The number of golden ticket recipients from each American Idol audition city far exceed the number of contestants we meet on the show.
Here are some of the talented male singers we didn’t meet during the Oklahoma City audition episode.
I’ve included a blurb on each with information gleaned from their Road to Hollywood videos on americanidol.com.
In cases where a video of them singing or performing could be located, I’ve also included that.
If you know of existing YouTube videos for a contestant who doesn’t have one below, simply let me know and I’ll add it.
And to hear more from American Idol’s other Hollywood-bound contestants, head
Jesse is another contestant who says he comes from a musical family. In his case, it stretches back to his grandparents and he says everyone still plays music, “so it’s real inspirational to be around all the time.” From Tulsa, Okla., Jesse also plays guitar and leads a band, experience he thinks will come in handy on Idol for another reason. That band plays cover songs, so he winds up performing a wide array of music, making him more versatile than some contestants might be. His favorite former contestant is Joshua Ledet. He calls Joshua “by far one of the best singers ever heard in my entire life. Gave me chills every time I heard him.”
“Sweet Emotion” (with Another Alibi)
For Jesse Joice singing solo, head here.
Lee admits he auditioned at the insistence of his girlfriend. So it’s little wonder he uses the word “relieved” to describe how he felt when he received his golden ticket. His mom provided part of his musical inspiration, the guy from Boardman, Oregon, says, always pushing “him to do music and sing in church.” The pushing apparently helped; he loves to make music today, Lee says, adding he thinks his different approach to a favorite genre could help set him apart. “I sing country, but I don’t wear a cowboy hat and necessarily look country all the time. I grew up singing blues and oldies and stuff and really came into country later. So a lot of those things get incorporated back into my country and there’s less country and more of a soul thing going on.” His favorite past Idol: Carrie Underwood.
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Mathenee is another contestant who made it to group night in Vegas in Season 11 before being cut. He said he owed it to himself to try again. Besides, he’s found new inspiration in a 2-year-old niece. “She’s starting to sing and starting to be creative. It’s pushing me and driving me so much more to be a better performer and a better singer,” explains the young man from Aurora, Colorado. He calls Freddie Mercury a “huge influence,” but says he also enjoys hip-hop, R&B and pop music as well as rock. “When you fuse all those things together, you create a new sound, a new thing,” Mathenee says. His favorite past Idol contestant is a singer he met on Idol last year, Joshua Ledet. And why could Mathenee be the next Idol? “There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not humming a new melody I’m creating in my head or writing new lyrics,” he answers in describing his dedication to music.
For more of Mathenee, head here.
Nick is from Sioux Falls, S.D., and auditioned because of Idol’s new small-town bus tour in Season 12. But now that he’s off to Hollywood, he thinks he can bring a different style and flavor to the competition. He explains that he’s not a pop singer at all. He plays in an indie rock band and was surprised that no one in the audition room was in favor of the song he chose to sing (he doesn’t name it in his Road to Hollywood video). Oh, and Nick says he is also ready to leave the band behind and go solo. “I can sing,” he says. “I think I’m different and unique.” His father was a singer and musician and “that kind of led me into it,” Nick adds. “But if I couldn’t sing, I would go crazy. Music is everything, it’s my entire life.” His favorite past Idol contestant is Constantine Maroulis, who finished sixth back on Season 4 and went on to Broadway success.
Love Well, Punish Well
For more of Nick performing with Amos Slade, head here.
Oscar hails from Gary, Ind., and says he tried out for Idol because he believes he’s an “awesome” singer and making a living at it is his lifelong dream. He says he draws much of his inspiration from his family because “they’ve been there through the tough times. They really have always encouraged me to keep moving forward, even when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.” In his Road to Hollywood video, Oscar mentions that he works hours a day as a street performer, but also attends school where he works on his piano skills and trains with a voice instructor. His favorite past Idols are Kris Allen and Ruben Studdard. He says he can still recall buying Ruben’s first two albums back when he was 16 or 17 and recalls how inspirational they were as well.
For more from Oscar, head here.
