Hawaii Helps Local Girl Prevail on 'Idol'
Friday May 14 6:42 PM ET
Since she started competing on "American Idol," Jasmine Trias has ridden a wave of support in Hawaii from radio hosts, a TV news anchor, a newspaper and a congressman. But it looks like the support from regular Hawaii residents those with telephones, anyway is what's really paying off.
It appeared Trias would be knocked out of the competition after a mediocre performance earlier this week, but viewers sent favorite La Toya London packing instead.
Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo also were left standing. The finale is May 25-26, when one of the three singers wins the "Idol" crown and a record contract.
The mania surrounding the contest continued in Hawaii on Thursday, as fans greeted Trias at Honolulu's airport. Later, as she received a proclamation declaring it "Jasmine Trias Day," Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona told her that she has galvanized the state.
"You represent us very well," he said.
Trias told the crowd that she thought she was going to be eliminated Wednesday. Executive producer Simon Fuller said she had given farewell gifts to the staff.
One phone company's records might hold clues to the outcome.
Of the 29 states in Verizon's local territory, only New York and California logged more calls on its network than Hawaii after the show, a Verizon spokesman said Thursday. California and New York are among the most populous states in the nation; Hawaii is among the least.
"We hear people say they have voted much more than 100 times," said Michael W. Perry, co-host of the top-rated morning radio show in Honolulu, which has taken up her cause. "For a lot of people it's a Tuesday night habit to see how many times they can get through."
It's possible there was a regional factor beyond state pride. Because of the time difference Hawaii is six hours behind the East Coast viewers might enjoy a less-crowded calling period to cast votes.
Judge Randy Jackson, who said after Wednesday's show that the results were a travesty, noted that Honolulu television newscasters have signed off with a reminder to vote for Trias. That brought an on-air retort from Joe Moore, news anchor at KHON, the Fox station that carries "American Idol."
"If Randy thinks I'm gonna stop telling people in Hawaii to support our local girl Randy, you got another thing coming, dude."
The Honolulu Advertiser published its own full-page color ad seeking to boost her vote, and U.S. Rep. Ed Case urged support during a Tuesday night tribute in Washington to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
He ended his speech saying, "If you want to show your support for Asia Pacific Americans tonight, you know what number to call on what TV show right about now. Jasmine just finished singing."
Trias is of Filipino, Spanish and Chinese ancestry
She said she felt "a little guilty" advancing in the competition after her performance was panned by the show's judges.
But judge Simon Cowell said he told her after the show, "Don't carry this load on you just because a better singer left the competition. You got more votes, that's American Idol."
Fans also turned out for the other two finalists as they returned home. In High Point, N.C., police estimated 3,000 fans showed up to show support for Barrino.
City officials gave her a key to the city, and proclamations of support were read from the High Point City Council and Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
In Snellville, Ga., hundreds of fans and friends packed a social hall to welcome DeGarmo. The 16-year-old singer was presented a key to her hometown and named "mayor for the day."http://tv.yahoo.com/news/ap/20040514/108458532000.html