You might remember Samantha Calmes as the young woman who wore a fanny pack into her American Idol audition.
Or as the singer who auditioned with “Movin’ On Up,” the theme song from “The Jeffersons” TV show.
The latter wasn’t nearly as original as Idol’s judges made it out to be since many of us know Cole Vosbury auditioned with the same tune en route to a Top 10 finish on Season 5 of The Voice.
The fanny pack might have been.
And so was the more original original song Samantha opened her audition with, one she wrote called “From Birth.”
In fact, if you liked it, you can download it from iTunes. It’s the title track from an 11-track album Samantha released in June as Vinyl Tapestries.
On Facebook, Vinyl Tapestries is described as “the personal soundtrack and open diary of” the 25-year-old singer/songwriter who hails from Hammond, La., and now lives in Salt Lake.
Idol identified Samantha as a music educator, and her Facebook bio says she “works in mental health, providing positive coping strategies through the use of music for those who struggle with anxiety, depression and addiction.”
Back in the audition room, her performance drew particularly strong reviews from Keith Urban, who praised Samantha’s originality, and from Jennifer Lopez, who called her “surprising” and “spontaneous.”
In fact, Samantha sailed on to the Hollywood round with a unanimous yes from the judges.
In her Road to Hollywood video, Samantha says her early musical influences included the trio of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion — the powerhouse divas.
“But I’ve learned that is not my true style,” she says.”
She’s since become a fan of Missy Higgins, an Australian singer-songwriter.
As for Idol, Samantha says the fact that she’s relatable, personable and “can sing my tuckus off” should serve her well.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“From Birth,” an original
“You Are My Sunshine” (cover)
“Imagine” (John Lennon cover)
“Smooth Killer” (original)