I‘ve lived in Santa Cruz for over 35 years and never seen such a huge celebration. It was wonderful and at times felt like a love in or peace rally from the sixties. The White Ensemble sang All You Need Is Love and Come Together and then James sang Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Don’t Stop Believing. It had been cloudy all day, but the sun broke through shortly before James got on stage. It stayed sunny for the next few hours until it rained later in the evening.
James Durbin came back to his hometown and greeted the 30,000 plus crowd at the Boardwalk (as well as others along the parade route and community center), with sincerity and appreciation for the support and positive energy he’s gotten (and continues to get) from the city of his birth.
Here are several articles, photos and videos of James and the event.
JAMES DURBIN DAY or what is now known as James Durbin year.
James Durbin came in fourth on American Idol, which is the farthest a heavy metal rocker has ever gotten on the show. A great jazz musician and singer also made it into the top 10 (Casey). Now, James hometown is having one of the biggest home coming celebrations the city has ever seen.
American Idol released James for the day from his other Idol obligations, so he could come home to Santa Cruz. Idol says this is the first time they’ve ever allowed a contestant (who is not in the top 3) to go home for such a day, but they had such massive support for doing so from the city and thousands of people across the country.
James will be holding a press conference at the Louden Nelson Center around 3:30 today and visiting a number of youth programs that he was involved in growing up. Then, around 5, he’ll walk over to the Boardwalk and join the White Ensemble (who start playing at 4) for a few songs.
The streets of Santa Cruz are likely to be packed like never before, as there is already a large group that come from the Bay Area on the weekend to go to the Boardwalk. Add our amazing James performing (from the most watched show on television) and you’re bound to have an amazing crowd.
As far as Santa Cruz is concerned, James Durbin IS a winner and always will be, as is his fiance Heidi, who supported and guided him throughout the process.
WELCOME HOME JAMES.
Well, it’s official. James Durbin (Santa Cruz, CA) is now in the final four and we’re not talking about college basketball. When you think of how many people these folks auditioned with across the country to be standing with the last four American Idol contestants (120,000), it is a remarkable feat.
James wasn’t at his best Wednesday, but still made it through. He was a little off key here and there and didn’t seem as focused as usual, but his emotion and intent came through strong and clear. It was probably his sincere expression of his feelings that helped him make it to the final four.
There’s something about James that just seems downright genuine. If he’s acting or putting on a show for the cameras, it’s hard to tell. It seems like whatever raw experience he’s going through is what you see, regardless of whether it is joy, sadness or exuberant exhortations. Combine that quality, with his usually spot on vocals and presentation and it’s easy to see why he’s where he’s at and why a large portion of the more than 60,000,000 votes that were cast were for James.
He made it! Santa Cruz rocker James Durbin is in the top 5 contestants on American Idol, which auditioned over 120,000 people for this season.
There are only a few more shows to go until the winner is decided. Of course, all those in the top 11 get to go on tour this summer and many of them will receive recording contracts and other offers, regardless of whether they are voted the American Idol or not.
It was good to see a jazz man (Casey Abrams), who is not only a good singer, but also a very good musician, make it so far and get such great acknowledgment from the judges (Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson & Steven Tyler), staff and audience. Casey also seemed to have one of the best times singing his last song on the show than anybody else I’ve seen. He had a lot of fun and was grateful for what had happened, as opposed to being crushed, sad and/or depressed about it.
Accept for Pia Toscano being voted off, the votes for who should stay and go have been pretty much on the money. Than again, comparing artists is in some way, like comparing fruit. They are each unique and have their differences and are all good. It then comes down to personal judgment and preference and not individual ability or creativity.
Keep belting it out James. Hopefully, next week you’ll be in the top four and be high fourin’ it down to three.
Last night on American Idol, our hometown guy James Durbin produced another memorable performance when he sang Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Carole King. The crowd was wowed. The judges were wowed. And at least these members of the TV audience were also wowed. The best part of the song was the first half, which he sang without accompanying instruments. He later dedicated the song (all his songs) to his fiancee Heidi.
If enough people voted for James last night, then he will be one of the final 5 contestants and be representing The Cruz for another week in the competition. The only caveat is that one of the judges, Randy Jackson, went on stage, gave James a hug and said that he thought he was going to be the next American Idol. I may be a little superstitious, but I don’t think those watching the show like to be told who is going to win, since it is they that are the ones who decide and there are some other very good singers (even though the best of the lot, Pia Toscano, was voted off a few weeks ago).
We’ll find out tonight if James made it through. If he did, help him out in the coming weeks and vote often and get your friends and family to do likewise. If James wins (or even if he doesn’t), he has changed the tenor of the show and demonstrated that America can accept a heavy metal rocker from weird Santa Cruz, as much as a young pop singer from Atlanta.
Our young man from my hometown Santa Cruz, James Durbin, is rocking American Idol week after week and as of today, is in the top 7. That is out of over 100,000 people that tried out for the show this season. Quite amazing, considering the odds.
Not only has James continued to stay true to his interests, style and background, but he’s also been able to be quite authentic and not get too caught up in all the hype, publicity and judgments from the show, media and public.
Everyone talks about what he’s been through (father died young from overdose) and what he lives with (autism and Tourette Syndrome) and his supportive and affirmation producing girlfriend and their child, but what is most important and should be the quality that is most desired, is the music that comes through him (heart and soul).
James seems to be a natural performer and in some ways like Lady Gaga, is able to actualize what he sees in his head on stage. Combine that with a good voice and musicianship and it looks like he’s got it all.
Regardless of whether he ends up “winning” this season or not (as voted by the same people who voted off the best singer of the lot – Pia Toscano), James will have a long career doing what he loves and continuing to bring people to their feet.
American Idol has never had someone quite like James. Season eights runner-up Adam Lambert was probably the closest in temperament and musical variety. Adam has an amazing voice, which is more nuanced than James, but James is also James and when you hear him and see him, you know who it is right away… a big time winner against all odds on America’s most watched television show.