Millions of Americans watch American Idol each week. I admit, I watch it when I can. Ironically, the train wrecks that are so often the auditions don’t interest me as much as when the show cuts down to the final 12 contestants. At least then, the singing is usually pretty good.
I did watch some of last night’s show and found someone that will likely go quite far and has an interesting story to tell to boot. And he’s tied to the trucking industry. You can watch his audition here.
During the show, which showcased auditions in Orlando, Matt Lawrence came out. As so often happens, the producers put together a brief bio of Lawrence. Turns out he’s a 25-year-old trucking company manager for his father’s business.
He also has spent time in jail. Lawrence, it appears, had one of those “youthful indiscretions.” He robbed a bank when he was 15 and then spent four years in jail for the crime. Americans love underdogs and comeback stories, and Lawrence may just have that quality to attract viewers as he appeared humble and contrite for his past. Those qualities are most important for contestants as they battle each week for Americans’ votes.
As for his audition, which featured Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble,” judge Randy Jackson summed it up best. “You’re so genuine and that’s what it’s all about, you you’ve got vocals,” Jackson said. Similarly, judge Kara Dioguardi loved him as well, telling him he had “such control of your voice” and that he’s “the real deal.”
But with any American Idol performer, America cares most about what controversial Simon Cowell has to say. Cowell called him “brilliant” and when sending him on to Hollywood, said it was “the easiest yes I’ve said today.”
Lawrence said he just wanted to make good with his life. Now he has that chance.