Nicole Tieri, a friend and former student of mine, appeared on American Idol this month. She was among 8,000 or so people in New York City to audition for the show, and the judges—at least, Paula and Simon—thought she was good enough to go on to Hollywood for the next round. The show’s producers seemed to like her, too. They made her the feature story for the New York audition episode, granting her nearly 10 minutes of air time. Dubbed "Scooter Girl" at the auditions, Nicole sang a song about her favorite mode of transportation, a song that she penned while waiting in line. She then segued nicely into a Celine Dion tune for the three judges, who had both praise andi nstruction for her.
It’s been fascinating to watch the attention that the media lavished on her for a few days following the show. Entertainment Tonight did a follow-up report on “Scooter Girl’s recent struggle with anorexia,” getting some of the information right (her high school accomplishments) and making up other stuff for no apparent reason (“one of her closest friends”).
People in the online message boards have been buzzing about her as well. They all seem to think they have her figured out, making emphatic pronouncements about her singing, her antics, her personality, her past. They don’t have a clue, of course. But when has that ever stopped anyone?