American Idol Season 10 Top 11 rocker James Durbin is 22 year old and comes from Santa Cruz, California. Durbin had previously auditioned for American Idol in Season 8, but did not get the 'Golden Ticket' to Hollywood. James auditioned again, for Season 10 of American Idol in San Francisco, California. After making it through the Hollywood and Las Vegas rounds, James was one of the Top 5 male vote getters in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13.
Sticking mainly to his Rock-n-Roll roots, James has even dared to sing Heavy Metal on American Idol - being the first contestant EVER to perform Judas Priest! James has a very loyal following, including the three Idol judges. He can hold a very long 'scream' like the best of the old-time rockers. What many fans appreciate about James is that his 'scream' is on-key and pleasant, not a long, drawn-out screech. Judge Randy Jackson raved, “You’re one of my favs in this whole thing. I love this kind of voice. James Durbin is dangerous, America.” And, "What you do always is you figure out how to make it your own. You found a way to put your high note in, but not overdo it. Very tastefully done Dude." And Jennifer Lopez praised James saying, “You have such a quality. You have what the greatest rock singers have. You’re melodic.” And the judge who knows Rock-n-Roll the best, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler told James, "That man right there has a rich vein of inner crazy."
James Durbin's favorite quote is, "You can't change the wind, but you can set your sails in the direction you want." James' musical influences include Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury of Queen, Steven Tyler and Ronnie James Dio.
James Durbin was born on January 6,1989 to Judy Settle-Durbin. His father Willy Durbin, a musician, died of drug overdose when James was was only 9. James was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's syndrome shortly after his father died. He has facial tics, some social awkwardness, and restricted interests. But, James does not allow these disorders to stop him from being the most dynamic and entertaining Idol on stage!
James has a wife, Heidi, whom he met in a bar and considers his 'rock'. They have a son together named Hunter. He was unemployed prior to appearing on Idol.
In 2006, Durbin performed in the Santa Cruz-based children's theater group called Kids on Broadway and played the lead role in "Beauty and the Beast" and "Singin' in the Rain". In 2007, he played the leading roles of Tony in "West Side Story" and Oscar in "Sweet Charity" - both productions produced by All About Theatre, a Santa Cruz community theater company. James was also the lead singer in a Heavy Metal band called The Hollywood Scars. In the past, Durbin has also done some country music.
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