Saturday, April 30, 2011

American Idol Profile: Who is Season 10 Finalist James Durbin?

James Durbin earned a Season 10 top 11 finalist spot for "American Idol," the popular Fox Television musical contest and reality TV show, in 2011. As such, Durbin is listed for the 2011 "Idols Live" nationwide tour.

Overcoming personal challenges to vie for the "Idol" title

Durbin tried out for "Idol" in Nashville, rocking the audition room with Led Zeppelin's "You Shook Me" and following up with a wailing blast of Aerosmith's "Dream On." It was a gamble, with Steven Tyler at the judges' table, but it worked. Tyler called him "crazy good."

The 22-year-old California rocker, sporting a faux hawk and a ratty tail, snatched hearts with his sound and his story. Durbin lives with Tourette's and Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism. His own father, bass player Willy Durbin, died of a drug overdose when Durbin was nine.

"When I sing, it just all goes away," the talented performer revealed. "I don't have a care in the world."

Immediately, "Idol" watchers compared the prodigious voice to Season 8 finalist Adam Lambert.

Recently married to Heidi, mother of his son Hunter, Durbin confirms his love of rock and metal. With little formal singing training, he points to Ronnie James Dio, Steve Marriot, Freddie Mercury, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Tyler as musical influences. His record collection includes plenty of rock legends, as well as "Beavis & Butthead," Disney's "Hercules" soundtrack, Swedish rock and even Patti LaBelle.

Durbin has said he dreams of performing with Tyler and also doing his own version of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," which he sang in December 2008 at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz.

Wrestling and jamming keep Durbin in tune.

A self-confessed adrenaline addict, Durbin is an avid professional wrestling fan. Hulk Hogan surprised the "Idol" finalist, appearing onstage with Durbin and fellow contestant Paul McDonald March 24 during the Top 11 results show. Afterward, "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest tossed the star-struck Durbin the ripped tee shirt from his own idol.

To unwind, Durbin jams to tunes like Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law" and KISS' "Black Diamond." Gibson Guitars presented the finalists with custom guitars on March 21.

Despite his forceful stage presence, Durbin is known as soft-hearted. Born January 6, 1989, he grew up in Santa Cruz, California. As a teen, he starred in local musicals, such as "Beauty and the Beast" and "West Side Story" to help his single mother Judy Settle-Durbin support the family.

In the early weeks of "Idol" Season 10, Durbin sang Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," "Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There for You" and Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City."
source:Linda Ann Nickerson, Yahoo! Contributor Network

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