Mindy Lucas

‘Idol’ down to 8; Bluffton teen still in

Idol update -- Scoreboard

We have an official scoreboard from FOX's American Idol so we'll keep you updated each week.
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We have an official scoreboard from FOX's American Idol so we'll keep you updated each week.

For Lee Jean fans, it just keeps getting better and better.

“I’m still in disbelief,” said Camilo Guzman after the “American Idol” hopeful made it through yet another round on Thursday night’s show, placing him in the show’s “Top 8” contestants.

Guzman, who is friends with Jean’s older brother, Dar’rell, still remembers when he’d go over to the Jean family home and Dar’rell’s “kid brother” Lee would be strumming a guitar.

“He had played that guitar so much, there were two strings broken, and he’d keep playing it,” he said.

Guzman was one of about 30 to 40 friends and supporters gathered at the Rooftop Bar at Poseidon on Hilton Head Island to watch the reality TV music competition as it unfolded in real time.

Jean’s mother, Veronica, was also there along with two of Jean’s siblings — Danny and Aaleigha.

The party included a raffle, live music and a pre-taped video message from Lee to his fan club members, who now call themselves “FamiLee.” T-shirts that said “We are FamiLee Proud” were being sold for $15. Funds raised at the party go toward offsetting the cost of the family’s travel to and from Los Angeles.

Jean, 16, performed “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon on the two-hour live show.

Last week was the first opportunity for those at home to weigh in on who they felt should go forward in the competition, and Lee secured enough votes from the American viewing public to secure his spot in the “Top 8.”

When the announcement came in the first half of the show that he had made it through, several pockets of people in the Hilton Head crowd erupted in applause, but the room was so loud no one was sure if that meant he was “safe.”

After his performance, judges were complimentary of his singing and his stepping out of his comfort zone.

“I think there’s more voice in you than you even know,” said celebrity judge Jennifer Lopez.

Jean will go on to compete again next week when the show returns on Thursday night.

“American Idol” will now air only on Thursdays until the “Grand Finale Week,” which kicks off April 5.

Bluffton High School junior Lee Jean on Tuesday got a farewell from his peers fit for the star Jean has become. Performances by his classmates, as well as by Lee himself, were part of the morning program, which included Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka.

Mindy Lucas: 843-706-8152, @MindyatIPBG

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