Vered "Didi" Benami (Hebrew: ורד "דידי" בן עמי; born October 25, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter and actress from Knoxville, Tennessee, who was the tenth place finalist on the ninth season of American Idol. She was born in New York before moving to Tennessee at the age of 7. Her father is Israeli and her first name, Vered (ורד) means 'rose' in Hebrew. She spent most of her formative years in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Born in New York, Benami moved to Tennessee when she was 7, spending her formative years in Knoxville. She started singing in the fifth grade and portrayed the character of Marty in a production of Grease. She also performed the National Anthem for various crowds. Benami attended Belmont University where she became friends with a felow student named Rebecca Joy Lear. They also became roommates and even wrote songs together. Lear's death in a car accident came before Benami decided to audition for Idol.
American Idol[edit | edit source]
After having lived in California for four years trying to pursue a music career, Benami tried out for season 9 of Idol in Los Angeles where she sang "Hey Jude" by the Beatles. Impressed by her sweet vocals, the judges, which included Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne as a guest judge, sent her through to Hollywood where she quickly became a frontrunner after singing "Terrified" by Katharine McPhee, co-written by judge Kara DioGuardi, on the first solo performance part of Hollywood week.
When she reached the top 24, Benami struggled but regained her momentum when she sang "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac. Many fans feel that Benami's breakthrough performance is her take on the Rolling Stones' classic "Play with Fire", which she performaed as part of the top 12.
Benami was eliminated on March 31, 2010, finishing in 10th place.
Performances/Results[edit | edit source]
|Week #||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Order #||Result|
|Audition||Auditioner's Choice||"Hey Jude"||The Beatles||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||First Solo||"Terrified"||Katharine McPhee||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||Group Performance||"No One"||Alicia Keys||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||Second Solo||"Angel"||Sarah McLachlan||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 24 (12 Women)||Billboard Hot 100 Hits||"The Way I Am"||Ingrid Michaelson||9||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Women)||"Lean on Me"||Bill Withers||5||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Women)||"Rhiannon"||Fleetwood Mac||5||Safe|
|Top 12||The Rolling Stones||"Play with Fire"||The Rolling Stones||2||Safe|
|Top 11||Billboard #1 Hits||"You're No Good"||Betty Everett||10||Safe|
|Top 10||Soul||"What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"||Jimmy Ruffin||4||Eliminated|
After American Idol[edit | edit source]
Benami appeared on several talk shows after her elimination and was a part of that season's American Idols Live tour. After the tour ended, she put her focus on her music, releasing a single called "Gasoline" on May 23, 2012. Thanks to a PledgeMusic.com campaign, Benami was able to raise enough money so that she could record her debut album, Reverie, which was released on September 30, 2014. She's also taken an interest in acting and has been taking acting classes. She has even appeared in the music video for the Theory of a Deadman song "Hurricane". She also made a cameo appearence in Jax's music video for her song "La La Land".
Discography[edit | edit source]
- Reverie (2014)
- "Gasoline" (2012)
- "Watching and Waiting" (2014)
|Lee DeWyze · Crystal Bowersox · Casey James · Michael Lynche · Aaron Kelly · Siobhan Magnus · Tim Urban · Katie Stevens · Andrew Garcia · Didi Benami · Paige Miles · Lacey Brown|
|Lilly Scott · Alex Lambert · Todrick Hall · Katelyn Epperly · Haeley Vaughn · Michelle Delamor · Jermaine Sellers · John Park · Tyler Grady · Ashley Rodriguez · Joe Munoz · Janell Wheeler|