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January 24, 2014

Words of encouragement

THOMASVILLE — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of a two-part series about “American Idol particpant Bryan Watt.

One of Bryan Watt’s happiest moments was set up by one of the worst

Watt, shown advancing to Hollywood during Wednesday night’s episode of “America Idol,” was sparked to success by Winnie Allen, the co-founder of the Thomasville Music and Drama Troupe.

He had just finished singing at his grandfather’s funeral when approached him and said, “You have a gift and if you don’t use it, you are going to lose it. You need to share it with the world.”

Watt considers that moment as his “wake up call.” He began praying about it and knew that he had to do more with his music. It was then that he found out about “American Idol” auditions and decided to go for it — especially since it was on the verge of exceeding the age limit of 24. It worked out for him to go to Detroit for the auditions.

“I was glad God gave me the green light. Even though I auditioned in Detroit, I was still representing Georgia. I’m proud of being from the South,” said Watt.

During the audition, Watt said it was uncomfortable performing in front of the three celebrities — Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick. JR.  He didn’t know how he was going to react.

He said, “I’ve been on stage before, but never with millions of people going to watch after the filming with three celebrities in front of me with cameras everywhere. It was nerve-racking for sure.”

There was one thing that helped Watt get through the audition. He kept remembering a Bible verse, Ephesians 2:10, that says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

“I went in there with the perspective of just remembering who I am and who I am in Christ. God already had it all laid out,” Watt said. “Either I was going to go through or not so, with that in mind, I didn’t need to be so nervous. But I still was. It definitely helped me out though.”

When Lopez handed him the ticket, it all became surreal to Watt. It is very unpredictable to know how the judges are going to react to a performance. He felt he took a great risk by taking on Carrie Underwood’s “So Small.” The whole experience for him was a dream come true.

Watt was excited to be able to “let the cat out of the bag” and celebrate with his family and friends. On Wednesday night, some of them joined Watt at the Flying Bear in north Tallahassee to watch the show. There was also a special viewing at Grassroots in Thomasville where his family watched with other friends in the community.

Watt didn’t know what to think when he saw himself on television.

He said, “It’s the weirdest thing. I don’t know how to describe it. You almost want to walk away from the TV because you know millions are watching. It was lots of fun though and I will never forget it.”

Throughout the start of his journey, Watt commented on how incredible his family and friends have been. However, some deserve special recognition.

He said, “Fred Allen is someone I want to give a special shout out to because, I think as you get older, you begin to look back and appreciate the people who do have an influence on your life. As this relates to music, both Fred and Winnie Allen have had a big impact. It really was Winnie Allen’s comment that inspired me to try out for the competition.”

Like many children, Watt drew up with a desire to be famous, but that isn’t his primary concern anymore.

“The purpose is not for me to be famous, but to make Jesus famous and to use the gifts he’s given me and pointing to him through it,” he explained.

Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.

 

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SWGTC PBL students (from left) Brian Wynne, Teresa Crumby, Bill Collins and Tryon Lockhart pose with their plaques and certificates from the PBL Georgia State Competition.

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