Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#94 Josh Gracin

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 94 favorite American Idol finalist Josh Gracin. He got 4th place on American Idol season 2. I believe he is vocally inferior to the finalist eliminated before him. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 2000 to 2004. His military rank was Lance Corporal. He was a member of the 1st Maintenance Battallion. He first received public attention when he competed on American Idol season 2. His music genre is country. His favorite song is "Not Just Me" by Rascal Flatts. He is ranked at number 41 on the Los Angeles Times American Idol power rankings chart of May 31, 2010.

Joshua Mario "Josh" Gracin was born to Mario and Brenda Gracin on October 18, 1980. He was raised in Westland, Michigan. He grew up in a predominately female family. He grew up listening to Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and old school rock and pop on his favorite local radio station. When he was 11 years old, the station changed switched to country music, and he began to listen into artists like Garth Brooks, Joe Diffie, George Strait, and Randy Travis who immediately caught his interest. “There’s not another genre that better reflects situations in my life,” he said. His vocal debut was in an Easter musical presented by his local church. . His first public appearance was at an eighth grade talent competition where he sang Brooks' 1993 hit "Standing Outside the Fire" and easily won over an audience full of more traditional dance music-loving cohorts.

Later in various school productions and talent shows, Gracin auditioned for and won a national pop orchestra and vocal competition, known as the Fairlane Youth Pops Orchestra, as the only male and just a sophomore in high school. During his time at John Glenn High School (part of the Wayne-Westland Community Schools district), which opened in 1964 and named after astronaut John Glenn, he performed at state festivals, fairs and pageants throughout the State of Michigan. At the age of 16, he performed on stage at the Grand Ole Opry house in a national talent and recorded a demo CD in Nashville, Tennessee. After his time at John Glenn High School in Westland, Michigan, he attended Western Michigan University before he joined the United States Marine Corps. After basic training, he came home and married, and eventually became a supply clerk at Camp Pendleton outside of San Diego, California.

Gracin auditioned for American Idol season 2 in Los Angeles, California with the song "All or Nothing" by O-Town. During his stint on the show, he was residing in Oceanside, California, where he was stationed while serving in the United States Marine Corps. He was voted into the finals alongside Corey Clark after performing "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. On top 12 week, he performed "Baby I Need Your Loving" by The Four Tops. On top 11 week, he performed "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith (the band featuring American Idol judge Steven Tyler), featured on the 1998 film Armageddon. On top 10 week, he performed "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up) by Garth Brooks, who influenced him into country music. On top 9 week, he performed "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang. On top 8 week, he performed "Piano Man" by Billy Joel. On top 7 week, he performed "That's When I'll Stop Loving You" by *NSYNC. He was in the bottom 3 week with Carmen Rasmusen who got eliminated that week, and Trenyce who was eliminated the following week. On top 5 week, he performed "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" by Don Cherry and "Bad Blood" by Neil Sedaka. After performed the two Bee Gees songs, "Jive Talkin'" and "To Love Somebody", he was eliminated from the show, leaving behind Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, and Kimberley Locke. Due to his prior commitment to the United States Marine Corps, he was unable to participate in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2003. He was instead sent on a one-year recruitng tour, making appearances at special events around the United States to promote the United States Marine Corps.

After his stint on the show, Gracin completed his service in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged and signed to Lyric Street Records, which is now defunct. He and his wife Ann Marie (wed in 2001) relocated to Tennessee to pursue is music career. They have a son named Landon Joshua Gracin, who was born on August 4, 2005, and three daughters named Briana Marie Gracin, who was born on March 30, 2002; Gabriella Ann Gracin, who was born on November 15, 2006; and Isabella Sophia Gracin, who was born on November 12, 2008. For all the fame he got, Gracin remains a down-to-earth man. He does not see himself as a celebrity. He is timid and not too self-confident. He feels like a normal man who is very approchable. If he gets a little carried away, he has Ann Marie to keep him humble and bring him back down to earth. He is no longer some youth with a dream. He is a father and a husband and this has turned into an accomplishment and an experience that is going to help him raise his children and show them what is possible.

Gracin's self-titled debut album was published on June 15, 2004, and was RIAA certified gold. The album's first three singles ("I Want to Live", "Nothin' to Lose", and "Stay with Me" [Brass Bed]), all reached Top 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, ith "Nothin' to Lose", the middle of those three, peaking at number one.

His sophomore album, We Weren't Crazy, was published on April 1, 2008. It was originally slated to be titled All About Y'all and later I Keep Coming Back. It was officially titled after its third single "We Weren't Crazy", which entered the country music charts in October 2007. For the chart week dated August 2, 2008 (40 weeks after it debuted on the charts), the song peaked at number 10. A fourth single, "Unbelievable (Ann Marie)", was released to country radio on August 25, 2008. Gracin wrote that song about his wife Ann Marie. His fifth and last single was "Telluride", which was originally recorded by Tim McGraw on his 2001 album Set This Circus Down. After that, Gracin lost his deal with Lyric Street Records.

Under the record label Average Joe's Entertainment, his third album Redemption is scheduled to be published on November 1, 2011. His first single under that label is "Cover Girl", released in August 2010. The album's second single, "Long Way to Go", is his first single to chart on the adult contemporary chart.

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 93 American Idol finalist. He is of Irish and German descent. He was raised in Denver, Colorado. After his high school graduation, he opened for Brian McKnight and New Edition and performed the U.S. national anthem at the Denver Nuggets games. His first published song, "Reason I Live" was featured in the 2000 film The Little Vampire. He auditioned for American Idol in Denver wearing a tuque beanie and performed "Swear It Again" by Westlife. He was ranked at number 35 on the Los Angeles Times power rankings list of May 31, 2010.