Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Central Heights grad takes his shot on ‘Idol’

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 1/24/2014

A former Richmond man is giving viewers someone local to idolize by reaching new heights on a reality TV show.

Eric Gordon, a Central Heights High School graduate, appeared Wednesday on Fox’s singing competition “American Idol.” Gordon, now of Minneapolis, Minn., ventured to the show’s Detroit casting call, singing “Perfectly Lonely” by John Mayer for judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. The audition landed him one of the show’s famed golden tickets to Hollywood as he advanced in the contest.

A former Richmond man is giving viewers someone local to idolize by reaching new heights on a reality TV show.

Eric Gordon, a Central Heights High School graduate, appeared Wednesday on Fox’s singing competition “American Idol.” Gordon, now of Minneapolis, Minn., ventured to the show’s Detroit casting call, singing “Perfectly Lonely” by John Mayer for judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. The audition landed him one of the show’s famed golden tickets to Hollywood as he advanced in the contest.

“Eric has always had amazing vocal talent, even in junior high,” Stephanie Cannaday, Gordon’s former music instructor at Central Heights Middle School and High School, said in an email. “He did a great job [on ‘American Idol’], and I look for him to go far.”

Cannady, who now teaches at Garfield Elementary School in Ottawa, said she’ll be among those cheering Gordon on from his home county.

In a video produced by “American Idol,” Gordon said his wife was the first person he saw after the audition, and she has supported his efforts from the beginning.

“She believes in this dream with me,” Gordon said. “It feels really good to have someone who has your back to celebrate with you.”

Auditioning with a John Mayer tune was natural, he said, because he respects the singer’s well-rounded talents.

“He’s not only an incredible vocalist, but his songwriting is awesome,” Gordon said in the video. “I feel like it’s important as a musician to be a great songwriter as well.”

For his audition during Wednesday’s broadcast, Gordon sported a tan racer jacket, black-rimmed glasses and blonde hair styled in a way Connick compared to a Hollywood film icon. His appearance seemed to work for the judges, even intriguing judge Keith Urban enough to ask how he fixed his hair.

“You know what’s cool about 2013 and watching young performers is that you see influences from all different genres of music and all different styles,” Connick said to Gordon on the show. “I mean you’re rocking the James Dean hair, man, you’re wearing a Members Only jacket, bro. That’s awesome.”

The judges quickly voted, all accepting Gordon as a contestant for “American Idol.”

“Hollywood here you come,” Lopez said, giving Gordon his ticket to Hollywood.

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