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      MELINDA LIRA    

BY DAVID A GARCIA

NEWS ABOUT HER HERE

MELINDA LIRA - (19) From Hanford, CA (Auditioned in SF) - Melinda Lira, who was born and

raised in Hanford, CA, began her career at the young age of 5 in her local church. In high school,

she was an A student who played volleyball, basketball and was in the school choir for all four years.

 Currently, she works for Big 5 Sporting Goods as a sales associate

 

                                            Hanford in Harmony

Hometown favorite impresses two out of three judges on TV's 'American Idol.'

HANFORD — It was the night Hanford residents had been waiting for, a chance to finally see their own Melinda Lira perform on "American Idol."

The 2004 Hanford West High School graduate sang "Power of Love" by Celine Dion and received positive reviews from two of the three judges.

Randy Jackson said Lira was "one of the best singers in this competition," and she was a "young Kelly Clarkson in the making."

Paula Abdul agreed with Jackson and said Lira had a "wonderful" voice and was a strong contender.

But both warned her about her song choice and said she sometimes overshot the high notes.

Judge Simon Cowell was not as impressed and said Lira did not stand out among other performers.

Lira is one of 24 contestants competing to become the next "American Idol."

Lira and the 11 other female contestants performed Tuesday night. The 12 male contestants chosen performed Monday night.

Viewers voted at the end of both shows for their favorite singer. Two young men and two young women will be eliminated from the show tonight.

The community has rallied around Lira as she competes in Los Angeles. A party was held Tuesday night at Senor Boogies, where people watched the show on several televisions. Another party is planned at the restaurant tonight.

Lira's high school choir teacher, Elizabeth Kamerin, organized a lunchtime rally Tuesday afternoon at Hanford West to "get out the vote" for the contestant.

Members of the women's choir and gospel choir performed, and dozens of students wore "vote for Melinda" T-shirts, created and provided by Alpha Designs in Hanford.

A poster also was hung on the school's administration building, reminding people to watch "American Idol."

"It seems to be bringing the school together. Everyone is excited to see her and vote for her," said Tricia Adams, choir accompanist and band director assistant at Hanford West.

Lira called Adams last fall on the night after she auditioned in San Francisco and found out that she was moving on to perform in Los Angeles.

"I wasn't surprised. She was trying to get a singing career, and this is how she did it," Adams said.

Adams said she heard students from across Hanford have cut Lira's picture out of the newspaper and hung it on their walls or carry it with them.

"It's really good for the kids to see someone they know doing something on a national level and doing something positive for herself," said John Davis, Hanford West principal.

Lira visited the choir class a few weeks ago before heading back to Los Angeles for the competition.

Several students talked about how she was very popular on campus and constantly sang through the halls on her way to class. She also was the prom queen in her senior year.

"Even if she had a bad day or had a cold, when she walked into the choir room, she was just so happy to sing," Adams said.

Although Lira made it through several preliminary rounds on the show, her singing performances didn't make it onto television — until Tuesday.

Lira's success on the show has inspired other students to pursue their dreams, Adams said.

"It shows that big voices don't just come from big towns," said Amanda Hughes, a Hanford West freshman and choir member. "There's talent in small towns, too."

                                                

       

WILL NOW HAVE TO VOTE FOR ONE ARE MORN THIS IDOL'S  AMERICAN IDOL UPDATE;S COMEING SOON ON BIG 8 AT IT'S BEST NEWS AND MORN NEWS ABOUT  MELINDA LIRA AND PHOTO'S COMEING SOON

NEWS UPDATE ABOUT MELINDA LINA  KMPH FOX 26 WAS AT HER HOME SHE MAY GET A CD WITH J B FOX AND  RCA  ARE WITH SOME ONE

MORN UPDATE'S COMEING SOON. BUT THAT IS GOOD NEWS  DAVID A GARCIA .

LINK TO KMPH  FOX 26 OF FRESNO CA HERE    http://www.kmph.com/

LINK TO AMERICAN IDOL WEB SITE HERE   http://www.idolonfox.com/

 

HANFORD — Gasps of surprise from a shocked crowd filled

Señor Boogie's on Wednesday night, as family and friends

 of Melinda Lira found out she was the first one eliminated

from "American Idol."

The 19-year-old graduate of Hanford West High School was one of four contestants

cut from the Fox Network reality show. Two female and two male performers were sent home

 after viewers voted for their favorites Monday and Tuesday nights.

The restaurant was packed with Hanford residents showing their support for Lira and hoping

 she would be the next "American Idol." She was the only contestant from California among

the top 24 performers.

"She's real strong. This isn't going to stop her," said Cye Powell, Lira's stepfather.

More than 40 million votes were cast for the first round of elimination.

Host Ryan Seacrest slowly worked his way through the 12 female finalists. He finally

announced Lira's elimination with "You are out."

Lira fought back tears. She finally said, "I'm just stunned."

She added that she knew there always was a chance that she would be eliminated

but did not think that elimination would come so early in the competition. She pointed

 to a lack of exposure on early episodes as a possible reason why she did not get more votes.

Lira performed for the first time on the show Tuesday night, singing "Power of Love"

by Celine Dion. She sang it again Wednesday. "The buzz around town was just starting,

and around California, too. All she needed was one more week," said Joey Perez of

 J-Live Entertainment, who organized Wednesday's gathering.

Powell said Lira has made contacts in the music industry and looks forward to a music career.

"God has bigger plans for her," said Valarie Ramirez, Lira's cousin.

Powell said Lira will likely return to Hanford from Los Angeles this weekend. Family and

friends are planning a welcome-back party.

The music competition continues next week. The 10 remaining male singers perform Monday.

The remaining 10 female singers take the stage Tuesday night.

"American Idol" can be seen on KMPH, Channel 26.

Viewers will continue to vote for their favorite singers until one contestant is chosen as the next "American Idol."

    

                  

 

 

 

 

 

            

First women Eliminated 'American Idol' Semifinalists Share Parting Words
 
Singers believe that song selection and screen time largely sealed their fate.


Melinda Lira

The 19-year-old from
Hanford, California, impressed Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul with Celine Dion's "Power of Love," but Simon Cowell had "seen performances like this on other shows." America agreed and eliminated Lira, who clearly showed her devastation as she stood speechless for several seconds before suggesting that she was at a disadvantage because she had little screen time during the prior rounds.

MTV: Did you intend on being so honest with your emotions and opinions if your name was called?

Lira: I didn't script anything. I just went with it. But I reacted the way I wanted to. I'm not afraid to say what I feel when I feel it. And people have been waiting to say what I said. I just didn't expect it. I was feeling positive about my performance and was really excited to come back and do a faster song.

MTV: Would you ever try it again?

Lira: No, no, no, no, no. I mean, "American Idol" gave me what I wanted. I'm not disappointed. It's an experience I'll take with me the rest of my life.

MTV: What's next for you?

Lira: When you wake up every morning thinking about singing, then that's what you're supposed to be doing. I've already gotten a lot of offers. This gave me the exposure I needed.