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The 'Bright' side of American Idol

"I remember being nervous - extremely nervous," said Bright. "I remember I kept thinking, 'I hope they like me. I hope they like me.'"

When he entered the room and received a warm welcome from the judges, however, Bright said his nerves subsided as he sang his rendition of The Beatles "All My Loving."

"Just to have them listen to me for that minute-and-a-half of time and giving me their input on my voice was awesome," said Bright. "And, for them to send me through was just validation for me honing my craft of singing my whole life. It was me taking a sigh of relief and saying, 'Hey, I actually can sing.'"

When he went on to Hollywood last month, everything happened so fast, said Bright. While it only boiled down to a matter of days that he was there, Bright said there was such strong competition from such "extremely talented musicians," he wasn't totally surprised he didn't advance.

"They were sending a lot of good singers home," said Bright. "And, everyone there could sing and everyone there had an interesting story."

Even though Bright didn't make it through to the end of the competition, he doesn't see his Idol experience coming to a close as a disappointment.

"I'm looking at it as it was a wonderful experience," said Bright. "American Idol is not the end-all. I'm still very fortunate in my life to have had the experiences I've had, and to be teaching in a wonderful school with such support from my students."

Bright's students, he said, have been supportive from the get-go. They've been so supportive, in fact, that he's had to reassure them it's all right that he's not the next American Idol.

"I don't think they realize how happy I am and how grateful I am to even be here at the school, to even have gone to college to get a degree to get a job at such a good school," said Bright. "That's an accomplishment in itself. So, for me to say that I'm unhappy not to succeed at Idol, would be selfish, considering how wonderful my life is here in Plattsburgh."

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