5 Times American Idol Went Jersey
With news breaking just a little while ago that Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan will be joining Katy Perry on the judging panel when American Idol returns to primetime in January, let's take a look back at the plenty of New Jersey links in the show's history.
Here's a countdown of Idol's top Jersey connections:
Back before he became the frontman for arguably the biggest rock band of all time, Idol alum Adam Lambert came to hang out with us.
Our sister station 94.3 The Point brought Adam to our offices for an intimate unplugged performance, and he took some time to sit down and chat with me.
In 2014, Howell's Stephanie Hanvey went all the way to Boston to audition for Idol, and it paid off.
But the headlines around her time on Idol ended up focusing more on the, let's call it "very focused support" of her mother.
I'll let The Daily Mail's headline tell the rest of the story:
The next year, 2015, saw a number of locals heading to the Idol stage and impressing the judges.
Courtney Zahn of Beachwood blew the panel away with her audition and sailed into the Hollywood round.
She got cut in Hollywood, and exited the show with grace, saying that she was, "so thankful...for this amazing journey!"
It was only a year and a half ago that Ocean County got represented once again, this time courtesy of Jackson's Gianna Isabella.
The whole area came together to send Gianna off to the races with a big rally at Jackson Memorial High School.
It must have worked, because she made it all the way to the top 10!
The most successful contestant yet from New Jersey has been East Brunswick's mononymous Jax.
Sailing past literally thousands of other Idol hopefuls, week after week Jax dispatched the competition and brought her talents just about to the end, making it to the top 3.
By the way, if you thought that you saw Jax clowning around at Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest a few years ago, you were right!
So what's next?
As American Idol waits in the wings to make a triumphant comeback on ABC in only a few months (yes, January is only a little more than 3 months away!), we won't have to wait long to see who will be the next singer to bring Jersey to the forefront!