Ava & Kymberly’s Moderator Comeback and Hall of Fame Nominees

There is a reason why I launched Vote for the Girls is to not only get a Vote for the Girls victory and there is another reason why we have a site like VOTE FOR THE GIRLS.

From top to bottom: Lauren Diaz, Beth Spangler, and Maye Thomas

As if Vote for the Girls didn’t already have enough elements to keep up with when Moderators’ Save introduced in 2014 (recently used on The Voice 11 after We McDonald finished third), flex picks in 2015 (played a role in the double moderator victories on The Voice 9, 10 and 11), and in 2016 I’ve just added one more in addition to the Moderator’s Challenge. The Moderator Comeback!

Each moderator and each villain can now bring back three former Vote for the Girls picks and winning moderators can nominate a Vote for the Girls pick in to this web site’s Hall of Fame. I think this latest feature is a great twist. Since Vote for the Girls launched, nearly 300 female contestants and 100 flex picks have been featured on this web site. It seems to be the right time since American Idol isn’t on anymore and the moderators and villains are able to being at least one contestant he or she wish they hadn’t boycotted.

After some thought and consideration Kymberly and I narrowed down to who we are putting in the Vote for the Girls Moderator Comeback (for your votes) and Vote for the Girls Hall of Fame nominees.

The Moderator Comeback selections are (in no particular order):

  1. Lauren Diaz (America’s Most Talented Kid and The Voice 11): Kymberly and I thought this would be the winner of The Voice 11 and a four chair turn. Diaz showed promise with her blind audition of coach Alicia Keys’  “If I Ain’t Got You” (and yes, it is the same song she performed on America’s Most Talented Kid in 2004). But after losing an impossible battle to We’ McDonald and a knockout to Ali Caldwell, her time was cut short unfortunately and ended with yours truly and Kymberly with no Vote for the Girls picks on The Voice 11 (and the second such time after Beth Spangler). Oh, if only NBC didn’t have that major f**k up on 11/9 (referring to the 2016 Presidential Election). Coincidentally, this leads to the second Moderator Comeback pick of….
  2. Beth Spangler (The Voice 7): Like Lauren Diaz, I honestly thought this was the winner of The Voice 7. Spangler also showed promise in her bling audition. But after losing a battle to Mia Pfirrman and a knockout to Ryan Sill, yours truly had no remaining Vote for the Girls picks.  Kymberly said that Spangler had more potential back then and still does now and at the time Kymberly thought that her Knockout opponent, Ryan Sill was not connecting with the audience (yet those same fans voted for him in the insta-save that season), though I would have voted for Beth Spangler as THIS IS VOTE FOR THE GIRLS!!!! Spangler is the reason why I do this site.
  3. Maye Thomas (The Voice 11): Kymberly and I were disappointed as much as Kymberly’s in-state rival Ann & Kylie was when she lost a knockout to Darby Walker, and just like yours truly and Kymberly, the Dwyar Sisters (Ann & Kylie) did not have any remaining Vote for the Girls picks. Kymberly said it was obvious and effectively backed the supported contestant from Nashville and Las Vegas, though she was confused by the decisions of Alicia Key and Miley Cyrus and quoted during the live playoffs, “Can I just say this is exactly what happens when coaches choose the wrong people to take to the live shows. When I found out we get to being back a previous Vote for the Girls pick, Maye instantly came to my mind and that’s who Ava & I have chosen in the Moderator Comeback.”

The reason why Kymberly and I chose Diaz, Spangler, and Thomas were exactly the same reason Gwen Stefani brought back Ellie Lawrence as her Coach Comeback artist on The Voice 9 (coincidentally Kymberly and I chose her as a Vote for the Girls pick). These three women are absolutely one-of-a-kind in the eight seasons Vote for the Girls has been online. With Lauren’s incredible stage presence and three unique voices, it was a bloody shame that those three women were eliminated in the first place. The styles set the three apart, but it also worked against them on The Voice. The voice appeals to a very niche audience, such as this site. This made it difficult for her to win over the coaches on The Voice in the early rounds because they were looking for the artist that appealed to the widest audience, and none of them were it. Luckily for Lauren, Beth, and Maye, though, the decision is in the hands of the audience of Vote for the Girls now. If enough people that saw them watching from home believe in her, then one of those women can definitely make it all the way to the Vote for the Girls Hall of Fame.

The new “Moderator Comeback” feature (at least on Team Ava and Kymberly) definitely works in Lauren Diaz’s favor, but what about the other contestants or those who got went to the live shows or even made the competition finale? Obviously it is a disadvantage to them because the Vote for the Girls picks pool is just getting bigger and they’re competing against opponents who they’ve already beat. As with any wild card, one Vote for the Girls pick could be eliminated in place of moderator comeback picks, which may be a bit unfair. Either way, this new twist is certainly an exciting and I can’t wait to see how it plays out this season and perhaps in future seasons.

