Student Voice


November 28, 2023


Local stars on American Idol

February 24, 2012

American Idol season 11 is approaching its last weeks of auditions. Ellsworth, Wisc. native Reed Grimm is among the top 40 final contestants. Grimm started his American Idol journey at the Pittsburgh auditions.

Walking into the audition room, standing in front of Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, Grimm had only minutes to impress the judges with his vocal talent. The dire minutes between Grimm’s rendition of the Family Matters theme song and the judge’s opinion of his voice were intense. Every single judge gave him the golden ticket to Hollywood. This was Grimm’s fifth time trying out for American Idol.

“He went in [to the audition] to be himself,” said his mother, Colleen Raye. Previous years, Grimm would think, “what would they like?” This time he was himself and judges were impressed. His older sister Jennifer tried out for the American Idol Experience in Disneyworld. After a daylong competion, she won the Dream Ticket, which granted her the opportunity to move to the head of the audition line for the actual show, American Idol. Since Jennifer was too old to participate, she handed the ticket to her younger brother.

“Out of all my students, Reed is the best able to be successful,” said former high school choir teacher, Peter Dulak.

Dulak also added that, “Grimm has the ability to bring together an entire group of singers and do it well. He is not afraid of hard work and has great leadership skills, while he understands musical ideas and how to create different things.”

Once Grimm made it through to Hollywood, not only were the judges impressed with Grimm’s talent, but so were his peers.

“You can tell on TV that the other contestants like him,” Raye says.

Grimm chose his second song “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” to sing in Hollywood from the classic movie “Willy
Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” With his adaptation to the classic song, Grimm was able to advance further into the competition. Raye also believes that Grimm is trying to help the other contestants.

“When one kid on the show got cut, you could see Reed comforting him,” Ray said. “That’s the type of guy he is.”

While the competition gets more intense week after week, Grimm has a large fan base rooting for him. Team
Reed Grimm has more than 1,056 likes on Facebook and the creator of the Facebook page is based out of Georgia. Along with Facebook, he was trending on Twitter after last week’s American Idol show. Grimm is clearly making an impact nationally.

If Grimm wins American Idol, Raye says that “he will take that talent and art that he has and use it to make the world a better place.”

Any Reed Grimm fans in the River Falls area can join the Grimm family and friends at Junior’s Bar and Grill every Wednesday and Thursday during American Idol. It airs at 7 p.m. on your local Fox station.