Joanna Pacitti, Season 8 Contestants

Idol CD spotlight: Joanna Pacitti

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Joanna Pacitti CD This Crazy LifeThis Crazy Life

1. Let It Slide

2. Ultra Violet

3. Broken

4. Screaming Infidelities

5. 4th of July

6. Tip Toe

7. Drifter

8. This Crazy Life

9. Just When You’re Leaving

10. Let Go

11. Your Obsession

12. Miracle

By MARK FRANKLIN

One night last week I downloaded Joanna Pacitti’s pre-Idol album so I could feature it in today’s CD spolight blog.

Of course, by Thursday morning we all learned that we’d seen the last of Joanna on Idol.

Fox executives still haven’t given a detailed explanation of why she got the boot. And I haven’t seen comment from Joanna anywhere, though her Facebook page is full of fans angry over Idol’s decision.

Writes a fan named Laura Burkhill: “They should have checked all stuff like that before letting her get as far as she did – especially knowing she had already been signed.”

Very good point, Laura.

Star recently reported that Pacitti had connections with two producers at 19 Entertainment, and Ryan Seacrest was asked about Joanna’s ouster during Thursday’s gathering of Idols at Disney World.

Fox NEWS quoted him as follows: “The producers do the background checks right around (the) Hollywood (round). When they see something that stands out, they have to address it. And they saw something, and there was apparently some sort of a link that, somewhere along the line, could be construed as one that’s close to the competition, and they didn’t want to risk it.”

Joanna PacittiBack to Joanna’s pre-Idol CD. Released in August 2006 by Geffen Records, it was called “This Crazy Life,” and Pacitti was going as simply “Joanna.” ”Let It Slide,” had been released as a single shortly beforehand.

It’s lightweight pop fare and didn’t exactly soar up the charts. According to Wikipedia, U.S. sales checked in at 16,000. When I listened to it, I found my mind drifting elsewhere. It doesn’t exactly demand attention.

That said, Joanna certainly displays an Idol-worthy voice considering some top-12 contestants of the recent past. “This Crazy Life” is easily my favorite track. You might also want to give a listen to “Just When You’re Leaving” and “Miracle.”

In fact, you can listen to all the songs for free on Joanna’s MySpace page. And iTunes has the complete CD available for $6.99, with a bonus track to boot.

And give Joanna credit for this, at a time when most pop princesses smile pretty and sing songs someone else hands them, she shared writing credits on six tracks.

Here are two reviews of “This Crazy Life,” one middling, one not so good.

ING Music: 3.7 out of 10

All Music Guide: 3 out of 5

While researching Joanna so I could post profiles of Idol’s top 36, I also stumbled across an interesting article on her, published in Philadelphia magazine in 2006, as she was preparing to release her CD.

The interviewer asked if she resented the way Idol turns aspiring singers into stars in the course of a few months.

“It’s handed to people way too easily,” she was quoted as saying. “I’d rather have my experience than overnight success.” Despite that, she added that: “My family said, ‘You should go on American Idol.’”

Two years later, she did.

And look what happened.

But, hey, Joanna, lots more people now know your name.

UPCOMING IDOL CD RELEASES

March 10: Kelly Clarkson: “All I Ever Wanted”

March 10: Taylor Hicks: “The Distance”

April 7: George Huff, self-titled

May 5: Elliott Yamin, “Fight for Love”

June 2: Brooke White: “High Hopes and Heartbreaks.”

Note: According to a Jan. 20 post on his Web site, Michael Johns plans to release an album in March. No more details have been released, at least not on that site or his MySpace page.

RECENT RELEASES

Feb. 3: Melinda Doolittle, self-titled

Melinda’s Reviews:

Miami Herald

Boston Herald

Jan. 20: ”Don’t Look Down,” an independent soundtrack with music written by former Idol contestant Michael Johns, Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth. Michael does most of the vocals (except on “View from Up Here”.) The soundtrack features “Life is Okay,” a duet featuring Michael with Brooke White.

Jan. 20: Sanjaya Malakar: “Dancing to the Music in My Head,” a five-track EP, released the same day the book “Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People’s Idol” came out.

IDOLS IN THE AREA

Saturday, Feb. 28

David Archuleta at the Chamelon Club in Lancaster. Tickets: $25

Saturday, Feb. 28

Bo Bice at Ram’s Head On Stage, Annapolis, Md. Tickets: $30

Tuesday, March 24

David Cook, with opening act Ryan Star, at the Pullo Center at Penn State York. Tickets: $29.50. No tickets available.

Wednesday, March 25

American Idol Pop Tour at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, featuring Diana DeGarmo, Melinda Doolittle, Phil Stacey and Chickeze. Tickets: $40.

Thursday, April 30

Ruben Studdard stars with the cast of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” at the Strand Capital Performing Arts Center, York. Tickets: $45-$80

Thursday, June 11

Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler in Baltimore. More details to be announced. Stay tuned. More info about concerts that are part of Taylor’s tour show up on her Web site almost daily.

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