The 'Bright' side of American Idol

PLATTSBURGH - He came, he saw, and though he didn't conquer, he couldn't be happier.

Benjamin Bright has been back for weeks from his stint on American Idol, cloaked in secrecy as to whether or not he would be advancing in Fox's popular televised singing competition. Bright was restricted from discussing his involvement in the show until it was learned last week that the 25-year-old Plattsburgh resident and Rome native was out of the running to be the next American Idol.

However, now that he's able to talk about his experience, he's got nothing but good things to say.

In an interview with Bright last week following the premiere of American Idol's "Hollywood Week," the Cumberland Head Elementary music teacher talked about how he first auditioned for the show last June in Boston, Mass. Bright had performed in "Cumberland Head Idol," part of a character education assembly hosted by the school, which left his students and fellow teachers asking if he had ever thought about trying out for American Idol.

"I really hadn't at that point," said Bright. "I mean, I had watched the show and had even daydreamed about being up on stage and performing, but never thought about going up against thousands and thousands of contestants."

But, he did. Bright was among approximately 9,000 people to audition at Gillette Stadium, standing in the rain for hours for a chance to sing for American Idol producers.

"It was kind of daunting," said Bright. "I knew that it was flying by the seat of my pants, kind of on a whim, but I was just going to perform to the best of my ability and hope for the best. I was just going to go there and give it my all."

After singing four songs, the producers liked his "all," and Bright advanced on to audition in front of the celebrity panel of judges - Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Victoria Beckham.

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