Garrett Jacobs living out a childhood dream on American Idol

AMERICAN IDOL – “102 (Auditions)” – (ABC/Alfonso Bresciani)

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Every kid has a moment they visualize growing up.

A young athlete picturing himself in a bases-loaded, two-outs in the bottom of the ninth inning situation. An artist imagining what it will be like to someday have their painting hanging up in the museum.

In Garrett Jacobs’ case, he recalls sitting in front of the television and watching American Idol.

“I’’d say to myself, “Oh, my gosh, those are the big shots, they’re on TV’,” said Jacobs. “And now… I am.”

Jacobs finds himself in the midst of a grueling, once-in-a-lifetime competition on the TV show he grew up watching. The 17-year-old singer auditioned in New Orleans, wowing the three judges — Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie — with his rendition of ‘It’s a Man’s World’ by James Brown.

“It’s definitely a wild ride,” Jacobs said. “I never thought I’d be watching myself on my own television screen. It’s an experience.”

Wild is one way to put it. Another is shocking, a description Jacobs will personally attest to.

While he always sets his goals high, Jacobs recalls the moment he heard the judges exclaim, ‘You’re going to Hollywood.’ He didn’t know how to react — stunned — thinking to himself, ‘Okay, wow, I’m flying off to Hollywood now.’

It was an exhillarating ending for a 12-hour day in Mardi Gras Land.

“Walking in front of the judges and being able to play in front of them is such an amazing experience just to be able to just get their thoughts and hear their criticism,” Jacobs said.

His focus quickly shifted towards Hollywood Week and everything else that was ahead of him.

As any avid American Idol viewer would know, the group round is, arguably, the most challenging part of the competition. Contestants are paired up with people whom they’ve never sang with and perhaps never even interacted with, and then are given somewhere around eight hours to prepare a song that’s strong enough to move them on in the competition.

“It’s definitely as stressful as they make it look on TV,” said Jacobs, who did receive some advice from a former American Idol contestant, season 16’s Savion Wright. “Being prepared with Savion giving me that advice was definitely help to me because I kind of knew what to expect.

“At the same time, you can never be prepared. It’s so crazy. You can’t get ready for something like that.”

Jacobs’ journey (and length of stay in the competition) still remains to be seen as Hollywood Week continues to unfold before the live shows begin, but his performances have certainly been strong, to say the least. His group performance will air on Sunday’s episode.

As for his own work, Jacobs classifies himself as a rocker with a mix of blues and southern flare, while his natural twang sometimes gets him into the country range. Jacobs says he thinks of his style somewhere between Chris Stapleton and Bill Withers.

Whatever the case may be, Jacobs finds himself in a dream situation — a dream he quite literally had growing up watching some of his favorite past contestants perform on his television. Fast forward a couple of years and here he is, front and center on his own TV and all of the world to see.

“It’s crazy how you have a kid who watched American Idol growing up and now has this opportunity.”

Follow Jacob on Twitter | Instagram

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