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James Durbin Overcomes, Leaves American Idol Judges Speechless

posted by Evan Derrick

21 year old James Durbin has had a rough life. Although he gets his musical ability from his father, he never had a chance to really know him – he overdosed on drugs when James was young. “I didn’t get a chance to know him,” he said in a tear-filled interview on this evening’s episode of American Idol. As if that wasn’t enough to set him back, he was then diagnosed with tourettes and Asperger’s Syndrome. But that doesn’t stop him from singing. “When I sing it just all goes away,” he told the judges. “I don’t have a care in the world.”And boy can he sing. After his initial audition, he tentatively asked Steven Tyler if he could sing an Aerosmith song, “Dream On.” Tyler said yes and Durbin proceeded to belt out an incredible rendition of it. “Wow,” was practically all Tyler could say in response.”You’re range is crazy,” Randy Jackson said. Suffice to say, James Durbin will be going to Hollywood. After leaving the audition he was embraced by Heidi, the person he credits as rescuing him. She leaves him encouraging post-it notes all over the house that say things like “I believe in my music.” The two have a new baby and Durbin is currently unemployed, so American Idol is an incredible opportunity for him. “To hear Steven Tyler approve of me singing one of his songs?” Durbin said afterwords with tears running down his cheeks. “It’s unbelievable.”



  • Christine Maddox

    James, you were GREAT last night. You represent Santa Cruz very well. If you continue on, I’m sure Santa Cruz will support you all the way. I know how down you feel cause I’ve been unemployed for a year and a half, too. I think you made a GREAT impression on America. We got you’re back, buddy!

  • Shelley

    Wow, this guy is awesome. I think he is going to win.

  • sara

    My mom taught this kid speech when he was younger. my teachers were his teachers. my teacher showed us the video today and told us about how good he could sing

  • linda cress

    I LOVE THIS!HES AMAZEING! I NO HOW HE FEELS I DIDNT GET TO NO MY DAD MUCH WHEN I WAS LITTLE TILL I MARRIED ,THEN IT SEEMS LIKE IT WASNT ENOUGH,HE DIED LAST YEAR IN MARCH ST PATRICT DAY I LADED HIM DOWN TO REST,MOM JUST HAD OPEN HEART SURGERY AND SHES MAKEING IT BEEN A LOT STRESS,IM TRYING TO GO COLLEGE AND BE A NURSE AND WORK PART TIME.THANKS FOR SHAREING THIS!MAY GOD BE WITH HIM,AND STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART! ILL KEEP HIM AND HIS FAMILY IN MY PRAYER;S.LINDA CRESS IM FROM OHIO!

  • http://johnthomaswinter.blogspot.com/2011/02/american-idol-inspiring-fatherless-kid.html John

    I don’t know if this kid will make it to the end, but I like the guy. I think that Americans will love his story and be pulling for him to do well. http://tinyurl.com/4lphz2d

  • Debra Lee

    James, Your Dad was the best bass player ever. You have a great talent and love of your craft as well. You know that your father has many friends who are watching and sending their love and votes your way. God bless you, James.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Darren

    James,
    You are an inspiration to those with afflictions – all of the human race! ;)
    I was not an American Idol follower until this season, after I heard your story of affliction, the love of your girlfriend, and the blessing of a child. I am so honored to witness what God is doing in your life. I hope you realize it and use your star status to encourage others. My prayers are with you.
    God’s best in the competition!

    Sincerely,

    Darren,

    “Brothers in Harmony”, Minnesota

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joan

    love you james….keep up the good work and God Bless you

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sharen

    James, I am not a rocker (unless it’s in a chair with a baby in my arms) but you may make one out of me yet!! You have such AMAZING talent….if you are not in the final 2, I may never watch Idol again. After tonight’s performance of “Without You” if you didn’t move everybody watching to tears, then I say they are dead & don’t know it!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Diane

    I have been watching American Idol since it’s beginning and you are the best I have ever seen ! You bring tears to my eyes – you are INCREDIBLE !! Don’t ever stop believing in yourself.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Debbie

