Here's something fun I found while knee-deep in a YouTube spiral: Jackie Tohn, who plays Melrose on the new Netflix series Glow, actually got her start on season 8 of American Idol. The then-27-year-old auditioned in front of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson back in 2009, and actually made it to Hollywood — and there are videos to prove it.
In the spirit of 2009, Tohn auditioned with the song "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, but seems to have been cut off by the judges (the video is choppy). However, they give her a second chance to sing, and she ends up knocking that out of the park. She makes it to Hollywood and into the top 24 contestants, and gives some particularly animated interviews along the way.
"I would compare myself to Bette Midler," she said in a clip from the series. "But I'm talking, like, the '70s, crazy outfits, costumes, oyster shells, like, capes and glitter and this big show, while at the same time being like, so human and so relatable when she's just such a queen. That's who I feel the most akin to."
She also spoke about her experience with the judges, calling their critiques "confusing."
"They were telling me to pick something," she explained. "Cause they were like, okay you sang us rock, you sang us Billy Joel, you sang us an urban-y, hip-hoppy, ska-y song, and you can do all that, but Simon said 'I'm afraid maybe you're a jack of all trades and a master of none,' but then when I sang 'Mercy' at group, he was like, 'Okay, maybe you're a master of one.'"
Despite this, she did end up leaving after making it to the top 24 —but don't worry. That doesn't mean her musical career is over. She ended up making a music video for her song called "Beguiling" and it's...interesting, to say the least. But that's early 2000s for ya, I guess.
Anyways, it's safe to say my personal favorite Jackie Tohn is as Melrose in Glow, but it's clear her many talents are what made her such a great fit for the role in the first place.