BEN HAUSBACH, 25
YOU KNOW HIM AS: The Cosmic Coaster inventor who sang “If I Only Had a Brain.”
Being on TV is nothing new for the emergency room technician, who has been an extra on CSI: Miami. So he’s cool with not making the cut. “They showed my invention—you can’t buy that publicity,” says the Pompano Beach, Fla., resident, who admits his crooning “isn’t the best.” Still, he hasn’t given up his pop-star dreams. “William Hung got a record, and he’s horrible!”
YULIYA MATUS, 25
YOU KNOW HER AS: The floppy-limbed Ukrainian who acted out the lyrics to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“They told us before the audition to do everything we could to look different—dancing, singing, standing on our head,” says Matus, who was a kickboxer, go-go dancer and saxophone player in Ukraine before moving to the U.S. last year. “But then they didn’t take me. I cried all day.” Still, the experience didn’t scare the Chicago nightclub DJ from pursuing showbiz. “The stage is a drug for me,” she says. “I like to be the center of attention.”
CRYSTAL PARIZANSKI, 16
YOU KNOW HER AS: The girl whose extremely dark tan had Simon perplexed.
“That was the happiest moment in my life, performing on that stage,” says the Palatine, Ill., high school student (right), whose mom, Lisa (left), popped in at Simon’s behest. Although Parizanski didn’t like how the judges poked fun at her tan and makeup job (“They made me look like a stupid blonde,” she says), she is still determined to hit it big. “We’re struggling with money issues, so it’s hard to attain certain aspirations,” she says. “But where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
ZACHARY TRAVIS, 18
YOU KNOW HIM AS: The guy the judges said looked like a girl.
“It was horrible, because they made me look like a fool,” says the Littleton, Colo., store clerk, of his AI debut—his gender-bending appearance was used as a punch line for the show. “It was rude.” Still, Travis managed to wrangle some new fans out of the ordeal. “People come running up to me, saying ‘Oh my God, we love you so much. Screw those judges!’ It feels good.” As for the gender confusion, Travis takes it all in stride. “I am whatever you want me to be. If you think I’m a boy, I’m a boy. If you think I’m a girl, I’m a girl. I don’t make it a big issue. And, yeah, when I can afford it, I want to get the operation.”
TERRELL & DERRELL BRITTENUM
Although the American Idol judges were impressed with the 28-year-old twins (they sang well enough to make it to the next round), there’s at least one judge in Georgia who isn’t. The two have been charged with stealing a man’s identity to buy a $23,175 Dodge Magnum. Both are out on bond after short stints in jail and currently awaiting a court date. Their fate on Idol also has yet to be determined. “FOX will take a view on it,” Simon Cowell told Extra. “It happens every year.”
DEREK DUPREE, 26
YOU KNOW HIM AS: The guy who said he could sing in three pitches: “bass, medium and semihigh,” then asked the judges if he could audition again in an hour.
“This is something I’ve wanted since I was 5,” says DuPree, a political science major at Chicago’s Kennedy-King College. Though his second attempt was as bad as his first—”Simon said everything about it was appalling”—Dupree plans to try again next season. “I’ll continue until I can’t audition anymore,” he says.