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.

THR: Didi and other American Idol alums weigh in on the X Factor

By Shirley Halperin and Fred Bronson, The Hollywood Reporter
What do the Idols like about X Factor and what do they hate? What were their expectations for the new Fox show and what do they think of the judges they know personally, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul? The Hollywood Reporter polled a number of former finalists to see what they thought of the newest talent competition series on the block and discovered that Idols have a wide range of opinions. Here’s what Didi had to say:
THR: What do you like about X Factor U.S.?
Didi: “I like that the judges are working with the kids and mentoring them, unlike on Idol. I think that is a great setup and it has to be more appealing for the contestants to know that there is someone gunning for you on the judging panel. It also makes for less confusion in a time where there is so much that’s new and unlike anything you’ve ever done before.”

THR: Your thoughts on the judges, especially Simon and Paula and what it’s like to see them on a different show…
Benami: “I like seeing Simon and Paula on a show together again, I think the on- camera chemistry they have is really something, and it seems to have only grown after their time on Idol. I love Paula, so I’m glad that she gets to do this again because she’s a sweetheart and is always positive, supportive, and really good for this sort of show. And I think Simon tends to be a lot nicer (as all of the judges are) off-camera than on.”

Read about what the other idol alums have to say here: ‘X Factor’: What the ‘American Idol’ Alums Think of Simon Cowell’s New Show .