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Old 03-04-2003, 06:14 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Marine Advances To Final 12 In "American Idol"

Marine Advances To Final 12 In "American Idol"
Submitted by: Los Angeles Public Affairs
Story Identification Number: 20033315525
Story by Staff Sergeant Chad E. McMeen



HOLLYWOOD(March 3, 2003) -- First he earned the title of Marine and now LCpl. Josh Gracin is attempting to earn the coveted title of "American Idol". Gracin moved one step closer to his goal Feb. 26 when America voted him into the final 12.

"I felt confident with my performance but when my name was called the reality set in that this is actually happening," said Gracin. "The first thing that went through my mind was excitement and then relief."

Gracin, who was positioned in the fourth group of eight to perform, had to watch the performers and judges for three weeks before he could show his skills.

"I don't know if it was to my advantage to be the last group to sing but it was eye-opening to hear the comments from the judges," said Gracin. "There comes a point where you have to ignore everything around you and simply sing your heart out. You have to make sure and not over analyze yourself."

Four wild card performers will now advance to the finals. The finalists will move into a house this week where they will remain in seclusion until voted out of the competition.

"Living in the house will definitely change the dynamics of the game," explained Gracin. "I'll be able to see the strengths and weaknesses of the other singers and build on them or at least make sure that I don't make the same mistakes."

The singers will now compete against each other weekly and the one with the least amount of votes will be eliminated from the competition.

"Now that I'm in the final 12, the bar has definitely been raised as far as the competition goes," said Gracin. "I think the competition will be more fierce and you're going to see better performances out of some of the contestants."

The top 12 finalists will now compete weekly during live themed episodes with America's votes announced the following evening, according to Fox Television. When only two finalists remain, they will perform in a nationally known venue and vie for a major recording contract. The voting audience at home will then decide who will be the next "American Idol." Contestants will still be able to pick their own songs based on that week's theme.

"A great singer should be able to show the audience his talent through any style of music," said Gracin with a grin. "I'd like to see one of the themes be Country & Western because that is exactly my style. I'm going to be forced to sing R&B and Pop and it only seems fair to see if the other singers can adjust like I have each week."

In addition to the pressures of performing, "American Idol" and Fox are now inundating the finalists with television, radio and magazine interviews around the nation.

"I am much more comfortable singing in front of the camera as opposed to doing a live camera interview," said Gracin. "Every word I say is evaluated by 175,000 Marines and former Marines. Anything I say could very well be perceived as official Marine Corps policy."

While other contestants are asked general questions about the competition or their personal feelings, Gracin is often asked to comment on issues such as military deployment, the role of Marines in the war on terror, and to speculate on endless "what if" questions.

"I have to constantly police myself because the last thing I want to do is decrease my chances of continuing in this contest because of something I say or do that does not represent the overall Marine Corps well," explained Gracin about his greater responsibility.

Gracin's next attempt to advance in the competition will air March 11 on Fox at 8:00 p.m.


Sempers,

Roger


http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image...p/20033316147/$file/Josh-&-Cory-LR.jpg
Corey Clark (L) and Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua Gracin (R) advance to the final 12 on "American Idol" on FOX.
Photo by: Ray Mickshaw Fox Photographer
__________________
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY HUSBAND
SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
1961-1977
68/69
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............

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