Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 23, 2014

Brookwood graduate hits television high note

Susanne Reynolds

THOMASVILLE — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series about “American Idol" particpant Bryan Watt. The second will be published in Saturday’s edition.

A 2003 Brookwood High School graduate is going to Hollywood for the next round of “America Idol” after impressing the three celebrity judges.

Bryan Watt, 29, of Thomasville impressed Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. with his performance of Carrie Underwood’s “So Small” during his audition in Detroit, Mich.

After Watt’s performance, Lopez was left speechless.

Connick dubbed the performance “confident, patient and so easy.”

He also said, “I know why. It’s because you’re Superman, aren’t you? I feel like he would save me if I was in distress. He looks like a super hero.”

In Watt’s hometown, he could be considered a Superman of sorts.

Watt is the co-founder of Project Backyard, a non-profit organization located in Thomasville and Tallahassee, Fla.. It is a monthly service project initiative to provide opportunities for Christian believers to unite together through serving those in need in their own backyard. Watt and the rest of the Project Backyard team see it going nationwide.

The Thomasville native thought Connick’s comment was funny and very fitting.

He said, “With Project Backyard, the idea is that we can all be a Superman for someone. I also think of Chris Daughtry’s new song ‘Waiting for Superman.’ It ties in with the message of Project Backyard. I loved the comparison, tied in beautifully.”

Watt began showing an interest in music when he was in the third and fourth grades. He became a part of the Thomasville Music and Drama Troupe while in middle school. He was also involved in the drama department at Brookwood High School.

Watt plays guitar and piano.

When asked about his first performance in public, he said, “I remember being in about the sixth grade with Troupe. I did a Christmas piece at a special performance. I would say that was my first time actually singing in public.”

Through the years, Watt remembered having many influences. His local influences come from his Drama Troupe days in Thomasville with Fred Allen.

“Fred Allen had a huge impact on me. He brought out a professional level that doesn’t often exist in a smaller town. He gave me a lot of great training,” he said.

On a bigger scale, Watt has been influenced by Chris Tomlin and the entire passion movement. He has been involved in Christian music for some time.

He has also been influenced by country artists. The two that have had the biggest impact on his music have been Rascal Flatts and Underwood.

Watt said, “They are able to do stuff in the secular industry but deliver songs with messages of hope. It’s the type of music they do that I want to do — to bring people hope and inspire people.”

His choice of “So Small” stems from his desire to deliver a message to people, He had never seen anyone attempt the song before on the show.

Watt figured it would be a huge risk with it being a female’s song, but everything turned out in his favor in the end.

He said, “I wanted to do a song I believe in because when you’re singing, it comes across that you believe in it. If you sing a song and don’t believe in it, it shows on your face. That song’s message is spot on with the message I want to share with America.”