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'American Idol' contestants from Long Island

After 15 seasons, hundreds of shows and thousands of performers, "American Idol" is being sent home (cue the exit music and collage clip). But before the final notes are sung, we look back at the Long Island contestants we voted and rooted for over the years.

Joseph Murena (season 4)

On the FOX TV hit,
Photo Credit: WireImage/Ray Mickshaw

MADE IT TO Top 20
GREW UP IN Smithtown
REMEMBERED FOR Delivering a passionate version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”
AFTER ‘IDOL’ After releasing an EP and appearing in the Off-Broadway play “My Big Gay Italian Funeral,” he’s been writing and producing dance music. “The show opened up so many doors for me,” says Murena, 37, who works full time as a state Supreme Court officer. “It gave me a whole other world to be a part of.”
 

Photo Credit: Newsday /Dick Yarwood

"American Idol" contestant Joe Murena sings "The Star Spangled Banner" for the Suffolk Legislature in Hauppauge on March 5, 2005. Murena, from Smithtown, was a semifinalist in the fourth season of the Fox show.

Kevin Covais (season 5)

Kevin Covais performs on AMERICAN IDOL Tuesday, March
Photo Credit: Fox

MADE IT TO No. 11
GREW UP IN Levittown
REMEMBERED FOR His sweet ballads and baby face earning him the nickname “Chicken Little,” a label he didn’t mind.
“It was all about going along for the ride, and I don’t take myself that seriously,” says Covais, 26. “Who doesn’t like to be called cute and adorable? It was more positive than negative.”
AFTER ‘IDOL’ He’s acted in “Men in Black 3,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and on the Disney Channel show “Good Luck Charlie.” “The experience was unbelievable in every sense of the word,” Covais says. “I never expected to make it as far as I did.”
 

Kevin Covais was a contestant on American Idol
Photo Credit: Newsday/Chuck Fadely

Kevin Covais of Levittown Kevin Covais of Levittown competed on 'American Idol' during the show's fifth season, when he was 16.. Known as "Chicken Little" during the show, he received dozens of Chicken Little dolls during his time in the limelight.

Jared Cotter (season 6)

In this photo provided by Fox Television, Jared
Photo Credit: Fox/Frank Micelotta

MADE IT TO Top 16
GREW UP IN Coram
REMEMBERED FOR Singing Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” a performance he dedicated to his parents.
AFTER ‘IDOL’ Signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV and manages artists like singer-songwriter Kiana Ledé.
After two years hosting shows on the Fuse channel, Cotter wrote a string of hits with Jay Sean, including the No. 1 song “Down” featuring Lil Wayne. He also wrote for Fifth Harmony, Flo Rida and David Guetta. “ ‘American Idol’ made me no longer scared of anything,” says Cotter, 34. “Once you know 40 million people have seen your face, everything else is soft in comparison.”
 

Jared Cotter, who is from Coram, attends the
Photo Credit: Getty Images for BMI/Neilson Barnard

Jared Cotter of Coram, who was a semifinalist in 2007 on "American Idol," has since hosted shows on Fuse and written songs.

Jackie Tohn (season 8)

In this image released by Fox,
Photo Credit: AP/Chris Cuffaro

MADE IT TO Top 24
GREW UP IN Oceanside
REMEMBERED FOR Singing and playing guitar on an indie rock version of Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.”
AFTER IDOL She’s written songs for artists like season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee, Allen Stone and Christina Aguilera, performed stand-up comedy, acted on TV shows and commercials, and launched a music project called Powerfox.
“I auditioned in New York where 118,000 showed up to try out,” says Tohn, 35. “I was hyper-aware of how lucky you had to be.”
 

Jackie Tohn of Oceanside and a semifinalist in
Photo Credit: Getty Images

"American Idol" semifinalist Jackie Tohn plays at the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas in July 2015. Among her other achievements since appearing on the show in 2009 has been penning songs, including one for another former "Idol" contestant Katharine McPhee.

