American Idol Frontrunner Has Tourette Syndrome, Autism
Each year, American Idol produces a handful of contestants who give memorable
performances during the audition rounds, immediately making them odds-on
favorites to win. Last night, millions of American Idol viewers were introduced
to just such a contestant in James Durbin. Durbin is a 21-year-old Santa Cruz,
California resident and unemployed father who has faced some major challenges
over his lifetime.
At the age of nine, Durbin’s father died of a drug overdose and the Idol singer
has also been
diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and Asperger’s, a high-functioning form of
James Durbin wowed the judges with an amazing vocal range, which included
renditions of "You Shook Me" and "Dream On." Judge Steven
Tyler was particularly impressed, saying, “Wow man, that was so, so good."
Comparisons are already being made to Season 8 American Idol runner-up,
Adam Lambert. However, Durbin is actually much different and his unique story, coupled with an amazing voice, will surely make him a fan
favorite and front-runner to win it all. If that were to happen, Durbin would
join a growing list of individuals (i.e. Jason McElwain, Temple
Grandin, etc.) who have shattered many of the stereotypes and misconceptions
about what it means to have autism and what those who have it are capable of
After his performance, James Durbin admitted to the judges that when he
sings, his Tourette’s "all goes away." Hopefully, Durbin doesn’t
anytime soon and is eventually crowned the Season 10 winner.