As the final field of contestants was narrowed to three ahead of this week’s American Idol series finale, a specific statistic probably came in to focus for Nick Fradiani: the Connecticut-native has a 33 percent chance of being the final man to win the singing competition.
It would have been quite the coincidence considering he was also the first winner from the Northeast.
“I remember when I first got on the show, I found that out,” Fradiani told me earlier this year. “I was like, ‘I’m doomed! I’m never going to win.’”
The Wheaton College graduate never allowed this to affect his performance as he sang his way to the title. A whirlwind of events followed for Fradiani.
“The single was released back in May,” he recalled of the track, “Beautiful Life.” “I did the radio promotion from about May right up until the tour ended.”
Fradiani essentially worked two jobs: promoting his single at radio stations during the day and performing with his fellow Top 5 finalists on the 37 city tour at night. He continued this until September, and then returned to the studio to finish up his album. Now, he’s back at radio with a new single, “Get You Home.”
“It’s the most up-tempo, funkiest song on the whole album,” Fradiani described. “Figures that’s what the label liked! But I loved it, I loved writing it. And there’s a sample in it from Young M.C.”
Fradiani intertwined “If you want it, you got it,” from the 1989 hit “Bust A Move.” The “Idol” winner was 3 and a half years old when the song was released, and busted a move or three this week on the show’s finale.
Also gracing the “Idol” stage one more time: previous winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and Kris Allen. They and other winners from yesteryear were joined by a slew of finalists who have found success in their own right: from “Daughtry” front man Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert to Broadway star Constantine Maroulis, actress Katherine McPhee and country star Kellie Pickler.
Some stars are so far removed from their time on the show that you might even forget they once competed. But for at least one winner, who will also return to “Idol” this week, that might be an accomplishment in itself.
“The hardest thing about coming off of ‘American Idol,’” Lee DeWyze told me a few years ago, “is coming off of ‘American Idol.’ Everyone’s got a different path.”
And for the show’s second-to-last winner, that statement certainly holds true… literally.