Now to the VFTG Hall of Fame Nominations…

As the winning moderator of The Voice 9, The Voice 10, Dancing with the Stars 21, American Idol 15, and pretty much dominated the whole 2015-16 season, like all winning moderators,  she gets to choose as many as five nominees to be considered in the Vote for the Girls Hall of Fame. Kymberly chose two and I chose three.

They are…

Out of all the possible Vote for the Girls picks (they’re shown in the credits of almost every Vote for the Girls episodes on YouTube), I’ve developed some strong respect for the ladies we’ve voted for. Thinking about these nominees came to my mind but came up with more such as American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox, Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, Jessica Sanchez, Skylar Laine, Hollie Cavanagh, Erika Van Pelt, Elise Testone, Malaya Watson; The Voice’s Sasha Allen, Amber Carrington, Sarah Simmons, Judith Hill, Tess Boyer, Bria Kelly; The X Factor’s Rachel Crow, Drew, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Fifth Harmony, Ellona Santiago, Rion Paige Thomson all were possibilities, but just choosing three was hard but for Kymberly she chose someone from my possibilities plus someone she would have supported.

The three women I’m putting into the Vote for the Girls Hall of Fame are after much thought and consideration and the reason why I believe they are the best candidates:

  1. Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart (American Idol 10): It was obvious then as it is now. After Pia Toscano‘s elimination on April 7, 2011, the “Vote for Lauren and Haley” campaign became one of my personal favorite moments (if not my favorite moment) in Vote for the Girls history and “pulling a Brandi Chastain” made its debut. It was obvious that Vote for the Girls was still looking for its first American Idol victory at the time meaning Lauren and Haley had to make the American Idol 10 finale for what still is a threshold for not only a guaranteed Vote for the Girls Victory, but an all-female finale in any competition is automatic DOUBLE VOTE FOR THE GIRLS VICTORY. At the end of the day, I am the one that makes the final decision and despite Reinhart being a Dave Della Terza/Vote for the Worst pick at the time (the Dave Della Terza version of Vote for the Worst was based in the Chicago suburb of Naperville and therefore was the hometown VFTW pick). Had there not been Vote for the Worst, there would not be a Vote for the Girls as we known it today.
    • Lauren Alaina held Vote for the Girls’ longest American Idol pick until being tied by American Idol 13’s Jessica Meuse before being surpassed by Jena Irene Asciutto on American Idol 13. This played a deciding factor when I chose Lauren as a nominee in the Vote for the Girls Hall of Fame.
    • Haley Reinhart was the first Vote for the Girls pick and became a Vote for the Worst pick from the American Idol 10 Quarter-Final (Top 4) to Semi-Final (Top 3). This made Reinhart the first dual VFTG/VFTW pick (not counting Rachel Zevita). Coincidentally, this leads to…
  2. Jessica Sanchez (American Idol 11): Jessica Sanchez, in addition to the aforementioned Lauren Aliana and Haley Reinhart, was the third girl that made Vote for the Girls a household name and earned its place on the map for good. On April 12, 2012 Sanchez found herself on the verge of being eliminated but was saved by the judges, making her the youngest contestant and first female ever to be saved by the judges. After Erika Van Pelt’s elimination, I realized that I had made “a huge voting mistake” by not including Sanchez as a Vote for the Girls pick. It was during that season each moderator had chosen who they wanted to win. I had initially picked Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt, Robyn Hurd (which would be her final Vote for the Girls season before her death on May 24, 2012) chose Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh, as did Holly Everman. Archibald Coolranch unofficially picked Shannon Magrane and Colton Dixon (it should be noted that Archibald was the original Zinn’s Villain predating the closure of then-competing web site of the Dave Della Terza version of Vote for the Worst and gave Archibald all male contestants by default)
    • In Jessica Sanchez’s American Idol season, I went undercover and audition as a contestant for American Idol 11 in Pittsburgh confronting the previous season’s gender bias as well as due to being 28 years of age at the time it was the only time I ever tried out (hence, I, Ava Zinn, becoming the ONLY Vote for the Girls moderator to have ever tried out for American Idol). Little did I know at the time, what I remember from my own audition as well as meeting future VFTG pick Erika Van Pelt,
    • In the following season (American Idol 12), it was proven a year after my American Audition and Jessica Sanchez being the recipient of the Judges’ Save to point the common knowledge that at the time Idol hadn’t had a female winner since Jordin Sparks had won in 2007 and with 5 guys having won since that time, many fans and critics felt that with the way the American Idol 12 Top 10 had been set up that the producers were trying to manipulate the results in order for a woman to win the show, which in fact ended up happening thanks to this site and my audition. Though the producers did not know that it WAS THE WEBMASTER OF THIS WEB SITE’s Audition in Pittsburgh that not only changed my life, but this web site forever.

