An American Idol like an Israeli rose

February 11, 2010 - 6:49 PM by

I admit it – I’m an American Idol junkie. And watching the prelims last week (which are screened here on Saturday night, a few days after their US screening), our family’s ears perked up when we heard a contestant introduced as “Didi Ben Ami.”

“Gotta be Israeli,” my son said. But the young woman who came out and sang “Hey Jude” with a slightly southern twang, and delicately broke down while talking about her late best friend who inspired her to pursue music hardly appeared to be a Sabra.

However, since then, a look at her MySpace page as well as reports on the Web and news reports confirm that Ben Ami has an Israeli connection.

Her given name is ‘Vered Benami’, she’s aged 22, from Tennessee, and now living in LA and working as a waitress. On the American Idol Web site, she pronounces her name, first with an American accent and then with an Israeli one.

Her MySpace page explains that “Vered” means “rose” in Hebrew, and the page lists “faith that some day there will be peace in Israel.” According to Ynet, Benami was born in New York to a “family of Israelis.”

However, a number of Christian music web sites which list American Idol contestants with a connection to Christian music and values list Benami among them. So who know? Meanwhile, Benami has passed the first round of elimination on the way to securing the final 24 candidates to make the finals of the show. If she makes, she’ll join
Elliott Yamin, who placed third on the show’s fifth season, as an Israeli Idol. Yasmin has an American Jewish mother and an Israeli father.

Benami isn’t the only Israeli who’s floating around the show this year. Among the names touted to be replacing departing judge Simon Cowell next year is Guy Oseary, the Israeli-born LA music mogul and manager of Madonna.

Oseary is allegedly in the final pack of possible successors, along with Howard Stern, Jamie Foxx and former Sony music boss Tommy Mottola.

According to Ha’aretz, Jerusalem-born Oseary has made several guest appearances in TV and films such as blockbusters Charlie’s Angels and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, and has also authored four books including Jews Who Rock, about Jews in the music industry.

If he is chosen, I wonder if we’ll start hearing some Cowell-like insults in Hebrew next year.


5 Comments on An American Idol like an Israeli rose

  1. David-Joe on Fri, Feb 12th 2010 6:01 AM
  2. Article in the New York press today – Bar Rafaeli was so upset at not being on the SI swimsuit cover edition, that at its launch yesterday at the Gansevoort Hotel in the MaPa district downtown, she ignored fans, pouted and acted like real spoilt little you know what.

    When being told that the one who replaced her stood and greeted, mingled with fans and signed autographs of the fans who were standing outside in the cold and snow, she went out and did so for a while as well.

    I was not surprised at her action – she is not an American and Israeli attitudes do NOT go down very well here.

    The woman that replaced her is prettier anyway – although the standout in the edition is the athlete Vonn, number 1 US olympic skier. She is pretty and her athletic body just shows how awful the skinny boney model bodies really are.

    Bye, bye Bar – you may just have to return to the country you turned your back on – bitch.

  3. k on Fri, Feb 12th 2010 11:08 AM
  4. David-Joe: You read too many tabloids..

  5. mombuleau on Wed, Feb 17th 2010 9:56 PM
  6. Who cares?

    I mean, she’s great, and that’s all that counts.

  7. Deb on Wed, Feb 17th 2010 11:01 PM
  8. @ David-Joe – what does Bar Rafaeli have to do with American Idol?

    [...] we're starting to get to know these contenders a little better — we've learned that Didi (real name: Vered) has roots in Israel and that Siobhan Magnus has an uncle who played bass for '80s metal band Stryper (wonder if he [...]

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