William Jessup student follows his ‘Idol’ dreams

Music major finishes in top 120, says he’ll audition again
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald correspondent
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Finishing in the top 120 males out of the 280,000 “American Idol” participants, William Jessup University student Brett Patterson left on a good note.

“Even when they (the judges) sent me home, they said, ‘We want you to come back,’” said the second-year music major, adding the positive feedback from the judges was the best aspect of the whole competition.

Patterson said the decision to audition for “American Idol” was “last minute” when he drove down to Los Angeles with some friends last year for the audition, having decided to do so three or four days in advance. He performed “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” by Buddy Holly ,since he said it was the song with the “wow” factor.

Although Patterson remembers telling his mother that he would “someday” audition for “Idol” when he watched Kelly Clarkson win the first season, it was a family member who encouraged him to take a step closer to his dream.

When his aunt, Lynn Devey, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year after having survived it earlier in her life, Patterson told himself that he would not “make any more excuses,” especially since he has wanted to pursue a recording career since he was a child.

“My nephew’s fearless attitude is the attitude that we should all have every day. I’m so proud of him and looking forward to watching him find more success,” said Devey, who added her nephew’s “Idol” adventures were a positive event for her to look forward to seeing.

About half the singers present during “Hollywood Week” were returns, Patterson said. Contrary to televised image, the entire competition process is much longer than it seems, he said.

Although his singing itself was not televised, he was included in an episode that aired in December when he held his golden ticket that qualified him to advance to “Hollywood Week.” The episode also showed him standing in line before his audition.

“You have to top yourself every time,” said Patterson, adding the competition requires those auditioning to “learn the game.” The most challenging aspect of the competition, he said, was the constant thinking ahead of the next rounds.

Patterson, who described the entire experience as a blessing, said he would audition for “Idol” again. The experience was exciting progress for him, he said. =

In the meantime, the 20-year-old Folsom native continues to perform in the William Jessup choir and orchestra through voice and piano as a second-year music major on a scholarship. Additionally, Patterson continues writing his own music, a pursuit he began after his appearance before the judges on “X Factor” last year. As a songwriter, Patterson looks to Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran for inspiration.

For those interested in auditioning for “American Idol,” Patterson encourages display of individual personality and confidence.

Those interested in following Patterson’s music should search his name on YouTube for his channel for details about his upcoming local tours and music. He is in progress of getting an EP out.

“I just feel like life is really short, and if you want to do something, you really have to do it and not wait,” he said.