Angela Martin, the 28-year-old single mother who has appeared on American Idol and won gold tickets twice before, needs a break. Not the kind that entails time off or rest and relaxation but the kind where she is protected momentarily from the unfortunate calamities of life. Angela Martin needs a break just long enough for the opportunity that keeps knocking on her door to be invited into her life, because twice before, the young woman has had circumstances keep her from embracing an expectant opportunity. And now a third chance to make it to the American Idol finals might simply pass her by, because Angela Martin has again been dealt an emotional and psychological blow that could result in her third strike on Idol. Worse, she is 28 years old, and this would be her last year of eligibility.
Angela Martin’s mother disappeared on Christmas Day.
Those familiar with Angela Martin’s story already know that the 28-year-old cares for her daughter, who has Rett Syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder. Her story was featured on American Idol Season 7. After being awarded a gold ticket for Hollywood Week, Angela suffered a crushing emotional setback: Her father, who had been beside her throughout her initial auditions, was murdered just before Hollywood Week. Although she struggled bravely and made it two the second round, Angela faltered and left the competition.
In Season 8, Angela Martin was back and ready to make it past Hollywood. She got her gold ticket but a traffic ticket with a mandatory court appearance kept her from making her Hollywood audition.
Angela Martin appeared on the American Idol audition stage for the third time in three years Tuesday evening. She faced the judges, including guest judge Shania Twain, and impressed them once more to receive yet another gold ticket to Hollywood. Simon Cowell told her, “It’s people like you, singers like you, that is why I like doing this show.”
Judge Kara Dioguardi, after hearing Angela’s story, said, “You do deserve a break.”
But the Chicago auditions viewed Tuesday evening were filmed on August 30 and 31, 2009. Angela Martin’s third opportunity at being Season 9’s American Idol suffered a reeling blow just four months later.
According to Angela, her mother, Viola Brown Martin, left her (Angela’s) Chicago home on Christmas day to visit another daughter, who lived just twenty minutes away. She never arrived.
Police found Viola Martin’s vehicle six days later on New Year’s Eve, far away from its intended destination.
Viola Brown Martin, however, is still missing. Glenwood Police Records Clerk Kim Johnston told Radar Online that the case was still open.
The Hollywood auditions were rescheduled back in October for early January, which, unfortunately, placed them behind Angela Martin’s mother’s disappearance. She again has had to endure the psychological and emotional hardship of a family tragedy — and one that is ongoing — while performing and pursuing her dream. How she fared remains to be seen.
There is something to be said about perseverance. There is also something to be said for people who just need a break. Not just the kind of break where one gets a glimpse of opportunity. Angela Martin has been there before. She needs the kind of break that lets her embrace the opportunity she sees. Hopefully, despite her personal hardships, she will get that chance.
Over the years, American Idol has presented their viewing audience heartwarming, hard-luck, and tragic backstories to pull the audience into the personal dramas associated with the contestants. But there has never been a more consistently tragic story than that of Angela Martin.
She made it back to Hollywood, the city of big breaks.
She could certainly use one…
“American Idol,” Fox Television