    JamesI have loved you from the beginning. You are just an amazing person. You speak and sing from the heart. You have what makes an American Idol. No matter what you are going to be a great artist. Tonight you showed your sensitive side and I cried with you. Wish all the best.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment DENISE

    JAMES: I AM 66, HAVE A FRIEND IN HER 50’S, ONE IN HER LATE 40’S AND ANOTHER IN HER 30’S. WE ALL LOVE YOU – ALL AGES. MY WHOLE WEEK LOOKS FORWARD TO WEDNESDAY – CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR YOU PERFORM. MY HUSBAND IS NOT A FAN OF IDOL – BUT HAS BECOME A HUGE FAN OF YOU. WE BOTH CRIED WITH YOU THIS WEEK. YOU ROCK OUR WORLD.

  • Pingback: American Idol James Durbin Heads Home - The Prophet of Pop

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sharon

    James,you were miles and miles above everyone else in talent and in performances.You moved me to tears many times! You have an INCREDIBLE voice and talent and nothing will keep you from being the biggest star of American Idol. You don’t have to win the show to prove that. You will show people the votes were wrong now, and outsell every other contestant there has been on Idol. I’ll be buying all you do. The rock contestant never wins, it has been proven over and over with Bo Bice, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry. But this does not mean you were not the best every time you sang. You are as great as the best legends of history and as good as Stephen Tyler. I know if the judges could say what they truly feel they would say you should’ve won the whole thing, plus some. Play it back and watch their faces.You had me cheering often. We played you back over and over. I have never written to anyone before & I’m 58. I just couldn’t hold back telling you that you were the very best every time! Keep going!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ann

    James has already “made it”! Look at the real talent in the past. Jennifer, Adam, Daughtrey, Clay, etc. They have succeeded,some more than the “American Idol” of their season. I work in a residential facility of adolescents and juveniles. I am 63 years old and have a daughter who is a Clinical Therapist. I know alittle about the afflictions that James has and that again, makes me so proud to see this young man overcome so many hurdles. Losing his Dad early without the Love he deserved, James has become a terrific talent and a very loving father.

    He will continue to have my “vote” because I believe there will be a JAMES DURBIN album available very soon.

    ROCK ON, JAMES!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rose

    James, you are the best.. You don’t need to win American Idol. You are just too amazing not to make it. I am Canadian and obviously can’t vote, but If I could, I would have voted for you over and over again. I am also in my late 50’s and love you. My husband has never watched American idol, (and after this may never watch it again), but he watched it this year because of you and Casey. You are just amazing.. I don’t know how people vote.., but obviously, out of the 70 plus millions, the majority don’t understand or appreciate real talent. I was looking forward to Idol Wednesday, wondering what amazing performance you would turn out, but I don’t think I will be watching the rest of the season. I am just too upset at your being voted out.
    keep the faith and the best of luck to you

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Frances Hamilton

    James, I totally agree with all the beautiful comments made above. I fell in love with your sweet spirit and the amazing way you can sing any song and make it special. You will go to the top in your career. Stay true to your heart and your precious Heidi and Hunter. God Bless.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Louise GROULX

    Dear JAMES…I was shocked that you were going home ! I want to tell you to follow your dream & to keep up the good work.I will never watch AMERICAN IDOL again. It seems like people don’t want to vote for ROCKERS & HEAVY METAL .I have been watching the show since the beginning & I watched good singers like BO BICE, CHRIS DAUGHTRY, ADAM LAMBERT & now you JAMES get booted off , but don’t give up ! I know that you’re gonna go far & that I will buy your CD’s soon. Iam a 60 year old woman but Iknow what good music is & JAMES you have it in you.You don’t need AMERICAN IDOL anymore. I wish you & your little family ,all the best.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Amanda

    You have spirit dude, go on and get some sounds recorded.
    All the best!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dee

    James,

    I watched you on American Idol last year. I have to say I love your softer side. So much feeling, so much emotion. I saw your video clip on Fox today. I wish you, your wife and son life’s best.

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