With Katie Stevens making her way up the "American Idol" chain, we turned to fellow Nutmegger and one-time "Idol" contestant Nick Mitchell recently to see if he has any advice for the talented teen.
"Don't go on the Internet and Google yourself before the competition is over. That can destroy your confidence," says the Brookfield resident. "The best thing she can do is just relax her voice and pretend that each appearance is her last advertisement [of herself] to the world."
Mitchell, who competed on the show as his comedic alter ego "Norman Gentle," was among the top 36 contestants last season before getting voted off.
"Hopefully, she'll last longer than I did." That said, Mitchell says Stevens doesn't really need his advice.
"She sings much better than I did. I had to make them laugh, also," he says. "I think Katie is fantastic. If a -year-old can sing Stevie Wonder the way she did, you know the girl is the real deal."
Mitchell has been busy in his post-"Idol" life. He and some other former contestants are preparing to do a show in Las Vegas, and he recently finished work on a single, "Brit Slap," with former Idols Kimberly Locke and Diana DeGarmo. The song, a playful jab at "American Idol" host Simon Cowell, should be released soon.
Mitchell says he still gets recognized by "Idol" fans, and it occasionally pays off. For instance, a cop recently pulled him over for speeding.
"He goes, 'Wait a minute; you were on 'Idol'! My wife and I watch that all the time,'" Mitchell says. "Then he gave me a pass. That's been my paycheck from 'Idol.'"