Birmingham, Alabama native Diana Nicole DeGarmo (23), went from Idol to playing one of her idols. At the age of 16, DeGarmo not only won a spot on American Idol, but also made it into the final two. She didn't win the competition -- Fantasia Barrino was the winner that season -- but since then, DeGarmo has managed to win the role of Doralee Rhodes (played by Dolly Parton in the original film version) in the touring production of 9 to 5: The Musical.
Were you one of those kids who came out of the womb singing and dancing? I was definitely one of those. My mom called me a hambone growing up. I've always liked to sing and make people laugh. I did Annie and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (longest musical title in history) when I was a kid.
I grew up in Atlanta so we have the Fox Theater. There was all kinds of stuff for kids there. I really thought of myself as a singer more than anything and thought I would be a recording artist one day. It was all performing though, musical theater, recording artist, whatever.
Then I did Idol, which takes you from zero to hero. I had every intention of going to college and whatever. But I was already doing what I loved. I was afraid I wouldn't be good at it, But I was. And I've auditioned for every show I've gotten except one. So I've worked as hard as anyone else. It's my own version of school. I call it the school of life.