Former American Idol hopeful Alexis Cohen, dubbed “Glitter Girl” after providing AI fans with two memorable auditions, died this weekend following a hit-and-run accident in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, the BBC reports. Cohen, a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was 25. An autopsy revealed that she suffered head, chest and abdominal injuries after being struck by a car.
“I march to the beat of a different drummer,” Cohen told cameras before her first audition, for Season Seven. Cohen, who said she hoped to become a veterinarian, appeared in front of an audience of millions when she famously auditioned in Philadelphia in 2008. After taking producers on a tour of her home, Cohen’s performance of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love” was deemed not Hollywood Week-worthy by the three-judge panel, and Cohen memorably lashed out at Simon Cowell in her post-audition interview, calling the British judge a “big fat bad word” and telling Cowell to “kiss my ass.” Cowell, in response, compared Cohen to Spider-Man villain Green Goblin and actor Willem Dafoe.
Though she swore to pursue acting, a slightly more formally dressed Cohen returned for a second audition earlier this year, for Idol‘s Season Eight. She again became enraged, and Cowell called her performance “horrendous.”
A 23-year-old man named Daniel Bark has since been charged with death by reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident following Cohen’s death, TMZ reports. Cohen’s body was found by two pedestrians more than 1,000 feet away from her own parked car. Bark faces 15 years in prison if convicted.
Cohen’s death is the second tragedy to strike Idol in two years: in 2008 Paula Goodspeed, an obsessed Paula Abdul fan who auditioned for Idol, overdosed and died in front of Abdul’s California home.