'American Idol' Fields Handful of Semi-Pro Singers

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Published January 22, 2009

| FOXNews

Louisville, Kentucky's Churchilll Downs is already known for big horses, big bets and even bigger hats. Now, thanks to American Idol, it will also be known for a few big voices.

Contestants made quite an impression in the home of the Kentucky Derby as the judges stopped in for day four of Season 8 auditions. And Simon, Paula, Randy and Kara were determined to make one right back, even if music was off the table.

VIDEO: Watch the latest hilarious episode of 'Idol Chatter' for more on last night's show.

Tiffany Shed, for example, can thank the judges for inspiring her to go to college after convincing her that her attempting a music career was the equivalent of a donkey in a race with 22 horses “you just wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Mark Mudd was also told music isn’t his thing, but according to Simon, "Wheel of Fortune" might be.

And Rebecca Garcia will likely never be a singer, but thanks to some motivation from Kara, perhaps she’ll consider a career in comedy.

Joanna Pacitti on the other hand should refrain from throwing in the towel on her singing career, despite the number of times she’s probably wanted to.

The pretty brunette makes Carly Smithson seem like a music industry rookie with all the experience (and disappointments) she’s had thus far. Not only was she with A&M, as Kara pointed out, but Geffen records also released an album by her. The soundtracks of “Legally Blonde,” “Bratz,” “First Daughter” and “Nancy Drew” all sported singles by her, and she was featured in an MTV show called “First Year.”

What Pacitti is best known for however, is her famous rise and fall from fame at age 11 when she won the lead role in the 20th anniversary production of “Annie,” only to be replaced by her understudy two weeks before the show’s Broadway debut.

And Pacitti’s far from being the only Hollywood hopeful with a past.

Brent Keith Smith, for example, is a former contestant from Nashville Star 2, had a song on the “Dale” soundtrack (a movie about nascar legend Dale Earnhardt) and is a featured artist on the Country Music Television website.

And despite Matt Giraud’s convincingly coy audition, he actually has two albums of his own out there, too.

Given that Idol is supposed to be all about giving everyday people a unique chance to be discovered, I’m not sure how I feel about them putting through someone, like Joana especially, who’s already had several real shots at fame. But there’s no denying that Joanna, Brent and Matt are all good enough for this competition and now that there in it, all the Idol hopefuls should beware.

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