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'American Idol's' Diana DeGarmo Makes 'Young and the Restless' Debut

The season 3 runner-up embraces her inner "Jersey girl" by playing Angelina, the daughter of a mob boss, on the CBS soap.

Diana DeGarmo Young and Restless
Sean Smith / JPI Studios

Forget the innocent blonde 16-year-old who competed on the third season of American Idol and went all the way to the finale. Diana DeGarmo is a grown-up 24 now, a veteran of Broadway musicals (Hairspray and Hair) who has perfected her dramatic and comedy chops in those shows as well as the off-Broadway production of the The Toxic Avenger, a musical set in New Jersey. DeGarmo is a “Jersey girl” once more, thanks to her new role as Angelina, the daughter of a mob boss, in The Young and the Restless.

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DeGarmo, who makes her debut on the CBS soap on Monday (Oct. 31), is having fun playing the over-the-top character. “Angelina’s style has taken a few notes from the cast of Jersey Shore,” DeGarmo tells the Hollywood Reporter. “The wardrobe department and I have had a blast picking out outrageous and fabulous outfits for Angelina. Her hair and make-up are icing on the cake.”

Like Diana, Angelina is a singer. “Unfortunately, she’s not as good a singer as she and her father think she is,” DeGarmo reveals. “Angelina is a bit oblivious to reality, but will slowly come to grips with it over the next few weeks. As a singer myself, it’s liberating to get on the set and throw all ego -- and notes -- aside and surprise people.”

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Growing up in Snellville, Ga., Diana was not a regular viewer of network daytime soaps. “I never watched then because I was in school,” she confesses. “But I have many friends and family members who do and they think I'm super cool now that I'm working on one!”

Asked how her new role as a soap star compares to her Broadway work, DeGarmo replies, “It’s apples and oranges. They’re both fruit, but they taste completely different. Broadway is six days a week, the same show every night, and fairly consistent. On The Young and the Restless, you only film four days a week. It's super-fast paced, and totally different each day. But both of them are loads of fun!”