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Bryant Tadeo bids aloha to ‘American Idol’
BY GARY CHUN / email@example.com
Thursday night’s sudden-death round for the final 10 male contestants of “American Idol” was particularly unkind to Hilo-born Bryant Tadeo, as he was eliminated from the competition.
His rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” was a crowd favorite but didn’t sway the judges, whose decision to cut Tadeo elicited a round of boos from the Las Vegas audience.
“That Billy Joel song is a great song,” he said Friday, March 1, of his song selection for the segment, which was taped in advance. “I try to keep in mind to choose something that will highlight every aspect of my vocal ability. When I watched the show last night and heard my performance, I thought it captured the tone and register of my voice. And (judge) Keith Urban agreed with that. He loved it.”
But it was fellow judge Nicki Minaj — the Fox TV show’s most polarizing figure — who delivered the most biting comment. After first saying that she loved Tadeo’s final falsetto and vocal run on the song, Minaj bluntly added, “I didn’t like anything else.” The reaction camera shot showed a visibly surprised Tadeo.
Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey echoed Minaj’s comments, albeit more diplomatically.
“It’s always hard getting comments not in your favor after pouring your heart out in front of millions,” Tadeo said. “I understand what Randy said, that while he loved the beginning, I never quite went there again. And when Mariah said that I got a little bit lost, I agree. I got a little bit excited. I respect all the criticism of the judges, and I’ll take it and build on it.
“The energy in the arena was high. Even though it’s been a crazy experience, the reaction from the crowd after the first bar of the song was ridiculous. You could tell I was a clear favorite with them.”
This was Tadeo’s second try to become an “American Idol.” Last season he advanced past the initial auditions but did not make it as far as he did this year.
He said will be returning to his job as a Target store sales clerk in Las Vegas, where he now lives.
“Now that people can see what I can do, I’m going to get a piece of paper and write down what I want to do from here on in. It’s all about honing my craft. I’m thinking about taking vocal classes, something I haven’t done before,” he said. “It’s going to be a steady climb. I’m going for it. I’m definitely not stopping singing.
“And I appreciate the love and support from the people of Hawaii. I wouldn’t have coped as well as I have without them.”