Omaha native Tim Halperin’s “American Idol” journey ended Thursday night.
But that was only part of what disappointed Tim’s hometown fans — everybody thought he’d get a chance to sing one more time.
The “Idol” format changes every year, but the word on gossip sites Thursday was that the top 10 vote-getters would be revealed that night — and the rest of the Top 24 would get to “sing for their lives” next week. Each judge had a wild card and could keep one person from going home.
Instead, the wild card round happened Thursday night, and only six of the other performers were given a chance to sing. Tim wasn’t one of them.
It was especially hard on his friends and family because everyone — even the judges — agreed that Tim, 23, could do so much better than he did Tuesday night when he sang “Streetcorner Symphony” by Rob Thomas.
If people would have had another week or two to get to know Tim, said his former choral director at Westside High School, they wouldn’t have been able to resist him.
“He sings with an energy that grabs you,” said Westside teacher Doran Johnson. “He’s a performer that draws you in.”
Even before Tuesday’s performance, Tim was at a disadvantage with “Idol” voters. “He just didn’t have the airtime that some of the other people have had all the way through the show,” Johnson said.
On Halperin’s “American Idol Official Fan Group” Facebook page Thursday night, fans immediately started talking about how to help Tim move on and move forward from his “Idol” loss.
“I can’t imagine he’s going to let this defeat him,” said the page’s administrator, Kim Armstrong, a friend of the Halperin family.
Many of his Facebook fans had already started petitioning Ellen Degeneres to have Tim on her show.
Armstrong says the Facebook page will still actively support no matter what he does next. But they might have to change the name of their group.
— Rainbow Rowell