East student among 10 women in 'American Idol' competition

Mike Dunham

A 17-year-old student at East High School has become the first Alaskan to make it to the top 20 in the television talent show, "American Idol." Adriana Latonio was among the finalists selected to move on to live competition after a well-received performance in Las Vegas broadcast on Wednesday night.

Whitney Miller, a reporter with Anchorage station KTBY, which airs "American Idol," interviewed Latonio and told the Daily News that the singer was "very much involved with the arts" at East and a participant in choral and dance programs there. She has studied voice with Anchorage vocal coach Mitch Tubman, better known as Big Mitch, who also coached J.R. Aquino.

Aquino made it into the top 44 contestants on "American Idol" in 2005 and was more recently featured on "The Voice."

In 2006, Latonio and Aquino opened for an Anchorage performance by four champions in the "Search for a Star in a Million," a Philippines contest show similar to "American Idol," in Atwood Concert Hall. Latonio also performed with Filipino superstar Sheryn Regis when the Regis headlined a concert at West High School in 2009.

Reach Mike Dunham at mdunham@adn.com or 257-4332.