Robbie Rosen (season 10)

AMERICAN IDOL; Top 24: Robbie Rosen performs in
Photo Credit: Fox/Michael Becker

MADE IT TO Top 16
GREW UP IN Merrick
REMEMBERED FOR Nailing Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” on Wild Card night and controversially getting eliminated.
AFTER ‘IDOL’ He teaches music business at Nassau Community College and continues to write and record. He’ll appear at Amityville Music Hall on May 28. Rosen, 22, will graduate from Hofstra University next month and penned the official school song, “Blue and Gold,” which he will perform at the ceremony.
“ ‘Idol’ was the best thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “It really built up my confidence as a performer, a singer and a person.”
 

Former
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jim McIsaac

Tenth-season "American Idol" semifinialist Robbie Rosen sings the National Anthem before a game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field July 15, 2011.

Jax (season 14)

Singer Jax arrives at Fox TV's
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

MADE IT TO No. 3
GREW UP IN Atlantic Beach before moving to New Jersey at age 11. However, she has fond memories of her years on Long Island.
“It’s where I started singing. I learned how to read, write and socialize from all the theater programs like the Long Beach Theatre Guild,” says Jax, 19. “I was a crazy kid who lived right down the block from the beach. All my friends and I were beach bums who would run around barefoot all the time.”
REMEMBERED FOR Being the Long Islander who came the closest to winning.
AFTER ‘IDOL’ Jax toured and recorded her debut album. She also played a sold-out show on Sunday at Webster Hall in Manhattan, which Robbie Rosen opened. “Because of ‘Idol,’ people pay attention and take what I say seriously,” Jax says. “It’s unbelievable what that national platform can do for a person.”

 

Singer/songwriter Steven Tyler (L) and finalist Jax perform
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian

Jax, who grew up in Atlantic Beach, got to rock out with Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler during the season 14 finale of "American Idol." She finished third on the show.

Adam Ezegelian (season 14)

Adam Ezegelian opens the show, performing Twisted Sister's
Photo Credit: Fox/Jeff Neira

MADE IT TO Top 16
GREW UP IN Wantagh
REMEMBERED FOR His wild Afro, big personality and high energy on songs like Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock.”
AFTER ‘IDOL’ He’s performed with local cover band The Influence and appeared as a finalist on Fox 5’s “New York’s Star of the Day.” “My favorite part was interacting with all my fellow contestants,” says Ezegelian, 22, who is finishing his degree in toy design at Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. “It was a great environment to be in.”
 

Adam Ezegelian from Wantagh is an American Idol
Photo Credit: FOX/Michael Becker

Adam Ezegelian of Wantagh got to show off his rocker personality as a semifinalist on "American Idol" in 2015.

Eric Lopez (season 14)

AMERICAN IDOL XIV: Wading River's Eric Lopez performs
Photo Credit: Fox/Michael Becker

MADE IT TO Hollywood Week
GREW UP IN Wading River
REMEMBERED FOR Performing Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” in front of Adam Lambert, who currently fronts the band.
AFTER ‘IDOL’ He performed in “Phantom of the Opera” in London. “You say you are not going to act like a nut job, but you get caught up in the moment and forget that you are being filmed,” says Lopez, 21, who will appear in a Broadway-aimed musical, “Holloway.”
 

Eric Lopez, 19, of Wading River, appears in
Photo Credit: Len Marks

Eric Lopez, 19, of Wading River, who auditioned for season 14 of the show, appears in the Off-Broadway show "702 Punchlines & Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical" in 2014. 

Sal Valentinetti (season 14)

AMERICAN IDOL XIV: Bethpage's Sal Valentinetti performs in
Photo Credit: Fox /Michael Becker

MADE IT TO Hollywood Week
GREW UP IN Bethpage
REMEMBERED FOR Winning a $100 bet with Harry Connick Jr. for naming the original title of the Frank Sinatra song “Fly Me to the Moon” (it was called “In Other Words”) and flirting with Jennifer Lopez.
AFTER ‘IDOL’ He’s performed standards at Italian restaurants on Long Island. He went on to finish fifth on “America’s Got Talent.” season 11 in 2016.
“ ‘Idol’ proved to me that a career doing something you love is totally possible and within reach,” says Valentinetti, 20, who is studying mass communication at St. John’s University.

 

Bethpage's Sal Valentinetti performed on the FOX
Photo Credit: Sal Valentinetti

Sal Valentinetti of Bethpage competed in Season 14. He performs American standards at Long Island's Italian restaurants.

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