‘American Idol’ Finalist Hired a Bodyguard Following Nicole Kidman’s Advice to ‘Invest in Security’

by Emily Morgan

One “American Idol” alum is opening up about the powerful advice she received from famed actress Nicole Kidman. Melinda Doolittle, a finalist on “Idol’s” sixth season, recently opened up during an interview for the singing competition’s 20th anniversary. 

According to the vocalist, she met the actress and Keith Urban’s longtime wife while having dinner with friends in a restaurant after the show’s finale in 2002. 

“Nobody was talking to her,” she said about noticing the lack of fans at the star’s table. “I had a line at my table and I was like, ‘I do not understand, Nicole Kidman is right there,'” Doolittle recalled of the experience. 

Doolittle added that she spent so much time talking with her fans that she “couldn’t eat.” As a result, she had to get a to-go box for her food because it had gotten so cold. According to the singer, when she started to leave her table, the Being the Ricardos actress motioned for her to come over to her table. 

“She was like, ‘Hey, honey, we’re so proud of you.'” Doolittle recalled of the interaction. “‘We watched you on the show. And I just want to tell you to invest in security.'”

Nicole Kidman offers advice to ‘Idol’ star

According to Doolittle, the actress continued: “For me, people have just seen me on screen, so they don’t relate to me in that way. But for you, you’re one of them. And so they feel just fine walking up to your dinner table and not letting you eat. So you need to have someone with you, so you can eat.”

After their conversation, the “Idol” star said she immediately hired security for the next six months. It “was the best advice anyone has ever given me,” Doolittle graciously added of her conversation with Kidman. 

While filming the singing competition, Doolittle said she and her fellow contestants “had some freedom,” but they knew going out in public could mean running into the paparazzi and getting mobbed by fans. 

“We could not go anywhere without security,” Doolittle added of the surreal experience. Per the third-place winner, she’d go out for lunch occasionally, but “the show was so big” that “you could not walk more than 10 feet without getting stopped or people wanting pictures and wanting to talk to you.”

She added, “I don’t know how to put into words how insane it really felt. Like just trying to go in public and realizing at some point your brain realizes, ‘Oh, this is my life.'”

‘American Idol’ contestants open up about audition process

As for “American Idol,” many former contestants have recently opened up about what it’s like to audition for the show. While it seems like aspiring contestants have a short amount of time before they audition, it often takes much longer

According to Season 16 winner Maddie Poppe, she auditioned in several cities over three months. 

Caleb Lee Hutchinson, the runner-up from the same season, also said producers called him months after his first audition. For the next round of auditions in New Orleans, Hutchinson had to drive through the night right after performing in a show for his second audition.