Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#110 Chris Sligh

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 110 American Idol finalist Chris Sligh from season 6. His music genres are Christian rock and alternative rock. He is a member of the band called Half Past Forever. He resided in Greenville, South Carolina, at the time of his stint on American Idol. He was ranked at number 53 on The Los Angeles Times American Idol power rankings list of May 31, 2010.

Charles Christopher Sligh was born in Madison, Tennessee, to Chuck and Susan Sligh, Baptist Missionaries to U.S. soldiers, on July 20, 1978. He is the oldest of three sons. The family relocated to Durham, North Carolina, when Sligh was a toddler but soon relocate to Wiesbaden, Germany, where his father Chuck ministered to U.S. soldiers. Sligh lived there until he returned to the U.S. to attend high school in 1995.  Chuck Sligh is an expert guitarist and passed his passion for music to his three sons. Although Chris Sligh started singing during his high school tenure, he was raised on classical music in a rigid upbringing.

Sligh started college, studying pre-law, at Pensacola College in Florida. He transferred in his sophomore year to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, intending to major in music. Although he had no prior formal training, he progressed rapidly in the school's vocal performance program, and he was invited to audition for The Julliard School and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He was expelled from Bob Jones University for violating school rules by attending a concert by the Christian band 4Him, which was founded in 1990 and disbanded in 2006. He then attended North Greenville University but left she a few credits of earning a music degree.

Sligh auditioned for American Idol season 6 in Birmingham, Alabama, singing "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal. Paula Abdul gave him standing ovation and said to him, "I like you very much." The judges laughed at his ambition "to make David Hasselhoff" cry, a reference to David Hasselhoff shedding tears of joy when Taylor Hicks won American Idol season 5. He was an early favorite of the judges, as all three judges spoke of a guy with curly hair who did not look like a typical American Idol. According to Abdul, he is vocally compared to Penn Jillette from the duo of Penn & Teller, whom he resembles. However, on top 16 week, after Sligh performed "We All Wanna Be Love" by DcTalk, the judges criticized him more harshly.

During top 24 week, Sligh demonstrated his extensive knowledge of American Idol trivia, which he claimed to have learned while researching extensively at his job in Greenville, South Carolina. Simon Cowell thought that Sligh's performance of "Typical" by the band called Mutemath " being at some weird student gig" and told Sligh that he felt like Sligh was more focused on personality rather than on vocal prowess. Sligh retorted by stating: "Just because I don't sound like Il Divo or the Teletubbies doesn't mean that I don't have a good voice", alluding to Cowell's creation of the classical group Il Divo and his work in making an album featuring the Teletubbies. Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul cheered at the purported insult. The viewers and the studio audience were left bewildered by Simon's bitter reaction, while Sligh and host Ryan Seacrest later made it clear that the expression was directed at Seacrest.

Sligh was eliminated on American Idol claiming 10th place on March 28, 2007. While delivering his final performance on the American Idol stage, he told fellow contestant Phil Stacey, who got 6th place, "You owe me 50 bucks," referencing their bet that he would be eliminated during that results show. The next day, Sligh said that he was not trying to win the competition and that was only trying to make far enough to claim a seat on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2007.

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 109 finalist, who was the host of the short-lived TV show There Goes the Neighborhood.

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