The next American Idol?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2011



LAPLACE – The River Parishes learned Thursday night they may have a rooting interest in this year’s “American Idol” competition as a LaPlace resident was among more than 30 from the New Orleans auditions to earn a trip to Hollywood.

Jordan Dorsey, 21, a piano and vocal teacher, wowed judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler with a smooth jazz rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the film “The Wizard of Oz.” The taped New Orleans auditions, which included a short bio of Dorsey as well as interaction with family members, were shown on Thursday night’s show.

“Right now, I am very grateful for everything that has happened thus far,” said Dorsey in a phone interview Friday. “This could be the beginning of a dream come true for me.”

Dorsey said he developed an interest in music as a kindergartener banging on the keys of a piano in his classroom. He said his grandmother bought him a small piano of his own and encouraged him to practice and take lessons.

“The banging evolved into coherent rhythms that I would sing along to,” Dorsey said. “No one else in my family had this sort of musical talent. It is a unique gift that I embrace.”

Dorsey said his family put him in numerous talent shows growing up to showcase his singing and piano talent. From age 10 to 18, he played organ for New Pilgrim Baptist Church in Reserve and Destiny Christian Center, St. Joan of Arc Church and Bethlehem Baptist Church, all in LaPlace.

Dorsey has lived in LaPlace since the age of 7, attending St. Joan of Arc School, St. Augustine High School and St. Charles Catholic High School. In high school, Dorsey joined the marching band, where he played various brass instruments.

“I never wanted to stick to one thing when it came to music,” Dorsey said. “I wanted to be versatile. It is a true passion that I really love.”

Dorsey said he faced several audition rounds before going face to face with the on air judges in New Orleans. Since then, he has performed eight more times for the judges who, according to Dorsey “went crazy every time.”

Dorsey said he is still in the competition but would not reveal what level he has reached, only saying he is “deeply involved and in good standing.”

Following the Hollywood round, the talent pool is whittled down again and the show moves to Las Vegas.

There is then a “sing for your life” round where the contestants are whittled down to the top 12. Viewers vote their favorites from two groups of 10, and the judges get two wild card selections. Dorsey said those shows would be airing in the next two weeks.

“I can’t say where I am right now, but I am in a good place,” Dorsey said.

“American Idol” airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays on WVUE Fox8 New Orleans.