VIDEO: American Idol's Vered "Didi" Benami Takes A Sad Song, Makes It Better

Feb. 4 2010, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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Vered "Didi" Benami was the standout hopeful on Wednesday's American Idol episode, as the blonde beauty with a tragic and colorful background -- from stints as a cage hostess and bikini model to losing her best friend -- is going to Hollywood.

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She belted out a stirring rendition of Hey Jude, which earned her a selection into the top 24.

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The 22-year-old waitress has quite the Tinseltown tale: She decided to pursue a career in music full-steam after her best friend Rebecca died four years ago at the age of 16, which she described as “horrifying.”

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"Rebecca is absolutely the reason I pursue music," Benami said. "She believed in me when I didn't even know if I believed in myself."

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Her performance of the Beatles' classic impressed the entire panel, especially guest judge Avril Lavigne, who told her she has "huge potential."

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American Idol airs on Fox Tuesdays at 8/7c and Wednesdays at 9/8c.


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