James Durbin Advances to Vegas on American Idol

James Durbin (Fox / 19 Entertainment)

Last night, viewers didn’t get to see much of James Durbin, other than a quick glimpse of him emotionally celebrating in Room One, where he, along with a few dozen other American Idol contestants, learned they would be advancing to the next round, which will take place in Las Vegas. 

Durbin’s performance was not aired, which was most likely a tactical move on the part of the Idol producers (less is more).

James Durbin continues to be a frontrunner for the show, however, after viewing some of last night’s performances, it appears he will have his work cut out for him.  One would find difficulty in finding another American Idol season that was so stacked with this much talent.  In fact, there’s a good chance some of the contestants who don’t even make the Top 12 this year could have been winners in previous seasons (i.e. Taylor Hicks).

As for Durbin, his heartfelt story of overcoming Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette’s, unemployment and the death of his father, coupled with his high ranging vocal performances, still make him a strong contender to win it all.  However, it remains to be seen if he can continue his strong performances — singing in front of millions of people on live TV is quite different that what the contestants are currently doing.  But regardless, Durbin still has a significant amount of people supporting him, including a lot within the special needs community, making him a strong Season 10 favorite.

Next week’s round will incorporate songs from The Beatles and it appears Durbin already has a head start in performing songs from the band.  Posted below is a performance that has surfaced of Durbin performing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," recorded in his hometown when he was 19-years-old.

12 Responses to James Durbin Advances to Vegas on American Idol

  1. C.A Curie says:

    Thank you for showing the world yet another brilliantly talented face of Autistic Spectrum Disorders. For bringing more awareness, for representing ASD in such a superlative manner and for just giving me even more hope for recovery in my own son, I thank you most sincerely.
    I hope you take it all.
    The Mom of a child with ASD.

  2. marg says:

    My 10 yr old son with Aspergers was so happy to watch James,my son feels he is below other people because of his aspergers. He was so shocked. Wow mum!! Regardless of what happens on Idol James will be someone other aspies can look at and go… geez maybe I can do it too….

  3. Lab says:

    Maybe they didn’t show Durbin because it wouldn’t have been flattering to him. His behavior nor his voice have been stellar. His whining and crying are showing an immaturity or is that part of his condition I don’t know. He also shows a lack of control in his singing with pitchy sharp notes. I don’t follow any contestants based on their backstory and AI probably realizes the audience gets tired of hearing it.

  4. Jim says:

    @Lab yes, innappropriate laughing and crying is characteristic of autism, as well as being overly emotional to certain situations. Before you beat the guy up you should educate yourself a little more of what an accomplishment it is for him to even be on stage and competing.

  5. JimBo says:

    Thanks, Jim.

    Unfortunately most times only those with special children and relatives can appreciate the small and in this case large moments of triumph.


  6. OMG! Thanks for sharing about Mr. Durbin. Last week was our first time viewing IDOL for this season. Trying to find clips of him singing. Will definitely support him. Appreciate his bold passion for singing. Glad Mr. Durbib is showing others and caretakers how to pursue dreams even if you are on the Autism Spectrum.

  7. Heather says:

    Yes, being over emotional, “melodramatic” if you will (how many times have I been called that??) is a condition of Autism. But that could be because of our sensory integration dysfunction.. what feels like slight pressure to you will feel like excruciating pain to us when poked, so of course our reactions are different. We’re feeling different things.

    Yes, armchair judges should realize just how hard it is to perform in the circumstances that James and the other AI contestants are in. It doesn’t matter what his condition may or may not be–it’s HARD on the nervous system, period, the stress and strain. Now, you take someone who will naturally have high anxiety and put in that situation and you can begin to understand just what James has overcome in order to perform as well as he has–pitchy sharp notes and all.

    to be fair, however, the armchair judge is just critiquiing the same as he or she would do for any other AI contestant. That’s how it is… and James will have to learn how to accept CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and not internalize that negatively, which is something else Aspies have trouble doing sometimes. But I have every confidence that James will do that and more.

  8. John says:

    I don’t know if this kid will make it to the end, but I like the guy. I think that Americans will love his story and be pulling for him to do well. http://tinyurl.com/4lphz2d

  9. bronzy says:

    @Jim. Thank you… you couldn’t have told it better.

  10. heather says:

    James I think u will make even if u dont stay on American Idol. Pulling for u. I think u are GREAT!

  11. Angela Lynch says:

    i HOPE YOU WIN!!! I voted!!!! You are amazing!! Autism Awareness!! Thanks for sharing your voice wonderful gift!

  12. brittany says:

    He is really good. It took a lot of guts for him to go on that show.

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