Every child has a dream to be a famous singer or TV star. Luckily, Pia Toscano was able to live both these dreams as an American Idol contestant, and although she has been voted off American Idol, her dreams have not yet ended.
“I always wanted to be on stage,” said Toscano. She attended dancing school and began dancing on stage at just two and a half years old. “When I was on stage dancing, I was the last one to leave the stage; they couldn’t get me off; they would have to pull me.”
Toscano began to sing when she was four-years-old, when her father realized that she had a really good pitch as she sang Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in her living room. Toscano said that she always knew that she had a good voice, but that as she got older, she became shy and didn’t sing.
When she got to junior high school, rather than choosing to sing in the chorus, Toscano chose to join the band to play the flute. She said that one day while she was in the band practice room, she started singing the national anthem. Her band teacher realized that she had a really good voice and made her sing for every assembly and graduation from then on.
When Toscano was getting ready to graduate from junior high school, she auditioned for the performing arts schools and was accepted to LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts.
“It was all so much fun. We really did sing in the hallways and dance on the lunchroom tables like they do in the movies,” she said. “LaGuardia has opened up so many opportunities for me, and one of those opportunities was American Idol.”
“I was always a huge American Idol fan before I auditioned for the show,” Toscano said. She excitedly added, “I even had Kelly Clarkson’s chunky blonde highlights when I was a teenager.”
She auditioned the first time for American Idol when it was in its fifth season. Toscano was eliminated before she was able to make it to Hollywood to meet the celebrity judges. This did not discourage her, though; she auditioned for seasons six, seven, and eight. Of the four seasons, Toscano was able to make it to Hollywood for one of the four seasons but was eliminated by Simon Cowell.
Toscano said that she got a little discouraged after all the eliminations, so she did not audition for season 9, and she wasn’t planning on auditioning for season 10. But when it was time for the auditions for season 10, Toscano’s mother told her that she could have another shot because there was a new panel of judges. Toscano auditioned.
“The previous four eliminations were a blessing in disguise for me; they prepared me for season 10,” said Toscano.
She came a long way in season 10. Toscano made it into the top eight contestants before her shocking elimination, which she said took her a “little by surprise.” Toscano, though, said that she had a feeling that she was going to be in the bottom three. “I felt it in my stomach,” she said. “I felt that my dream was coming to an end.” Just as dreams are misunderstanding, so was Toscano’s elimination.
Toscano said doesn’t exactly know why she was voted off the show. “You know, the show isn’t all about singing. It’s also about performing, and I was never fully comfortable on stage. I had to overcome my nerves every single week. I got butterflies every time I sang,” she said. “I’m such a perfectionist. I wanted to hit every note and sometimes I would get too inside my head and it would defeat me.”
Although at her moment of defeat Toscano thought her dream was over and that her journey was coming to an end, her journey wasn’t really ending.
Her elimination has attracted so much publicity and she has learned how many fans she truly has. “The day after elimination, I had 30,000 new twitter followers!” she said. “I lived in a bubble while I was on American Idol. I had no idea how many people supported me!” Toscano said that after the elimination she was feeling “pretty down” and that she was trying to stay positive. “The support was overwhelming and beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for things to work out any better—it really put a positive spin on a negative situation,” she said.
Toscano has other good things going for her too. She has the American Idol Tour coming up, and she has been performing on shows such as “Regis and Kelly,” “Ellen,” “Late Nite” and “Dancing with the Stars.” Not only does she have the tour and show appearances, but she also has the songs that she sang on American Idol on iTunes.
There have been rumors that Toscano has signed a record deal with Interscope Records, but she confirmed this as a rumor. “I really haven’t had time to do anything,” she said. “I’ve been so busy. My main focus is the tour.”
After the tour, Toscano hopes to record her own album and to go on her own tour. She also dreams to attend an awards show someday.
“I want to have the same impact on little girls that Kelly Clarkson had on me,” Toscano said.