It’s Everett’s night with ‘American Idol’

The place is Everett, and the players are the top 10 finalists from Fox’s “American Idol,” who captivated 30 million television viewers week in and week out in the spring.

Winner Fantasia Barrino and runner-up Diana Degarmo rejoin their peers on stage at 7 tonight at the Everett Events Center.

The show is another landmark for the 10-month-old events center. The “American Idol” tour called Seattle’s KeyArena home for its first two years before coming to Everett for its third installment.

“We’re pretty excited to have the show,” said Eric Blankenship, the center’s marketing director. “I think the trend is that a majority of the touring shows out there are family-driven shows which, in general, don’t need a huge-capacity venue.”

The center is expecting a crowd of more than 5,000, and good seats are still available for a show Degarmo promises will have something for everyone. The night will include songs by legends such as Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner and current pop idols such as Beyonce and OutKast.

“I definitely expect that anyone of any age can find something they like and can relate to,” she said.

Degarmo, 17, from Snellville, Ga., shared some of her thoughts in a phone interview from Salt Lake City on Wednesday, just hours before the tour kicked off at the Delta Center. The 48-date tour stopped at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., on Friday night and wraps up Sept. 26 in San Jose, Calif.

The peppy teen who mesmerized viewers with renditions of Melissa Manchester’s 1979 hit “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand’s 1979 duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” said finishing as runner-up was enough validation for her talent.

“Especially somebody my age, who nobody probably thought would have a chance,” Degarmo said. “I’m proud to say I’ve at least gotten that far, which is great.”

Her appearance in the final showdown with Barrino surprised some who always put Degarmo in the shadow of strong-voiced divas LaToya London and Jennifer Hudson.

“I didn’t let it bother me in any way,” Degarmo said. “I knew my time would come around sooner or later.”

The tour, on which Degarmo is accompanied by her parents, is giving her a chance to visit parts of the country she’s never seen, including the Pacific Northwest.

“I’ve heard it’s really beautiful,” she said. “And there’s something about the coffee out there that I need to come try.”

There’s no homecoming of any kind on this tour stop. Leah Labelle, 17, of Seattle and Matt Rogers, 25, who played football for the University of Washington, were both voted off the show before breaking into the top 10.

Rehearsals started about a month ago, when all the finalists were reunited.

The two-and-a-half-hour show includes an intermission and features a combination of solos, duets and group performances.

Degarmo will perform her debut single, the RCA Records release “Dreams,” along with Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” and others.

“Everett should be expecting a hot show that everyone’s going to love,” Degarmo promised.

See the show

Tickets are still available for the “American Idols Live” concert at 7 tonight at the Everett Events Center. Prices are $37 and $47. For ticket info, go to the Everett Events Center box office, call 866-332-8499, or check out www.everettevents center.com. For group discounts, call 425-322-2626.

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