“American Idol” has had its fair share of siblings over the years, from season five’s lawbreaking twins Derrell and Terrell Brittenum to “Maxim”-posing Jessie and Becky O’Donohue to last season’s train-wreck duo, Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkin.
But Wednesday night’s round of auditions in Kansas City, home of [artist id="2352551"]David Cook[/artist], included a rare legacy act: Michael Castro. Rather than skate in on his family’s good name, the 20-year-old little brother of dreadlocked space-case Jason Castro brought his own inimitable style to his audition.
With a bright-pink faux-hawk that stood in stark contrast to his 2008 fourth-place finishing, lyric-flubbing big bro’s locks, the junior Castro impressed judges with his twangy take on [artist id="1235201"]Gavin DeGraw[/artist]‘s “In Love With the Girl.” In an interview segment, Michael teasingly referred to Jason as “girly,” setting off a bit of sibling rivalry in which Jason retorted that if by “girly,” he meant “a sensitive artist,” then he was guilty as charged. Michael further twisted the knife by admitting that he had never really tried singing before, but gave it a shot just 20 days before auditioning.
The judges seemed skeptical at first, but Michael’s mix of shyness and confidence impressed them. Simon Cowell called the audition “goodish,” and new judge Kara DioGuardi said he was “kind of ballsy,” suggesting that the sly look in Michael’s eye meant he had a secret.
After the audition resulted in a ticket to Hollywood for Michael, Jason said he was blown away by his brother’s chops. “I’ve never heard him sing in real life,” Jason said. His choice of DeGraw for the audition and the thoughtful cover of another heart-on-sleeve singer/songwriter’s tune on his official MySpace page, [artist id="506587"]James Morrison[/artist]‘s “This Boy,” seem to indicate that Michael clearly harbors the same doe-eyed sensitivity (girly?) gene as his older sibling. And if he pulls out his Nina Simone “Feeling Good” cover during the Hollywood rounds, Michael Castro might just be the first legacy act to make it past the first cuts.
Michael — who is selling posters of himself on Jason’s Web site, if you’re interested — explained on a January 15 post on MySpace that he had a grand total of two voice lessons leading up to the audition, but that he’s already writing some songs that he plans to record when he gets a chance.
Judging by some of the posts on the Dallas Morning News Web site, fans in the Castro boys’ home state are excited about the legacy action. “I found him charming and personable with a promising voice!” wrote Al. “I can’t wait to watch him this season. My favorite so far.”
Another fan, Rikuchi, stayed up late to opine, “This boy was just like. Wow. I thought he was just hot but couldn’t sing since he said he just started 20 days before the auditions, but WOW. He’s sexy, cute, AND can sing. Can’t wait to see how far he goes.”
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