Purple Haze’s John Park continues American Idol journey to Los Angeles

Claire Brown

Kelly Clarkson was a hit. Carrie Underwood followed in her footsteps. Now, Weinberg junior John Park could be the next American Idol.

After making his way through three rounds of auditions and singing in front of producers and the infamous Simon Cowell, the Northwestern Purple Haze member has packed his bags for Hollywood to star on American Idol’s ninth season. The NU community may be able to catch a glimpse of the rising star when the Chicago auditions air Tuesday, Jan. 19 on FOX.

“America is going to fall in love with him,” said Janelle Kroll (Communication ‘09), former member of Purple Haze.

The show could launch Park’s career, said Richard Drews, NU voice professor and American Idol fan.

“If you have a good, solid technique and a clear understanding of your voice’s limitations, you stand a very good chance of making an impact,” Drews said.

But it won’t be easy, he said.

“The rigors of that particular show are really difficult to withstand because you have to be on your ‘A’ game at all times, you have to learn a tremendous amount of music in a very short time and you are literally put on the spot all the time to see if you will buckle,” Drews said.

Christian Gero, Park’s roommate and fellow member of Purple Haze, said he went to Park’s audition in Chicago. “He really impressed the judges,” the Bienen senior said. “He came out with the golden ticket and we all went crazy.”

Gero said Park’s personality is what makes him a great candidate for American Idol.

“He’s a charmer,” he said. “He’s a really lovable character.”

And it doesn’t hurt that Park is a talented singer, Gero said.

“We all think he’s really, really good, but to get on the show is acknowledging the fact,” he said.

Purple Haze will hold viewing parties each week to watch Park, said Kate Sheridan, the group’s general manager.

“I kind of secretly don’t want him to win because I want him to come back and be in the group,” the Medill junior said.

Kroll said she is sure Park will make it through to the next round, but students and faculty can help by adding his name to their Facebook and Twitter statuses.

“His voice just oozes soul,” Kroll said. “He’s the full package. He needs to be a superstar.”[email protected]