will be making two northern California American Idol Tour stops in August – Saturday at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and next Wednesday at ARCO Arena in Sacramento.
It probably wasn’t what Magnus bargained for when she tried out for American Idol in Boston last summer.
Afterall she was simply playing in a rather obscure rock band, plying her trade as a novice glass-blower and perfecting that incredibly high, rather unique note in the shower of her Massachusetts home.
What she got as the No. 6 contestant to be eliminated on Season 9 of the most popular show on television was a birds-eye view of AI’s meltdown.
It’s most popular judge (Cowell) announced he was leaving the show, the rest of the judging panel was left up for grabs as the summer months wore on, the ratings plummeted, the Top 36 finalists were looked upon as anywhere from mediocre to not-good-at-all and ticket sales for the annual AI Summer Tour were so bad that eight shows out of the 45-show circuit were cancelled.
Despite all that, there really isn’t anything that is getting the 20-year-old born on the Ides of March down.
“You really can’t anticipate something of this magnitude when you haven’t done it before,” Magnus said. “You just try to figure it out along the way, what is really going on. It is really fun and a great learning experience.”
While she’s been a fan of the show (“I watched every single show the first year. I thought it was the coollest thing”) since it’s inception when she was only 11, even Magnus has no idea of it’s direction now.
“I don’t know what they will do, we’ll see,” Magnus said. “It could be a very different show. They could pick somebody (as a judge) who is going to be totally different than Simon, or they could pick someone who is going to be the mean judge.”
Surviving various cuts from the thousands who auditioned last summer and making it all the way to No. 6 still doesn’t leave Magnus immune from the critics. Her take when the Top 10 is termed weak? Those critics don’t understand everything.
“No one wants to hear stuff like that,” she said. “But you have to remember that people who are saying things like that weren’t there and they don’t know what we went through … we are the only ones who know. I can’t really describe it. If you knew any of us personally and you could see what we are capable of at our best then you might not say that.
“That’s why I think it’s great to get to come and see us on Tour because a lot of people said that their opinions of us changed because it’s very different watching us perform here rather than on the show cause we get to do an entire song. In fact, more than one entire song and we get to show what kind of artist we want to be.
“On the show we had a minute-and-a-half every week to sing a quick edit of a song and try to show what kind of artist we want to be. But in such a small amount of time it doesn’t always go over well.
“It can be a little odd in the venue (where Idol is performed during the season). Sometimes I’d watch the show back and I would say, ‘Oh, that’s what it sounded like?’ And everyone who came to see the show at the studio, like my family, just said it was so different. And that’s another reason I recommend they come out to see the concert because you might not even really know what we sound like.”
As far as her sixth-place finish … did Magnus agree with that?
“At least it’s an even number I really like even numbers. And I like 15 (her birthday is March 15th). It’s cool because 15 is 3 fives. I have a thing about numbers. I super-analyze numbers. You know when you are turning up or down the volume on the TV? I always put the volume on an even number or on five.”
So, did she. agree with that finish? Evidently not.
AMERICAN IDOL SUMMER TOUR 2010
When: 7:30 p.m., Aug. 14
Where: Shoreline Amphitheatre, One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View
Tickets: $76.50, $56.50, $46.50, $10 (lawn)
Parking: Free with ticket purchase
Further information: 650-967-4040
When: 7:30 p.m., Aug. 18
Where: ARCO Arena, Sacramento
Tickets: $38, $48 and $68 (prices do not include $2.50 facility fee)
Parking: Lot open at 5:30 p.m., $12 per car
ARCO Doors open: 6:30 p.m.
Further information: 916-928-6900