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DeGarmo: Harder for 'everyday Joe' on 'Idol'

  • Story Highlights
  • DeGarmo: It's harder for the "everyday Joe" to get on "American Idol"
  • It's more about what you're doing on the 'Idol' stage, she says
  • Kris Allen and Adam Lambert compete in the season finale
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(CNN) -- Going into the eighth season finale of "American Idol," Adam Lambert looks like the favorite against competitor Kris Allen. But should Lambert even be on the show, since he has performed professionally in the national Broadway tour of "Wicked"?

Kris Allen, left, and Adam Lambert are battling it out to become the next "American Idol."

Former 'American Idol' runner-up Diana DeGarmo says it's getting harder for the average person to get on the show.

Diana DeGarmo, runner-up in the third season of "American Idol," spoke with HLN's Mike Galanos on Prime News about whether or not an amateur stands a chance on the show.

The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity:

Mike Galanos: What were the stipulations as to your past history before you joined "American Idol"? How much could you do before they'd say, "You aren't an amateur anymore. You're more of a professional"?

Diana DeGarmo: Each contract for each show has gotten a little stronger and a little stronger. Prior to me doing "American Idol," I had done things like theater, but at that point nowhere near on a professional level.

The cool thing is they keep it fair by having little things in the contract about how you can't release a record nationally with a record label -- things like that. But people who have been signed prior can, of course, be on the show.

Galanos: Do you think the "rags-to-riches" story is lost and we are going to get more and more people who have more and more experience?

DeGarmo: I think people now realize that "American Idol" is such a launching spot for anyone's career. People that maybe would have not done it a few years ago, saying, "Oh, I'm too professional," maybe take a little bit of a second glance at the show because they realize it's such a launching pad. But I do think it's a little harder for the everyday Joe to get in it.

Galanos: Do you think Adam has an unfair advantage since he was an understudy for the Broadway tour of "Wicked"?

DeGarmo: Not really, because it's all about performing. So it's just about what you are doing at that exact moment up there on the "American Idol" stage. I think Kris and Adam are just two totally different performers, but I think they are pretty even when it comes down to the end of the day.

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