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Didi Benami talks to Suite101 about latest projects, charity work, and fellow Idol alums

Didi Benami talks to Suite101 about latest projects, charity work, and fellow Idol alums


by Markos Papadatos, Contributing Writer for


On Friday, June 29, 2012, Suite101 spoke via phone with the ever-talented Didi Benami, the tenth place finalist of the ninth season of American Idol.

Current Endeavors

“I actually just did a music video for the band Theory of a Deadman where I play Tyler Connolly’s bad girlfriend in ‘Hurricane.’ It was really fun and interesting. I have been taking acting classes and I also released a new single. I am working on new songs for an EP.”


Little Kids Rock

“I just got back from Mexico and we are working with an organization called Little Kids Rock, which is an amazing charity that is trying to raise money to re-implement music programs and give children musical instruments in schools due to budget cuts. Had there not been music in school, I wouldn’t have survived. That was my safe haven,” she says.
“I did a show there with Blake Lewis, Katie Stevens and several other Idol contestants. I was a lot of fun,” she says.


Brooke White

Didi notes that she gets confused for fellow Idol alumna Brooke White a lot. “I get compared to her a lot, and when I performed with Michael Johns, more people think that I am Brooke. It’s cool since I like Brooke a lot, and she just had a baby actually,” she says.

Tim Urban

“Tim is a really great friend of mine. He did Little Kids Rock with me too, and he is a wonderful guy,” she says.

Phillip Phillips and Kris Allen

When asked which Idol albums she would love to someday collaborate with, she says, “I would love to do a duet with Phillip Phillips. I love his style, and I think our styles would be really cool together, and he would be an amazing choice.”
“I love Kris Allen too. He is one of the most wonderful people that I have ever met. What is funny is that I waited on him at the restaurant where I worked at before I went on Idol. He and his family came to the restaurant where I worked at, and I had told him that I had wanted to audition for Idol. I had told him that I wanted to sing ‘Hey Jude’ on there and he liked my song choice. When he and his wife, Katie, came to visit the show the year I was on, Katie told me that she returned to the restaurant to visit me there, but she didn’t find me there since I was performing on the show.”

Faith Hill

“I love Faith Hill and I had the good fortune to interview her husband, Tim McGraw, when I was doing the red carpet interviews for the American Idol official website. He was there with his daughter, and I was on the verge of freaking out since I am a huge fan of his wife,” she says.

Didi Benami is “Hurricane” in new music video from Theory of a Deadman

Story from The Hollywood Reporter by Shirley Halperin

‘American Idol’s’ Didi Benami Stars as ‘Hot Mess’ in New Theory of a Deadman Video

American Idol season 9 alum Didi Benami landed a starring role in the new Theory of a Deadman video. Cast as a sort of “fallen idol,” the Tennessee native plays “Hurricane,” which also happens to be the name of the song, a pop star hopeful who wins an Idol-esque contest then promptly spirals into train wreck territory complete with (faux) tabloid magazine covers, drunken club nights with (the real) Andy Dick and even some girl-on-girl action. (In a curious twist of fate, the song was co-written by former Idol judge Kara DioGuardi.)
The clip’s narrative finds Benami, aka Hurricane, coming full circle, starting out a fresh-faced hopeful, then experiencing overnight success, riches and the ultimate downfall. The song is the fourth single from the band’s 2011 album, The Truth Is…
“I’ve been taking acting classes for a very long time, and part of what I’ve learned is to find that place inside yourself and imagine that you’re in the circumstance that you’re given,” Benami tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s not difficult, but I felt really sad and had a hard time snapping out of it after we were done shooting.”

Indeed, Benami even dons the same dress she wore during her final performance on Idol — aptly, the song was “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” — which she hadn’t worn since her elimination. “Honestly, it felt a bit odd to put it on again,” she says. “I had kept it in my closet and thought about giving it away because I couldn’t stand seeing it. It reminded me of Simon’s ‘swimming through jelly’ comment. But I realized how pretty it was and how I felt when I first tried it on and how I fell in love with it. It was my suggestion to wear it in the video, and I’m glad because I got to give it new meaning.”
Idol viewers might be slightly shocked to see a ready-to-party Didi Benami, with her hair teased out, heavy makeup on and playing tonsil hockey with two Sunset Strip babes, but she says it was all part of the job. Still, she admits, “I now know what Katy Perry was singing about!” Benami says she was “really nervous” at first about the scene, which was a last-minute addition to the treatment. “Portraying me as a hot mess and kissing a girl, it’s not necessarily anything I would do in my real life, but I take my job seriously.” However, she adds, “They had really soft lips!”
So what does become of the broken hearted? “After being on a show like American Idol or any ‘overnight success’ show reality set in, and it can be sad and bittersweet where all of a sudden you feel cut off from the family that’s been around you for months and you don’t really know what’s next,” Benami explains. “It can easily become a mind game that you can get lost in if you’re not careful and don’t continue working hard and honing your craft to the fullest extent. So you have to stay positive and look at what you accomplished as a platform and take every good opportunity you can.”
Words to live by. Watch the video for “Hurricane” above.