Sons Of Sylvia: From ‘Next Great American Band’ To ‘American Idol’

The trio, previously known as the Clark Brothers, have opened for Carrie Underwood on her current tour.

Shakira, Rascal Flatts , Lady Antebellum and Sons of Sylvia — wait, who? Millions of Americans could be forgiven if they weren’t familiar with the handsome brotherly trio who performed on Wednesday night’s (April 28) “American Idol” elimination show , where Siobhan Magnus got the boot.

But if you’ve been paying attention for the past three years, you might just recognize brothers Ashley, Austin and Adam Clark. They’ve been opening for good pal Carrie Underwood — who helicoptered in from her tour just to introduce them on “Idol” — on her current tour, and they played backup in her touring band right after she won season four. They were also the winners of the first and only season of “Idol” spinoff “The Next Great American Band,” back when they were known as the Clark Brothers.

After years of trying to make it in Nashville and Hollywood, that win landed them a contract with Interscope Records and a management deal with 19 Entertainment, which explains how they landed on “Idol.”

Kind of.

“We never tried out for ‘Idol,’ but we’ve been watching it all the time and … man, it’s like a dream, we were so pumped,” said guitarist Austin, 26, the youngest of the trio, who are three of 11 kids born to their preacher parents. (Yes, their mom’s name is Sylvia.) The band of brothers performed their debut single, “Love Left to Lose,” from their just-released debut album, Revelation, on “Idol,” and Austin said the experience was a mind-blower. The tune mixed straightforward radio rock with country touches, including fiddle, mandolin and rocked-out resonator guitar over a thudding backbeat.

The swirly, urgent rock ballad was co-written and produced by the boys’ second cousin and good pal, OneRepublic hitmaker Ryan Tedder, who gave it his signature wide-open, yearning sound and instantly alluring hooks.

“I can’t believe it’s happening,” Austin said of their rocket ride to fame after years of hard work. “It feels like a childhood dream as far as: start a band, get a record out and being on tour. All of this is actually happening. I wake up every day baffled.”

Though they’ve had reality-show experience, Austin said pre-taping their “Idol” performance was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It’s surreal up there,” he said. “You see the big ‘American Idol’ logo, things are spinning around. [I was thinking] ‘I’ve watched the show and now it’s my turn.’ You’re just thinking about not screwing up.” Though they didn’t have a chance to meet any of this year’s finalists — and haven’t really had time to watch the show since they’re busy on the road with Underwood — Austin said it was probably a good thing the judges weren’t around when they visited the set. “If Simon would have critiqued us, we would have been nervous!”

What did you think of Sons of Sylvia’s performance? Let us know in the comments!

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