It’s finally happened: The “American Idol” judges and host Ryan Seacrest have finally gone an entire week without mispronouncing the name of newly announced Top 13 finalist Jena Irene (formerly known as Jena Asciutto).
Thanks to the less-than-common spelling, Asciutto was so frequently referred to as “Jenna” instead of “Gina” that half of her segments throughout the preliminary rounds featured her trying to politely correct people on the pronunciation.
“Especially on Twitter it’s really funny because people hate on how my name’s spelled. They’re like, ‘You should probably stop telling people to pronounce your name right because it’s getting really annoying,'” she tells Zap2it after making the Top 13. “I’m like, ‘Well, it’s my name!’ I want people to say it right and it’s not my fault. I didn’t have any say in how my name was going to be spelled. I love my name!”
It got so bad that Jena has decided to drop her Italian last name altogether on the show, and is now going by “Jena Irene” for the rest of the competition. “Since America can’t really pronounce my first name I don’t really think they’re going to be able to pronounce my last name because that’s a little bit harder,” she says with a laugh.