Dreaming the not-impossible dream

Staff writer

Justin Terrel’s dream of singing on national television has been deferred, as poet Langston Hughes might have written, but it will not dry up like a raisin in the sun.

Disappointed in the finals of a regional qualifying round for Simon Cowl’s Fox TV series “X Factor,” the Marion High School student hopes his dream will explode into a second chance to audition next year with “a more challenging song that showcases my ability better.”

Justin’s dream took him to Denver this summer with his parents, Rick and Sharon Terrel, and friend, Ryan Nelson.

There, after waiting in line for hours, he made it through a first audition, when a field of 6,000 was trimmed to 3,000.

After a second audition the next day, he made it into a final group of 1,000 for a third audition before learning he would have to wait another year to achieve a dream dating to when he was but 4 years old.

The scene for each of the auditions was a cacophony of nervous energy and sound. As his family and friend watched from bleachers, his mother waving a sunflower-decorated sign, he nervously trouped into one of 20 tents set up on a coliseum floor.

“It was really loud and crowded,” he recalled. “There were people from everywhere. A lot of people were practicing.”

Singing Michael Buble’s “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet” a cappella before a single crew member and one judge, Justin recalls being “terribly nervous” but was relieved to hear he had passed the first round.

A day later, in a bigger tent with two judges, he repeated his performance and again advanced to the next round.

“I could only bring one parent, my mom, to the audition,” he recalled, “but we ‘snuck’ Nelson in, too.”

The final audition was in a private office — this time with four judges and a TV camera.

“I was in the moment,” he recalled, “but I was thinking how close I was to my dream.”

Outside, his parents and friend waited, but Justin’s dream was not to be realized that day.

“It was just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ thing,” he said, adding that the judges offered no explanation for their judgment.

He still could make it onto the show as part of clips that may or may not be shown this fall. Either way, he plans to continue his dream and try out again next year.

Meanwhile, Justin will continue to hone his vocals by participating in the Marion Singers and choir at Marion High School.

 

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