Although the American Idol judges voted not to advance local contestant Kenny Harrison to the Las Vegas rounds following Hollywood Week auditions, the Rocky Mount resident said he is more determined than ever to make his talent known.
Harrison, 24, has been traveling throughout the country since he was 18 years old auditioning every year to display his voice on one of the most-watched programs on television.
The Hollywood auditions were the furthest he has ever made it, Harrison said.
“For the first time ever, (American) Idol selected an odd number of contestants. Instead of 40, they chose 50 contestants,” Harrison said. “After making it through Hollywood Week, they called everyone together and did another cut – a surprise cut.”
When American Idol Judge Nicki Minaj called out the R&B singer’s name to be cut, Harrison said he was shocked along with the other contestants.
“As we all knew, I earned my place there,” Harrison said. “It caused a pain in my stomach and heartache I can’t even describe, but I refused to cry.”
Harrison said all hope is not gone, because several contestants were called back on wild cards in previous American Idol seasons.
If Harrison is not selected as a wild card for American Idol, he said he will go on to audition at the X Factor.
“This experience so far has been amazing,” Harrison said. “Being this close to your dream feels like a dream in and of itself.”
Harrison said he sacrificed payments on basic necessities, including his car and house, to undergo the rigorous rounds of American Idol auditions.
“I risked it all for the chance to show the world that I’m good enough,” Harrison said. “I’m so grateful to have made it this far.”
Harrison was among 400 other contestants who made it to Hollywood Week, one of the more prestigious stages in the competition to become a finalist for the American Idol Season 12 series.
The competition in Hollywood was extremely rough, Harrison said.
“I’m hoping to get the attention of my idols, Tyler Perry a.k.a. ‘Madea’ and Beyonce Knowles,” Harrison said.