Consider the following an insurance policy on a hunch - for while I'm not claiming to have found the next American Idol, there is a young lady you need to meet. Or perhaps you already have. Last night, Piedmont teenager Jamie Lynn Ward sashayed before Simon and the gang and unspooled a Jerry Springer-esque backstory before belting out a Christine Aguilera tune. As she did, I looked up from my laptop and realized the 'girl from Reidsville' I'd heard whispers of the past few months really did exist. By the time she bounded off-screen with a golden ticket, my cell phone was overheating. Hoo Boy, here we go...again?
Naaah. No way another hopeful vocalist from the Tarheel State could dominate the global juggernaut that is American Idol. At least that's what I told myself this morning as I noticed the cell phone blinking from beneath the surgical scrubs I was wearing. I couldn't do much about it at the time, but as soon as the robotic prostate procedure I was shooting ended, I ditched the bunny suit and returned the call. Fifteen minutes later, I wolfed down a steering wheel cheeseburger as I raced due North, late for a date with a blue eyed bombshell. Tough gig, eh?
Well, it ain't as easy as ya might think. When I arrived at Rockingham County High School, I had to fight through a thicket of hyped-up classmates, grinning faculty members and a couple of backup dancers before I could chat with young Jamie Lynn. Or more like listen. This child can tawlk - with a backwoods twang that can best be described as Jaime Pressley channeling Ellie May Clampett. That's no slam, either. In fact, where I come from it's the loftiest of accolades. But one gets the feeling young Miss Ward is used to that level of praise. After all she's homecoming queen, sings like a southern-fried Truck Stop Angel and holds mysterious Jedi-like mind powers over every boy in school. Is that enough to get her past the rampant dismissals of Idol's Hollywood week? Ya got me. All I know is the show's producers would be positively deranged to kick her off before she gets to gleam, preen and drop a few one-liners. Just remember, you heard it here first.