15 were asked to call-back auditions
10 made it to the semi-finals
Now it's your turn to be heard
|Bryson Allen, 31, of Jacksonville, got her start in music through her grandmother, who instilled her love for classic musicals on her from a young age. This singer moonlighting as a massage therapist moved to Jacksonville only 4 years ago, and says she absolutely loves living here. Her favorite thing about the city is the sense of diversity and the fact that there is always something new to do or someone new to meet.|
FUN FACT: Bryson is a professionally trained singer, and went to college as a vocal performance major.
|Sidney Bosten 70, of Buffalo, N.Y. (but lives in Jacksonville) served our country for 28 years before coming to Jacksonville, serving in the Navy for 10 years and in the Air Force for the remaining 18. He says he was drawn here for the beautiful beaches, and loves being a part of this community. Sidney grew up singing and loves the old school songs, which he sings at various events under the pseudonym "Anthony," which is the name of his son who passed away. He says this is a way for him to be kept fresh in his memory.|
FUN FACT: Sidney has performed in a variety of countries during his service, such as France, Greece, Italy, and Spain.
|Romel Brooks, 60, of Jacksonville, has been in music for 44 years, giving "Pretty Tony" many fulfilling experiences. Currently the lead singer of the local "Galaxy Band," Romel just loves to share his gift with those around him. His favorite thing about being an American is the opportunities he has been given to follow his dream, like perform in front of thousands of people alongside "The Temptations."|
FUN FACT: Romel is a certified chef who has cooked all over the world! He's had the opportunity to feed thousands of people while working in the Merchant Navy and AMTRAK.
|Alec Hadden, 21, from Arlington, is a recent Jacksonville University graduate. This classically trained singer is very excited to show his appreciation for the city he grew up in through his music. Alec began his musical career as a child with his church, and really began pursuing his passion through high school and college. He is currently a member of the cast of Les Miserables, performing this summer in Theatre Jacksonville.|
FUN FACT: Aside from being a patriotic American, Alec is also a proud Scotsman, keeping double citizenship. He can do the accent to prove it!
|Justen Harden, 19 of Brunswick, has been playing the guitar since he was 10 years old, the singing just came naturally after. A country music fan for as long as he can remember, this youth worship leader enjoys using his talent to motivate his fellow group members. Justen wishes to use this performance as a way to thank the American people and their leaders, who give him a great sense of togetherness and loyalty.|
FUN FACT: Justen is Vine-Famous! His profile and 6-second covers of popular country songs have garnered him a following of 317,000 people.
|Karen Jackson, 45, of Gainesville, is a self-proclaimed "Country Girl" comes from a big family of singers and performers. She started singing at her church as a child, and then went on to perform in several gospel plays and concerts in great venues across the country. Karen loves reaching out to her community through her music, and feels this is a great opportunity to represent her community in a great light.|
FUN FACT: Karen prides herself on having a crazy-sounding laugh, but we weren't funny enough to get to hear it!
|Cassidy Kinsman, 14, of Mandarin, has been singing for as long as she can remember, saying she's pretty sure she sang her first word. She's busier than most high school students, going on big performances whenever she has free time. Being born and raised in Jacksonville, Cassidy is really thankful for the sense of community the city provides, where there's always someone willing to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.|
FUN FACT: Cassidy is allergic to pickles, so no relish on her burger for this 4th of July BBQ.
|Mechelle Nelson, 40, was born and raised in Jacksonville. She has has always loved to sing. She began her musical endeavors by chance, at a
summer camp karaoke event, and has been singing ever since. Mechelle loves how you can find everything in Jacksonville and can't imagine herself living anywhere else. Having gone on various mission trips all over the world with her husband, there's no feeling she loves more than coming back home to America, to enjoy the great freedoms and opportunities others might take for granted.|
FUN FACT: Though she may not look like it, Mechelle prides herself on being very silly and outspoken.
|Brittany Westcott, 27 of Callahan, is a leasing consultant by day and singer by night. He had a passion for music from a very young age. Brittany got started in music with her church, performing her first solo when she was about 6 years old and continuing to pursue her dream ever since. She believes she can truly express herself through music, and thinks her life would be incomplete without it. She has her grandmother to thank for being in this competition, since she was the one who encouraged her to participate.|
FUN FACT: Brittany auditioned for American Idol once and made it all the way to Hollywood! Although she didn't get much further in the competition, she says Simon wanted to keep her in the running.
|Benjamin Wooten, 24, of Baymeadows, was born in South Florida, but moved to the area while still very young, Benjamin says he feels like a true Jacksonville native. He has pursued music since the beginning of his education, being a part of marching band, the school chorus, and playing the piano all through his life. A theater major, he had the opportunity to perform a lot in college, getting to be the lead pianist for his school's glee group in national competitions. By participating in this competition, he wants to show his thanks and appreciation to the troops that serve this country, him being the son of a Vietnam Veteran.|
FUN FACT: One of Benjamin's hobbies is practicing acrobatic silks (like the ones they use in Cirque du Soleil) in his backyard.