A rising star

    92

    By Elizabeth Bennett

    A BYU student and superstar in the making, Gabe Middleton is poised to become the next Donny Osmond. Or at least one of the Osmonds. The Bubble”s Elizabeth Bennett spoke candidly with the future star about his American Idol auditions.

    Q: So, you”re a singer.

    A: No, not at all.

    Q: You”ve never sung before?

    A: I sing in church choirs. Like, I”ll sing bass, but I”m not that great. I can carry a pitch. I”m not tone-deaf, but I”m not exactly what you would consider “lead singer” material.

    Q: Was the second audition pretty intense?

    A: Yeah, there was a girl I saw who kept going to the bathroom and throwing up because she was so nervous. There were other people who were crying right before their auditions and right after. There were people who were angry … There was one guy, I guess the producers said he looked too much like Justin from season one and sent him home, so he ripped up his papers right there. He was freaking out.

    Q: Where did you fit in?

    A: Well, I was never serious from day one. The fact that I was there was just kind of funny. I had a lot of fun with it.

    Q: How did your audition go with them?

    A: Well, I sang my song …

    Q: What did you sing?

    A: I actually sang “That”s Amore” by Dean Martin, but I sang it in kind of a pop style. I call it the “Justin Timberlake Remix.” I choreographed it and everything. After I was done, the words from Nigel”s [the producer] mouth were “That was dreadful!”

    Q: Really?

    A: Yes. And he said, “Do you have something else to sing?” and I said, basically, “Hey, I can respect your opinion,” and then I just started singing “Respect” by Aretha Franklin with all the soul a white boy can. Which is very little.

    Q: (Laughter) Okay.

    A: After that was done the producer asked me how many of my friends back at home placed a bet with me that I wouldn”t come out here and do this, because nobody in their right mind would do an audition like that. And basically I just said, “I didn”t bet anybody, but I promise you that if you put me on your show, America will vote for me as the next American Idol.” And they were like, “You gotta be kidding me,” because my audition was awful – I”m not a singer. So then Nigel said, “If you get to the next level, Simon Cowell will be there and he will rip you to shreds. He will honestly just tear you apart.” And I said, “You know, that”s one problem about you British people.”

    Q: (laughter)

    A: “You come over here, and I know your intentions are good, but you are judging an American Idol contest, so I don”t know if you necessarily know what an American Idol is and should be. But I promise you that America does and they will vote me in.” That”s when they told me, “You”re on to the next round.”

    Q: So, are you nervous?

    A: I guess the only thing that really makes me nervous is that I don”t want to make a fool of myself on national TV. I mean, I probably will make a fool of myself on national TV, but I don”t want to be like that guy who sang “Like a Virgin” last year. I want to keep some dignity.

    Q: What are you singing?

    A: I”m definitely going to bring “That”s Amore” again, and then for the second one, I would like to sing a song kind of like “Respect” again. A real soulful song. A song that I know even if I were a good singer I wouldn”t be able to pull off, because white boys just don”t have soul like that.

    Q: Do you think you”ll be able to go on to the next round?

    A: Absolutely not. There”s no chance. If they let me go on, then the whole show”s a crock and everyone should stop watching it.

    Q: Are you more afraid that you will progress or that you won”t progress?

    A: I”m more afraid that I will progress. Definitely more afraid to progress.

    Q: Did you know that Carmen [from last season] is at BYU now? Maybe you should call and ask her for advice.

    A: Maybe I will.

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