Monday, May 24, 2004

'Idol' finalist planning first album

American Idol finalist Diana DeGarmo says she already feels like a winner.

"It's crazy to think that of 70,000 people, little me from Snellville (Ga.), the youngest girl in the competition, has made it this far," DeGarmo said Sunday. "I'm just so excited to be on such a great show that has helped me in my career, no matter what."

DeGarmo already has plans to start work on a record immediately, no matter how she fares in this week's voting. "My plans are definitely just to keep the ball rolling - don't stop while people know who I am," she said.

DeGarmo, 16, and Fantasia Barrino, 19, each will sing three songs on the show Tuesday (8 p.m., Channels 19, 45). Fans will have four hours, instead of the normal two, to vote by phone, and the winner will be announced Wednesday.

DeGarmo said Barrino "has a beautiful voice, a very unique voice that really makes her Fantasia."

Barrino returned the compliment, saying Sunday that DeGarmo has a "more powerful" voice than pop stars Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera.

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