Fame and Fortune…Almost

South: When did you start singing?

Josh: I started singing when I was little kid—I liked to pretend I was Elvis. I didn’t get that serious about singing until college when one of my fraternity brothers started playing “Collide” by Howie Day, so I sang along. Everyone thought I had a good voice and convinced me to do open mic nights at bars.


South: What was the experience like?

J: Altogether, it was amazing. I met a lot of great people—most of whom I still stay in touch with. I also never thought I’d get to visit Hollywood, so that opportunity was one I will never forget. Meeting the judges was an incredible experience, too. The only bummer was that my time on the show wasn’t shown on TV.


South: That’s an awesome story! What made you want to go on American Idol?

J: I actually auditioned for American Idol for the first time in 2011, the year Phillip Phillips won. It was right after I started singing again, so my mom and I drove to Charleston to give the audition a shot. At this time, I had braces and didn’t dress the part—I’m pretty sure I wasn’t taking it seriously at all, to be completely honest. I think I was actually wearing Old Navy flip-flops. In 2015, I auditioned for the second time, but this round, my cousin auditioned too. I figured if she was going to do it, I would too. I made it through to Hollywood but unfortunately, she didn’t. It’s like a cattle call—there are about 10,000 people there and basically a lottery to get picked. I’m glad I went though, and I have my cousin to thank for that.

“If you want to be successful, you have to jump, there’s no way around it. When you jump, I can assure you that your parachute will not open right away. But if you do not jump, your parachute will never open. If you’re safe, you’ll never soar!”


To read more, subscribe now or pick up the October/November issue of South magazine.  

Hear Josh sing at joshjohanssonmusic.com

The Golden Ticket

What viewers don’t see on TV is how many auditions take place on American Idol. Josh had to make it through several rounds before he even got to face the celebrity judges and several rounds after that to make it to the top 75. He and four other people sang for a producer and he made it through, so he came back the next day to sing for all of the producers, then again for the executive producer. After he went through all of these audition rounds and several interview sessions, he was finally able to sing for the judges, who sent him to Hollywood. Once there, he went through several more rounds of auditions with various groups. In his final round, Josh threw away the nerves, stayed in the moment and just had a good time. It was the best his family had ever heard him sing. (And singing for J-Lo was the highlight of his experience).



Catch Josh Live:

Oct 06
Molly MacPherson’s
Richmond Hill

Oct 08
B&D Burgers
Congress St., Savannah

Oct 12
Savannah Station

Oct 13
Wild Wing Cafe,
City Market, Savannah

Oct 14
Wild Wing Cafe
Pooler, GA

Oct 20
The Dispensary,
Florence, SC

Oct 22
Pier 101, Folly Beach, SC

Nov 10
Molly MacPherson’s
Richmond Hill, GA

Nov 16
Basil’s, Wilmington Island, GA