Reedley native Dilia Jelen was given a golden ticket during the Portland auditions of “American Idol” to advance to the second round of the FOX reality competition series. Fans of the Good Company Players will recognize her name as being in the junior company and on the main stage at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. She appeared in the 2000 production of “42nd Street” and in 1999′s “A Chorus Line” singing “What I Did for Love.”
Jelen, who is in her last year of eligibility to be on “Idol,” has an inspirational story as she was born deaf and could not hear until she had her first surgery when she was 5.
She currently lives in Astoria, N.Y.
It says on her online site that “her mother from Guadalajara taught her both strong and tender ways, and her American born father, taught the deepest family values, both encouraging her natural talent and love for Latin American culture and its music.”
In a video interview, Jelen says, “I am next ‘American Idol’ because I know what I was put on this Earth to do. I have to sing or crawl in a hole and die.”