Norman Gentle on American Idol

Nick Mitchell is Normund Gentle - Comedian Singer
          Nick Mitchell aka "Norman (or Normund) Gentle" has injected American Idol with a bucket load of fun and become a shoo-in for Season 8's first career launch.

          In seven previous seasons American Idol has paraded many crazy performers before America and the Idol judges, but never has there been a crazy like Norman Gentle, a character portrayed with charismatic vigor by Nick Mitchell of Brookfield, Connecticut.

Nick Who?

          Twenty-seven-year-old Nick went to Brookfield High School where his love of music shone whenever and wherever the mood struck him. Bursting into song was a given for Nick, and each of his four years at Brookfield found him playing the lead in the high school musical. An honor student and a competitive swimmer, Nick Mitchell did nothing by half measure. He graduated from Brookfield in 1999 and went on to study at Marymount Manhattan College and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

American Idol Contestant

          Nick didn't show up to the American Idol auditions wearing a bikini or a pink bunny suit as others did, but he did shimmer and shine in a disco shirt and headband that could pass for Richard Simmons' workout gear. It isn't that Nick has no fashion sense. It's that his attire is part of his effort to launch his "Normund {Norman) Gentle" character onto the national stage. Nick may be sly like a fox, for win, lose, or draw on American Idol, he's already stolen the spotlight long enough to capture an ever-burgeoning fan base.

Fans Are Rallying

          It took little time for fan sites to materialize and for voters to mobilize. From social networking sites to blogs to news reports, people are talking about Normund Gentle. And for good cause. What makes Nick Mitchell's invented character so fun is that he has the vocal strength to back it up. He's funny and blessed with a natural timing and quick-on-his-feet rhetoric reminiscent of a young Jerry Lewis, but with a bit of the annoyingly endearing charm of Rodney Dangerfield. And, he can sing. Fans respond on one level to his humor and his chutzpah for daring to trot Norman Gentle out again and again, even after hes sworn him off on several occasions, and they respond on another level to his solid talent.

Simon Cowell Calls Him a Joke

          Idol curmudgeon and star-maker, Simon Cowell, professes to be perplexed by Nick's continued insistence on portraying a character instead of taking the stage as himself. Cowell calls him a joke. But in this season's field of extraordinary talent, Nick Mitchell is doing the one thing guaranteed to set him apart. He is adding an unforgettable visual to the voice. That cant hurt in the scheme of things.

Its Up to the People

          Now, Nick Mictchell's (and Norman/Normund Gentle's) fate is up to the voters. Nick has sailed into the top thirty-six American Idol hopefuls. Some may find him unworthy because of his antics. Others may grab a headband and become part of the "Gentle" movement. But no matter the views, the morning-after water cooler talk will be vigorous. And all that discussion will no doubt add zeroes to Nick Mitchell's post-Idol paycheck.

UPDATE

Nick Mitchell released his first album in May of 2010.  The album, appropriately titled, "Gentle," includes a farewell ode ("Brit Slap") to American Idol's Simon Cowell.
The copyright of the article Norman Gentle on American Idol is owned by its author, Tricia Spencer. 
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