Although he was unable to become the fifth winner of Fox’s popular reality competition, American Idol
, Elliot Yamin
has done well in launching a career outside of the show, having released his self-titled debut album, in March.
The 28 year-old singer had no formal training in singing prior to his participation in the fifth season of American Idol.
Nevertheless, he managed to make it all the way to the Final Three with Taylor Hicks
and Katharine McPhee
. Having finished in third place, the show offered him a recording contract, but Yamin decided to sign a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV instead in December 2006.
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When asked by the Arizona Daily Star if working independently of American Idol
has been advantageous, Yamin replied, “Absolutely. I've been involved every step of the way with every facet of this project from co-writing songs to picking out the sequencing on the record to trying to help pick where I wanted to go on tour. Everything from top to bottom. I am a partner in my own deal. I have more vested in this. I don't have to go out and sell 2-3 million records to be successful.”
Yamin also said that although he enjoyed doing the nationwide tour with the rest of the season five finalists, he prefers performing in smaller venues the more intimate setting allows him “to really interact with the crowd.” Nevertheless, he maintains close relationships with some of his former fellow finalists.
“I keep in touch with quite a few people,” Yamin said. “Bucky (Covington)
and Taylor (Hicks) were my best friends on the show. I talked to Taylor…when we were in St. Louis and Bucky a couple of weeks ago. I talk to Ace (Young)
all the time. Ace has probably become one of my better friends post-show. He lives in L.A., pretty close to where I live. We talk about more personal stuff than the business stuff. Everyone has been so busy, they just want some normalcy."
Aside from his singing career, Yamin, a Type I diabetic since he was 16 years old, also spends his time working as a celebrity advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“I think it is very important,” Yamin said of his work with the organization. “A lot of people align my struggle with calling me a role model. I don't know if I necessarily want to be one, but I definitely want to be a voice.”
He added, “I've had my struggles with it when I was younger. I know what it was like to have diabetic seizures. I know what it is like to be at your lowest point. Maintaining it on the road is very challenging. You learn how to cope with the different ways and different situations. It is just a matter of checking my blood sugar more often. I wear an insulin pump. It is more conducive to my lifestyle, which is always on the go.”
Currently, Yamin is on the first leg of his nationwide solo tour. He has also landed a deal with Target, with which he will be recording a Christmas album in July.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Arizona Daily Star
(Photo Courtesy of Fox)