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Martinsburg 'American Idol' hopeful's journey has ended with 'no regrets'

February 09, 2013|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE | crystal.schelle@herald-mail.com
  • Christian Lopez, 17, of Martinsburg, W.Va.
Submitted photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — There’s something to be said for not wasting a second chance.

Christian Lopez of Martinsburg, W.Va., knows that all too well as he basked in the glory of making it to the next phase of “American Idol” during the infamous Hollywood Week, which aired Wednesday and Thursday nights.

But Christian’s journey ended this week when he was cut from the Thursday night elimination round.

“I have absolutely no regrets,” Christian, 17, said during a telephone interview from his home.

This is the second time the Martinsburg High School senior made it to Hollywood Week on the Fox singing competition. But during season 11, Christian fell victim to the flu and a poor group performance, which sent him home early.

For season 12, he said, he was going to make sure that he was ready.

“This time I had to have the right mindset that I didn’t have last year,” Christian said. “I needed to be really focused on the getting the song, especially in groups, ’cause that’s where I wanted to hit last year.”

During the first a cappella solo round, Christian sang the Willie Nelson tune, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

“I love that song and it has a great range,” he said. “It has an awesome melody and it kind of showed off my voice.”

He said he had chosen that song before he went to Hollywood from the “list of 4,000 songs.” He said even at his first audition, he knew that “Blue Eyes” would be his first Hollywood song.

But when it came to the group round, Christian didn’t have to worry about choosing his fellow groupmates. Instead, in an “American Idol” first the groups were chosen for the contestants by the judges prior to group night. And in another “Idol” first, Hollywood Week was a guys-only event. The women will perform during next week’s episodes.

His team, who named themselves Super 55, decided on the Beach Boys’ classic “Wouldn’t it Be Nice?” One of the contestants in the four-man group was Lazaro Arbos of Naples, Fla., who stutters when he talks, but doesn’t when he sings. Some members failed to remember their lyrics — which was chronic with many of the contestants during Wednesday’s episode. Only Christian and Lazaro made it through from their group to the second solo try-outs.

For his second solo try-out, Christian was told he needed to select a modern song. He chose Pink’s “Perfect,” which he was allowed to accompany himself on the guitar.

Many of the male contestants had fallen victim to forgotten lyrics. Christian said he knew the song, but felt he had “overpracticed the lyrics.”

“I was a little flaky on my lyrics,” he admitted. “I did kind of stumbled here and there, but there was no open space.”

However, during the Thursday night episode Christian was cut.

No regrets, though.

“This year, overall, it’s been perfect,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Christian said what the exposure on “American Idol” has given him is a platform to talk about the band he fronts, Christian Lopez & Joe Taxi, along with Dom Valentine and Michael Silver. And it’s the band he’ll be focusing on for the time being.

 In the end, for Christian, it’s all about his songwriting and music.

“When it comes to the big picture, music is a way to know that I’m not alone,” he said.

 He names The Avett Brothers as one of his songwriting influences.

“The true meaning of music is being able to able transfer feeling or emotion through a song, almost like a painting,” he said. When you see (a painting) , the painter wants you to feel something when you look at it. When you can deliver that through a song, that’s what art really is.”

For more information on Christian Lopez & Joe Taxi, go to christianlopezband.com

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