John Wayne Schulz Returns to ‘Idol’ With Garth’s ‘The Dance’ and Hearbreaking Story
American Idol is in its farewell season, and there are many emotions from the contestants and judges alike. On Wednesday night (Jan. 20), contestant John Wayne Schulz returned after making it to the finals in Season 10. His heartbreaking story of losing his mother to cancer prompted him to audition for American Idol one more time.
"I told her, 'Mom I love you. I'll do anything for you.' She said, 'Well, try out for American Idol,'" Schulz recalls of his first audition. "I only had few more months with her. She passed away after the show."
"I’m definitely with a fire inside of me to do the very best that I can," he adds. "I feel like this is a great way to honor my mother’s memory and also to reach for my goals."
Schultz decided to come back for the final season of American Idol for two simple reasons: he loves music and he loves singing. As the 27-year-old flight instructor entered the room with his black cowboy hat, boots, belt buckle and acoustic guitar, Keith Urban was certain he was the winner.
"You can tell," Urban tells Jennifer Lopez in the above clip.
Schultz then wowed the judges with his cover of Garth Brooks' "The Dance."
"You know what I liked about it? You didn't cop any way of singing except such a natural way of doing it," Urban remarks. "That song especially, when I hear people cover that song, they do Garth, a perfect Garth impression every time. it was so refreshing not to hear that."
Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. agreed, with Connick Jr. saying, "that was a perfect, succinct performance." And with that, John Wayne Schulz was sent to Hollywood.
"I think my mom would be really proud of me right now," Schultz said. "I really wish that she was here. This one's for you, Mom."
6 Unforgettable American Idol Auditions