Pia Ann Rose Toscano (born October 14, 1988 in Howard Beach, New York, US) is an American singer and a finalist on the tenth season of American Idol 2011. She was eliminated in 9th place on April 7th, 2011. Previously considered to be a frontrunner, her elimination came as a shock to judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler as well as fans of the show. Songfacts says that all the publicity from her appearances led to a recording contract with Interscope Records. Her debut single, This Time, was released on July 12, 2011.
Less than 24 hours after being eliminated from American Idol, Toscano was reported to have signed a recording contract with Interscope Records. However, her rep said that chatter about a done deal is "all rumor", but confirmed that Interscope wants to produce a single with Toscano and release it while the current season of Idol is still on.
Toscano is of Italian descent. She began performing in talent shows when she was four, and by the time she was nine, had performed in a local church production of "Jesus Christ Superstar". Toscano was the official National Anthem singer at her middle school, P.S./M.S. 207, and performed at every event including graduation. She attended LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City and graduated in 2006. Fellow Idol contestant Karen Rodriguez also attended this school.
She performed the National Anthem and "God Bless America" for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets’ minor league team, several times a year for three years. In addition, Toscano was the winner of the New York Mets annual "Anthem Search" competition in 2008 and was selected to sing the National Anthem at a July 2008 game. Toscano has also opened for the Barenaked Ladies and performed with Josh Groban at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to Idol, Toscano worked as a make-up artist and as a wedding singer in a band called "Current Affair". She cites her musical influences as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Céline Dion, Etta James, and Luther Vandross.
Toscano had auditioned for American Idol twice before. She made it through to Hollywood in Season 6, but her journey ended there. She auditioned for the tenth season in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and was put through to Hollywood, eventually making it through to the Top 24. She impressed the judges with her performance of "I'll Stand by You" during the semi-finals, receiving the first standing ovation of the season, and was named as one of the top five vote-getting females on the results show, earning her a place in the Top 13. The judges said she had one of the best performances on the show in Idol history. In a shock elimination, Toscano was eliminated from the competition on April 7, 2011, finishing in 9th place. Toscano's fans have created an online petition to get her reinstated on the show.
** Top 24: Personal Choice - I'll Stand By You (The Pretenders)
** Top 13: Personal Idol - All By Myself (Céline Dion)
** Top 12: Year You Were Born - Where Do Broken Hearts Go (Whitney Houston)
** Top 11: Motown - All in Love Is Fair (Stevie Wonder)
** Top 11 Redux: Elton John - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Elton John)
** Top 9: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - River Deep Mountain High (Ike & Tina Turner)