Freshman ‘Powers’ through ‘American Idol Experience’ at Disney World

By on March 27, 2013
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Freshman engineering major, Matt Powers, was enjoying a family vacation at Disney World during Spring Break when he spotted a sign for Disney’s Hollywood Studios “American Idol Experience” try-outs. He instantly knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Madeline Hardy | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Freshman Matt Powers won the 'golden ticket' to a front-of-the-line 'American Idol' audition at Disney World over spring break.

On March 12 he competed against hundreds of contestants, earning a guaranteed “Dream Ticket” for a front-of-the-line audition this summer for the next season of “American Idol.” He sang “Drops of Jupiter” by Train in an auditorium that seats 1,000 people and is a replica of the American Idol studio at Nokia Theater in Las Vegas.

In order to perform in front of an audience on stage at Disney World, Powers went through a process very similar to what people watch during an actual season of “American Idol.” First he sang in front of a producer, or “judge,” and was approved to move into the next round where he sang in front of an executive producer. From these auditions, only three participants are chosen to compete at a preliminary show each day. During the preliminary show, audience members vote to determine who wins.

“They make it just like the show and have that dramatic moment at the end and then sure enough they got to me and had the long pause and then shouted my name,” said Powers about winning at the preliminary show.

That win led to the evening finale, where Powers out-performed six other winners from that day’s preliminaries. After the host eliminated four contestants, Powers was left with another contestant in the bottom two. After the longest 15 seconds of Powers life, the host announced him as the winner.

His voice won him the “Dream Ticket,” and was broadcasted throughout the entire theme park while hundreds also watched in studio.

“I don’t get nervous, but I get concerned that another contestant is going to be so good that I am going to lose,” said Powers.

He’s been singing since he was eight, at the same time learning how to play guitar and piano. He’s sang in front of crowds of 1,000 people for fundraisers, he said, such as the benefit for the Dominican Republic Mission Team, and sang in church while growing up. But this was Powers first time auditioning for a competition.

Since returning home, Powers has received a lot of attention, both from the media and people he hasn’t met before. He said he got a lot of friend requests on Facebook and new followers on Twitter the day after he won.

Powers has also been featured in The Hartford Courant, The New Haven Register, as well as sang and played guitar on Fox News Friday, March 22.

Watch Powers performance on Fox News here.

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Year: 2016
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