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Ellen DeGeneres gives 'Idol' miss a break

By Alan Duke, CNN
Ellen DeGeneres invited Angela Martin, who didn't make it into "American Idol's" Top 24, to sing on her show Friday.
Ellen DeGeneres invited Angela Martin, who didn't make it into "American Idol's" Top 24, to sing on her show Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Family tragedy, bad timing and tough competition kept Angela Martin from getting on "Idol"
  • This last round was Martin's third attempt to get on the show
  • New "Idol" judge Ellen DeGeneres invited Martin on her show to sing
  • DeGeneres said Martin will get in studio, Kara DioGuardi will write a song for her
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Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Family tragedy, bad timing and tough competition kept Angela Martin from moving past "American Idol's" Hollywood Week in three separate seasons.

The 28-year-old mother of a special needs child learned Friday that, despite not making the top 24 again, two "Idol" judges will help get her singing career cranked up.

Ellen DeGeneres, who is in her first season as a judge, invited Martin onto her talk show to discuss her struggles and to sing. And, DeGeneres said, fellow judge Kara DioGuardi will pen a song for her.

Martin said her father was shot to death by her stepmother just before she traveled to Hollywood, California, two years ago for the show's seventh season.

She earned a ticket traveling from her Chicago home to Hollywood Week last year, but not having the money to pay for traffic tickets landed her in jail for six days.

"Being in that cell and watching 'American Idol' on the TV in jail, I just hoped people don't know who I am in here," Martin said.

Martin's mother disappeared two months ago, she said.

Police recently got a report that she was spotted on Chicago's South Side, which gives Martin hope her mother is alive, she said.

Martin missed the cut this week because of what DeGeneres called "a hard year" with strong competition.

She told DeGeneres the hardest part of losing again is finding a way to tell her 10-year-old daughter, who has a seizure disorder.

"You have had your share of really bad luck, and some sad things happening in your life, but your attitude is so amazing because you keep getting back up," DeGeneres told Martin.

Others, she said, will be inspired to keep trying because of her example.

"You don't let anything get you down," she said. "I love that about you."

At the end of her visit, DeGeneres revealed to Martin that DioGuardi -- who has written hit songs for Pink and Kelly Clarkson -- will write a song for her.

"You're going in a studio," DeGeneres said. "She is going to produce a song for you and we're going to get you a record label."

Martin can't audition next season because of the show's age limit of 28 for contestants.

"See how things turn out," DeGeneres said as she hugged Martin.

 
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