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‘American Idol’ contestant: I made Jennifer Lopez cry


Emmanuel Zidor got a huge ego boost from the judges on American Idol. One in particular.

“I used to be insecure about my voice, I was bullied when I was younger,” says the 24-year-old contestant, whose stage name is J Zidor. “When I told Jennifer Lopez my story she had tears in her eyes, at least I think she did. It was great to be vindicated.”

But the R&B singer, who was born in Liberty City and went to Toussaint Louverture Elementary and Miami Central Senior High School, was most intimidated by J.Lo’s fellow judge, Harry Connick Jr. “He’s a classically trained pianist,” he says of the pop jazz singer who’s a newcomer to the tables at AI, whose 13th season premiered Wednesday. Zidor will be seen on the Fox show’s second part starting at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Zidor, who now calls Atlanta home, knew what his profession was going to be pretty quickly. “I told my mother when I was 5 that I wanted to be a singer. She said, ‘Oh really?’ 

Inspiration comes from all over. His favorite singers are Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Beyoncé, who “just embodies what an entertainer is.”

Zidor says he has more than 400 songs on his playlist, from Aretha Franklin to Tupac Shakur. “I love all kinds of music. I’m not a one-trick pony.”

On display

Some Tony Bennett fans may not know the legendary singer is an accomplished painter, too. An original 2001 watercolor of Abraham Lincoln will be for one day at HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., to mark the third annual Lincoln symposium. Go see it for free at the museum Jan. 25 from 2:30-4 p.m. Unfortunately, the 87-year-old performer won’t be in attendance.

Bennett’s striking painting of the Lincoln Memorial against the backdrop of the American flag belongs to Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation chairman/author Harold Holzer, who hangs it at his office at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and agreed to lend it to HistoryMiami for the month.

For further information, call 305-375-1601 or visit

Baby love

What, Tori Spelling worry? Amid a humiliating cheating scandal involving husband Dean McDermott, the former 90210 castmate is going to work. Catch the author/reality star Sunday for Miami’s Ultimate Baby Affair at Coral Gables Country Club. Joining Spelling on the celebrity parade is newish dad Bill Rancic, who managed to turn his Apprentice win a decade ago into gold.

The event is billed for “couples planning to conceive, moms-to-be and new moms, brought together in an intimate setting with the modern, discerning, and savvy mom in mind.” But it’s OK to bring the hubby. Organizers are planning a Daddy's Lounge, where he can do stuff he likes (smoke a cigar, watch football, and eat) while you shop.

Cap off the day with a runway presentation featuring a CAMI shoe collection by Primer Impacto’s Bárbara Bermudo. Also look for Jenny McCarthy, who may be milling around. Just don’t ask about vaccinations or Shia LeBeouf, whom she is feuding with for dissing her ex, Jim Carrey. Sigh.

Info:; part of the proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charity of South Florida.

Adios, muchacha

Talk about embarrassing. Boca Raton legal assistant Victoria Lima’s champagne-fueled meltdown on The Bachelor Monday night was a doozy. “I hate Juan Pablo!” wailed the comely contestant, who ended up locking herself in a bathroom begging producers to let her go home. Lima’s wish was granted.

Bath time

No grand life experience is too out of reach for Blue Ivy. While staying at the Hotel Victor to celebrate the tot’s second birthday, supermom Beyoncé reportedly ordered up the Miami Beach property’s so-called Evian bath, filled with the famed French mineral water. Cost: a mere $5,000. Wouldn’t it just kill you to pull the drain?

Madeleine Marr

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