|Is the next Ruben Studdard in our midst? Rod Snyder, a 24-year-old Washington lobbyist for the agriculture trade association CropLife America, is among an estimated 190 contestants on the blockbuster reality show “American Idol” to advance to Hollywood for the next round of competition.|
|About 100,000 hopefuls tried out nationwide, including 21,000 at the D.C. Convention Center last August.|
Snyder was also one of five local contestants selected to have a special feature segment filmed about their daily lives. “They shot a lot of footage on me,” Snyder said yesterday, “mostly by the Capitol as I was going up to lobby.”
Which made for a delicate situation at work. “I hadn’t told my trade association that I was going to try out,” he said. “They wanted to come into the office with a film crew and I had to explain where I’d been the last two days.”
Last night’s season premiere aired after The Hill went to press, and not even Snyder knew if his segment would make the final edit, but he sounded optimistic. On Feb. 8, “Idol” will begin running footage of the contestants’ Hollywood auditions.
Snyder grew up in a political family in Jefferson County and ran for the West Virginia House of Delegates as a Democrat last year at age 23. He still lives in the state, making the four-hour round trip commute each day to his job in Washington.
While Snyder’s career has been focused on politics, music is something he’s always done on the side. He recorded a demo album of contemporary Christian music in 2001 that sold “about 500 copies” and sang one of his original songs on the floor of the West Virginia Senate.
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Memo to political columnists who have ambitions of replacing The Wall Street Journal’s Al Hunt as one of Washington’s most influential scribes: Don’t send in your r