Todrick Hall Made His Mark Long Before 'American Idol'

The experienced entertainer — who has starred on Broadway with Fantasia Barrino — impressed judges with his own composition.

Every "American Idol" season yields a few fresh new faces that become instant stars. On Wednesday's (January 27) episode, however, some die-hard fans were excited to see a familiar one who could be headed for the top.

Todrick Hall, a 24-year-old "actor/playwright" from Arlington, Texas, was one of the contestants seen auditioning in the latest "Idol" installment, earning him a golden ticket to Hollywood. But he is hardly a newcomer to the entertainment scene, with a résumé that could further endear him to "Idol" fans.

"You were with Fantasia in 'The Color Purple'?" judge Kara DioGuardi asked him as he came out to audition, referring to Hall's stint on Broadway with the winner of Season 3, in a show produced by Oprah Winfrey and undoubtedly seen by many "Idol" fans.

He sure was. In fact, Hall has also appeared in "High School Musical 2," and a "Beauty and the Beast" production at Disney World. The up-and-comer has also honed his craft in theme parks and on Disney cruise ships as well as wrote, choreographed and directed his own original production called "Oz, the Musical." As fans can see on his MySpace, he's a big fan of Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, and seems determined to follow in their footsteps.

"Welcome to Dallas, y'all," the affable contestant said to the judges (including Joe Jonas) as he stood in front of them. "This is a special song that I wrote just for y'all."

Hall then tapped into his musical background to impress the judges with a personalized ditty. "Todrick is my name, and I'm here to play a part in your game/ Hopped a plane, took a train just to claim my 15 minutes of fame," he sang. "Do I have to get down on my knees in my $300 jeans? Because I would/ If it meant to me that maybe you could/ Just send me to Hollywood."

Soon enough, Todrick was even getting the irritable Simon to give him a clap, if only in sarcasm. Moments later he was flipping those $300 jeans end-over-end with a celebratory backflip, having received four yes votes and a ticket to Hollywood. We can only assume that somewhere Fantasia is smiling in approval.

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