Like many, I was shocked when James Durbin was ousted in the number four position on Idol. I haven't watched Idol since. The potential this season to skew voting because any person can cast up to 50 votes really turned me off. But I have followed what's happening for James. And, it makes me very happy.
He says that when he tried out for Idol he had no money, no job, no car, no driver's licence and no high school diploma. He was living at his mom's house and couldn't affort to buy diapers for his son. James had spent years being bullied because he was so different, diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's when he was ten. That was after his dad died when he was nine. He credits his fiance Heidi and young son with giving him the will to turn things around and provide his family with a good life by trying out for Idol.
James not only has the talent, but an ability to give young folks facing physical or mental challenges a glowing example of what is possible when the will and belief are there. Never in the history of Idol has a contestant below the top three had an official homecoming, but 30,000 fans welcomed James back to Santa Cruz in an event approved by the Idol powers that be. In an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' show he said he had to learn to embrace the fact that he was considered weird. He jammed with Randy Jackson and Jimmy Fallon on Fallon's show and there is buzz about him recording an album. James has lots of people in his corner, and much more to deal with than the average performer.
I think this likeable young man will join the likes of Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson as one of the Idol contestants who didn't need the title to make it big. He has talent, he's a true showman and can wow an audience. Add to that a gracious, charming personality and you've got the whole package.