News Column

Music preview: Majesty Rose, Caleb Johnson hit Durham with 'American Idol Live' tour

July 11, 2014

By Bethany Ao, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)



July 11--Fans of Fox's singing competition show "American Idol" remember 22-year-old Majesty Rose as the young preschool teacher whose cheerful performances engaged the audience, despite being eliminated after the Top 9 contestants performed.

Rose, who originally hails from Goldsboro, about 50 miles southeast of Raleigh, said she began singing when she was only 2 years old.

"My grandma put me in front of a church and I sang," she said. "And I've been doing that since. Because I was around Christian music a lot growing up, it definitely influenced my music."

Rose was one of the two North Carolinians who made it into the Top 10 on Season 13 of "American Idol." Caleb Johnson, whose hometown is Asheville, eventually won the whole competition (North Carolinians Fantasia Barrino and Scotty McCreery have previously captured the "Idol" crown). Rose and Johnson will be joined by the other Top 10 contestants at the Durham Performing Arts Center as part of the "American Idol Live!" tour on Sunday.

In addition to her church background, Rose said artists Brooke Fraser and Coldplay influenced her musically, then referenced a much younger set that had an important impact on her "Idol" performances.

"I also thought about my preschool students when making my song choices for 'American Idol,' " she said. "They really love 'Let It Go' right now from 'Frozen,' so I sang that. We sing in class a lot and I wanted to be a good role model for them on national television."

Rose's television journey began when she received a Dream Ticket from the "American Idol Experience" attraction at Disneyworld while vacationing with her best friend's family. The ticket allowed her to bypass the queue at any "American Idol" audition. In Atlanta, she impressed the judges with her rendition of Coldplay's "Violet Hill."

"After I went to Hollywood, I learned that I had to be true to myself," Rose said. "It was hard coming from a small town. I had to be strong and not let the people who were voting sway me."

Rose said that her favorite moment was when she sang "Happy" by Pharrell Williams because she was the first one called during Rush Week, which saw five women eliminated without even being able to take the stage.

"At that moment when I was singing the song, I truly was so joyful and thankful to be there," she said.

Even though she was eliminated from the show, Rose said that she definitely plans on continuing singing in the future.

"My singing can shed a lot of light wherever I go," she said. "I want to start doing some YouTube covers and maybe play a few little shows in my hometown. The whole 'American Idol' experience was such a whirlwind. I really found out who I am."

Ao: 919-829-8933

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(c)2014 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)


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