Photo Credit: John Shearer/WireImage
It's not often that a celebrity kid tries out for Fox's American Idol. The reason seems obvious: Why face a cattle call when your parent could kick start your career with a few well-placed phone calls?
Nonetheless, there was Jane Carrey, the 24-year-old daughter of Jim Carrey, singing Bonnie Raitt's "Let's Give Them Something To Talk About" during a special episode that aired Sunday night after the NFC championship game. Watch Jane show off her pipes during her San Diego audition here:
So, Jane is going to Hollywood! Her daughter-of-Ace-Ventura status may have earned her a three-minute bio clip leading into her try-out, but a number of contestants, with no strings to pull, get similar treatment every episode. Personal contestant narratives are part of the show's winning formula.
What viewers didn't see during Jane's audition was footage of her standing around in line, waiting amid crowds of other hopefuls. It's possible that her dad's name allowed her to bypass that part. But her willingness to go through the process is still commendable. "Everyone growing up has, kind of, their issue with identity and trying to define themselves," says Jane, who is a single mother, a waitress and a musician. "It is difficult growing up in the shadow of something and trying to find your place in the world… I think that's also why I'm here, too. Just to make my place in the world."
Of course, she could have changed her last name, and gone through anonymously. But she points out that not dropping the Carrey has its own risk. "The last name definitely helps and hurts," she says. "I feel like there's kind of like this pressure to be good, because if I make it somewhere, people will say, 'Oh, you only got there because of this.' Sometimes that actually makes me worse, because I'm too nervous."
That's true enough, and the comment leaves the viewer wondering if she's about to illustrate her point by blowing the audition. Luckily, that doesn't happen. Jennifer Lopez remembers Jane as the two-year-old that Carrey used to bring around the set of In Living Color, when she was a Fly Girl, and they make some pretty effortless chitchat. Perhaps due to her proximity to her father's celebrity friends, Jane is poised and comfortable in front of Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. And her steady voice was good enough to earn three yeses that appeared genuine.
Will she be the next American Idol? Probably not. But there's no doubt that her likeable manner -- and that familiar, Jim Carrey smile -- allowed her to win fans among Idol's gigantic viewing audience. And that, too, is an excellent foot in the door.
American Idol is back on its regular schedule this week -- Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET, on Fox.