Now to Kymberly’s two nominees…

These two individuals have a Colorado connection and both nominees is what made this site in Colorado and Utah (particularly Denver and Salt Lake City) a Vote for the Girls hotbed, and Denver becoming the sixth strongest Vote for the Girls market behind only Atlanta, Indianapolis, Tampa, Milwaukee, Fort Wayne within six months of Kymberly joining the moderator panel!

  1. Rachel Crow (The X Factor 1): Other than the fact Rachel hails from Colorado, Kymberly could not have picked a more deserving Hall of Fame nominee that Rachel Crow. Rachel’s elimination left Kymberly heartbroken yet Kymberly remembers that night well as preparing to present KDNC-FTV’s 9:00 p.m. newscast now known as “Colorado Action News at 9” with co-anchor Janet Webb.
  2. Miguel Dakota (America’s Got Talent 9): As soon as Kymberly and the other staff on the web site were informed about the Moderator Comeback and Vote for the Girls Hall of Fame Nominations, Miguel Dakota INSTANTLY came into Kymberly’s mind as she wish she voted for since Miguel wasn’t a Vote for the Girls pick and came from Colroado. In fact, none of the female moderators were allowed to participate on America’s Got Talent since Zinn’s Villains have the rights to AGT before the Moderator’s Challenge was introduced this year). It was Miguel Dakota’s time on AGT 9 that Kymberly made a suggestion to allow female moderators on the pink and purple teams to pick male contestants as her Vote for the Girls pick instead of boycotting them unless it was under the Alex & Sierra rule, which eventually became FLEX PICKS and setting up for what eventually lead to Nick Fradinai (who also auditioned for AGT9 as a member of Beach Avenue) making Vote for the Girls history when he won American Idol 14.

What do you think of these decisions? Were they the right choices? Comment below.

Ava Zinn

About Ava Zinn

Vote for the Girls founder and webmaster Ava Zinn knew at an early age that she wanted to be in the news business and entertainment industry. Ava’s a Van Buren, Indiana, native and graduated from Mississinewa High School in Gas City, IN. She worked at two fantasy television stations in Marion/Fort Wayne as a reporter/anchor/producer at WFAZ-FTV (now WMRI-FTV) in Fort Wayne where she spent nine years. Ava then went to WXXC-FDT “INNCD 47” where she and Rachel Dean, Sr. launched the first internet TV station. She spent 12 years at INNCD 47 before leaving the fantasy TV news industry in 2011. Ava Zinn currently hosts Vote for the Girls USA and serves as the executive producer since its April 28, 2010 debut. Most people know Ava as one of Indiana’s strongest transwomen, the transwoman whose groundbreaking accomplishments has helped take change Indiana laws to include trans-men and trans-women, making Marion, Indiana and Grant County a more transgender friendly community, as well as the groundbreaking innovator as former President and CEO of NoSirGitfs Venues, whose small business and launched INNewsCenter and WXXC-FCA “INNCD 47” at Mississinewa High School as a Computer Technology project assignment in November 1999. But gifts and media are not the career she envisioned for herself. December 1, 2004 will go down in history as the day that changed how Indiana protects the LGBT community from discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. The date wasn’t chosen randomly. It was exactly the day that Ava Zinn officially began the transition from male to female. Prior to the transition, Ava was one of the top male Special Education Students in Indiana. Since the big transition, Ava has maintained her prominence in the community of Marion, Indiana. Born a boy in LaGrange, Illinois and educated in the Mississinewa Community Schools from 1986 to 2002, Ava moved to Indiana in November 1983 with her mother, Margaret (1943-2002), and brother, Albert (1977-2002), and were living the American Dream. After graduating from Mississinewa High School, Ava was studying to become a special education teacher. But after a prom date being a no show and dis-enrolled from Indiana Wesleyan University in September 2001, everything changed. April 18, 2011 will go down in history as Ava Zinn announced on her YouTube channel that she would audition the 11th season of American Idol. The date was not chosen at random. It was the 15th anniversary of the day she broke a window at school. Sadly, Ava did not get to meet the judges yet met eventual finalist Erika van Pelt. Ava Zinn came out as a transgendered woman in November 2003, but did not completely to all until July 29, 2011.Over the years, Ava has volunteered and/or supported numerous organizations, including the Boy Scouts and United Way of Grant County. She and her girlfriend, Kymberly Alvaraz, reside in Marion, Indiana. Ava and Kymberly have a son: Kenneth. Ava is the father of four daughters; Samantha, Ashli, Tiffani, and Tabitha–and is the stepfather of Kymberly’s daughters: Stephani, Hayley, Benita, and Denise.