Peter hails from Sweden originally and now lives in Texarkana, Texas. He says singing comes somewhat naturally for him. His dad is a theater director and “very good” actor and singer; Peter calls his mom “a fantastic singer.” But what sets Peter apart from the many really good singers on Idol? He thinks it might be his personality: “I like to be funny. I think — and I don’t want to sound too full of myself — that I’m a pretty good musician. But a lot of musicians are very serious. I’m an actor as well. So I kind of blend those two together.” Naming his favorite all-time Idol contestant is easy, he says: Adam Lambert — “one of the best singers I’ve ever heard.”
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Not too many Idol contestants admit that they once hated singing, but Scott does. He says his parents put him in choir in school so he’d make better friends. Let’s just say he wasn’t thrilled by the experience. At the time, he weighed 240 pounds and says “I got made fun of a lot.” Then he watched American Idol for the first time. It was Season 5 and he found himself inspired by the performance of Elliott Yamin. Suddenly, the guy who didn’t like being part of choir said “I could do that.” Recalls the lad from Winfield, Kansas: “I really shaped up. I lost weight because I wanted to be an artist and I wanted to have everything. I wanted to have the looks. I wanted to be fit. I wanted to have the voice.” According to what the judges told him when they unanimously put him through to Hollywood, the latter is a given. Scott said they told him he sounds unique. His favorite Idols: Carrie Underwood. And Elliott, of course.
For more music from Scott, head here.
Taylor is part of a brother-sister team that advanced to Hollywood from the Oklahomas City auditions. His sister, Monet Belle, also earned a golden ticket. Taylor, from Waukee, Iowa, said he felt a mixture of shock, surprise and happiness when the judges put him through. As for what makes him unique, he says he likes songs like “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele and “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera. “I find the common theme of slower ballad songs,” he says. “I think those songs fit my voice well.” His favorite past Idol contestant is Carrie Underwood. “When you watch her, she makes it seem effortless,” he says. Someday, he’d like to be that polished a performer. As for why he sings, Taylor says “he wants to use the gift I’ve been given to help other people.”
For more videos of Taylor, head here.
Hey, Randy, get ready to declare: “He can sing the phone book.” Because that’s one thing that Telix Reese thinks might set him apart from other competitors on American Idol. The young man from Gibsland, La., says his major musical influences include Erykah Badu, Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Sarah Vaughan and Prince. But his affection for music is even more widespread. “I love all genres of music,” Telix says. “I think I can sing pretty much anything. I like anything from Coldplay to Lil’ Wayne to Pavarotti. I love music, period.”
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Tony says he likes to think of himself as “America’s big brother.” Let him explain. The young man from Oklahoma City says he’s inspired by his family and dedicated to them. “I have a motto,” Tony says. “I put my family over everything. Not just my immediate family, my brothers, nephews, sisters, cousins. I’m talking about anyone who affects me, anybody I spend a good amount of my time with.” In fact, he says he feels driven to help other people beyond those he considers family as well. His favorite past Idol is Pia Toscano, who he met the first time he auditioned for the show. He described her as “personable and always sweet.”
“Pumped Up Kicks”
For lots more music from Tony, head here.
All the Idol contestants are asked what makes them unique. Zach has a unique answer. He plays the ukulele. Oh, and he can play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time. “And I write a lot of weird songs,” he adds, smiling. “Humorous songs.” He’s from White Hall, Ark., and that means he’s been singing for a long time. “Growing up in church in Arkansas, you pretty much grow up with a microphone in your hand,” he explains. “I’ve been singing my whole life, so church is a big inspiration.” In terms of musical influences, he describes himself as a big fan of Rascal Flatts. His favorite past Idols: Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery — you guessed it; Zach prefers country music. And admires Kris Allen, who’s also from Arkansas. Zach says his decision to audition for Idol isn’t just about being rich and famous. It’s about taking a step toward his goal. “Getting to sing for people for a living and make money at it? I would love that,” he says.
For more music from Zach, head here.
He also has four singles available on iTunes.