Irvin chases dream on American Idol

Nola Sizemore Staff Writer

January 13, 2014

Chasing his dreams of being an American Idol, Jeff Irvin will be featured on Season 13’s two-hour premiere of American Idol on Wednesday on the Fox Network from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“I heard about the American Idol bus tour being in Knoxville, Tenn. and I had a friend who wanted to go and audition,” said Irvin, a Harlan Countian. “I originally went to support her, but after she was cut I decided to throw my hat in the ring.”

Irvin said he sang “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers for producers of the American Idol TV series and was chosen out of thousands who were there to audition.

“Out of about 4,000 people, they chose 25 to go on to Atlanta, Ga.,” said Irvin. “When I arrived in Atlanta, I auditioned again singing “Fools Rush In” by Elvis Presley and out of about 7,000 people they picked 50, one of which was me again.”

Irvin said his next stop was a plane flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, paid for by the American Idol team. He said he flew from Lexington’s Bluegrass Airport to Chicago and then to Salt Lake City.

“I had never been on an airplane before — it was awesome,” said Irvin. “There were two eliminations in Salt Lake City. The first one was a producer elimination. You had to get through that to get to the celebrities. I made it to the celebrities and got to meet Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.”

Singing before the American Idol judges, Irvin said he chose “Bring it on Home” by Sam Cook, “Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding and “Break Even” by Script.

“I was eliminated when I sang before the judges,” said Irvin. “Harry Connick and one of the producers eliminated me. Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban liked me a lot.”

Irvin said he will appear on the season premiere, but he won’t get his “golden pass” to move on.

“This was an experience I will never forget,” said Irvin. “I want to thank the Lord for giving me such a great opportunity. Jennifer Lopez is so beautiful, not just on the outside, but a beautiful soul — Keith Urban too. They were so down to earth. Harry Connick commented on my energy, but voted no to my advancing on. I didn’t make it, but I had a wonderful time.”

Singing since he was a young child, Irvin said he “has a passion for music and has written tablets full of songs.”

He attended James A. Cawood High School for over three years and later obtained his GED. He went to work in a coal mine in Bell County and, after just a few months, the mine was closed for safety violations.

“I’m a carpenter by trade,” said Irvin. “I can build houses, remodel old houses, just about anything having to do with carpentry. With the economy being so bad I’ve had a bad turn of luck and can’t find employment. I’ve been staying at Christ’s Hands for about three weeks trying to find employment and move forward.

“I plan to pursue my dream of having a singing career. Next season I’ll try out for America’s Got Talent, The Voice, American Idol or any other singing competition I can. Singing is important to me.”

Irvin can be contacted at 606-273-0808 or jeffroirvin@outlook.com. He said he is available for singing performances.

Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, nsizemore@civitasmedia.com