Another night of "American Idol, another teen overcomes adversity and shows off impressive vocal chops.
As the "Idol" train rolled in to New Orleans for season 10's second day of auditions, Brett Loewenstern made his mark on the judges with his smooth-as-silk voice and mop of red hair, handily winning over the panel despite his tough past.
Sporting a striped T-shirt, skinny pants and those red spirals -- which he tames with baby oil -- the 16-year-old Boca Raton, Florida, native captivated Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson with his easy take on the epic Queen classic "Bohemian Rhapsody." Lopez said the performance reminded her of the vocal stylings of British group Simply Red, who boast flame-haired crooner Mick Hucknall as the soul outfit's velvety-voiced frontman. Loewenstern's family gleefully watched the audition via monitors alongside Ryan Seacrest, with the crooner's younger brother proudly pointing out his singing sibling. When the audition ended, Loewenstern happily burst out of the room and was enveloped in hugs by his waiting family.
Although the audition ended on a triumphant note, the performance capped off years of struggling socially at school. Loewenstern recounted harsh years stemming from elementary school, during which he lacked friends and had to deal with unrelenting bullying. However, the teen singer eventually embraced the unique qualities that once drew taunts, dubbing himself "a red apple in a pile of green apples."
"I had an epiphany at one point," he said. "I finally became happy in my own shell, and now it's like, [if] someone doesn't like me it's cool. 'Cause as long as I like me that's all that matters."
The ginger-haired teen also had a message for everyone on both sides of the bully battle: "Be yourself, because there's only one life to live."
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