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You could call Jackie Tohn a reality show vet. After trying out for American Idol on season 8, where she was one of 36 contenders for a spot on the Top 13 and eliminated during the semifinals round (the song that did her in: Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation”), the experience hasn’t seemed to sour her opinion of the TV genre that just won’t die.
Now, the 30-year-old Tohn, who hails from Long Island, New York but calls Los Angeles home, can be seen on Bravo’s Platinum Hit which tests contestants’ songwriting abilities rather than just their vocal chords. The show is judged by Jewel, who pulls double duty as host, as well as fellow Idol alum, Kara Dioguardi. The prize: a recording contract with Jive/RCA and a publishing deal with Sony/ATV. After four weeks of competition, she’s nearly halfway there. Of course, the groundwork was laid long ago.
“I got more exposure, press, love and validation in one time of being on Idol than I did in all the years I toured before being on the show,” Tohn tells THR. No wonder she chose to pursue another TV competition, and this time, one that allowed Tohn to show off her multi-instrumental skills. “Platinum Hit is a much better fit for me, being a songwriter as opposed to just a singer.”
Curiously, Tohn’s Idol affiliation has never been mentioned on the show, although she’s hard-pressed to explain why. “I don’t know why they’re not saying I was on Idol, if you Google me, it’s the first thing that comes up,” she offers. “I think they’re trying to separate themselves from Idol and The Voice as much as they can, but an executive producer explained it best by saying, ‘If anything, our show would be called ‘The Song.’ It’s not at all about the performance.”
Speaking of performance, Tohn dropped by THR headquarters to play “Slow Going,” off her latest album, 2.Yo. Keep up with her at www.jackietohn.com.
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