Former ''American Idol'' contestant Alexis Cohen, whose profanity-laced rant on national television garnered her a bizarre sort of fame, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Saturday in Seaside Heights, N.J., according to the Ocean County prosecutor's office.
Cohen's death, by ''chest and abdominal injuries, along with a closed head injury secondary to a motor vehicle collision,'' has been ruled a homicide,
said Michael Mohel, deputy chief of the prosecutor's office.
Cohen, 25, of Allentown, was found lying on or near the street around 4 a.m. by two passers-by who called 911, Mohel said.
The husky-voiced singer, noted for wearing heavy glittery eye make-up, compared her vocal stylings to Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and Pat Benatar and chose to perform Jefferson Airplane's ''Somebody to Love.'' Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson were not impressed.
''I don't think this is the route for you, sweetheart,'' Cowell told Cohen as the judges were dismissing her.
The would-be singer initially handled the rejection gracefully, but after leaving the tryout room, she launched into a tirade against Cowell as the cameras continued rolling.
''Simon is a big fat bad word,'' she said, then continued speaking as censors bleeped many of her words.
The rant drew national media attention, earning Cohen an interview with shock jock Howard Stern and appearances on the television shows ''Live with Regis and Kelly,'' ''The View'' and ''Extra.''
After the ''American Idol'' show aired, her mother admitted she wished her daughter had been more ''subdued.''
In an interview last year at the pair's Ridge Avenue apartment, Mindy Cohen said ''American Idol'' producers goaded her daughter into her tirade.
''I didn't think they were going to edit it that way,'' the mother said.
She made a brief return to ''Idol'' earlier this year, having undergone a makeover and pronouncing herself reformed.
During auditions aired in January, a demure Cohen performed a wobbly rendition of Madonna's ''Like a Prayer'' for the judges.
''That was horrendous,'' Cowell said once she was done. ''You actually got worse, I think.''
To which Cohen replied, ''Thank you.''
Then after a pause. ''Thank you,'' she said on her way out the door, middle fingers waving. ''You're an [expletive].''