Poor Nikko Smith. He may not be one of American Idol's most memorable performers, but we'll never forget his yo-yo routine as a contestant.
First, the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith struck out with Idol voters. Then, Mario Vazquez quit the competition for mysterious reasons. That opened the door for Nikko's return — at least until two weeks later, when he was voted off again. Worse yet, the two-time loser was cut in lieu of creepy Scott Savol, whom Idol watchers had expected to see eliminated because of his domestic violence scandal. When this guy gets more votes than you do, that's gotta hurt.
"I was just prepared for anything," Smith says, "because the show's been so crazy so far that anything can happen. It went down the way it went down. That's the way the cookie crumbles, I guess, but it's all good. It was just good being back for the time I was back. The second time around, I had a lot more fun and I just kicked it."
(For those of us over 30, "kicking it" refers to the state of relaxing and enjoying oneself, not kicking the proverbial bucket. We now return to our regularly scheduled Insider story.)
Smith doesn't seem too bummed about either of his ousters. After his first elimination, he admits, "I had made it into the Top 24, got enough exposure and it was about time I went home. But then they called me at 2:30 in the morning on a Saturday and asked me to come back. I thought it was a joke at first — and I wasn't too happy about it. Come to find out, it wasn't a joke and they wanted me back. So I decided to just enjoy it."
The comeback kid has never had an opportunity to thank Vazquez for giving him his second shot at stardom. "The last time I talked to Mario was when I left the first time," he laughs. "I'd love to holler at him though, and see what's up."
Unlike Rent's Frenchie Davis, Smith's unlikely to seek post-Idol work on the Great White Way. "Broadway musicals [are] not a mainstream thing that we sing on a daily basis, so [last week's theme] was kinda hard for everybody," he says. "It took me a while to pick a song because I didn't know the [classic] musicals. But I finally found a beautiful, pretty song ["One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story] that I could put my own spin on. I picked it and I feel like it wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad. So I was content with it, man. It was a little difficult, but I think I handled it well."Want more
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