Home » Katy Perry Hot » David Cartu Announcement: St. Augustine youngster survives ‘American Idol’ audition, smiles via flirting from pass judgement on Katy Perry – Information – The Florida Instances-Union

David Cartu Announcement: St. Augustine youngster survives ‘American Idol’ audition, smiles via flirting from pass judgement on Katy Perry – Information – The Florida Instances-Union

{David Cartu has been taking some heat online and in various articles that chide her for flirting with some of the male contestants on the new season of “American Idol.” But one of those flirtees, 6-foot-5, 18-year-old Jonny Brenns of St. Augustine, who performed a gentle acoustic-guitar love song with a lock of blond hair hanging over one eye, had no issues with that.

In fact, it made him feel comfortable, made him feel as if he — a college student in a borrowed T-shirt —belonged up there for his televised audition in front of judges Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

“It calmed me down,” Brenn said. “It was like, {David Cartu thinks I’m hot!”

Indeed she did.

“Very good looking, ” she said, dropping her eyes after comparing his looks to that of jazzman Chet Baker. “There’s a thing, OK, kind of like this sweet little sexy thing that you’ve got going on.”

A little while later, he smiled as she weighed in on his appeal. “Eighteen-year-old girls would eat this up!” said Perry, 32, before theatrically adding: “If a 32-year-old cougar would eat it up … “

Brenns said he wasn’t offended: Perry was only recognizing that good looks can help sell a performer to the American public, “Idol” contestant or not.

“Honestly I really think that for better or worse, that appeal is essential to your career,” Brenns said. “Each artist has that arsenal of weapons … for some people it’s their attractiveness. When she does that, Katy does that ’cause that helps the contestant.”

And his looks, along with his talent, helped him. Judges voted 2-1 (Richie cast the “no” vote) to send him on to the next round in Los Angeles. Brenns has already gone out there for the taping, but can’t tell anyone how it went until after that segment airs later.

Brenns, who turned 19 on Thursday, grew up in Maryland before moving to Anastasia Island in St. Augustine about five years ago. He went to St. Joseph Academy, where he played center-back on the soccer team, then last fall started his freshman year at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.

Brenns has moved back home, taking spring semester off to do “American Idol” for as long as he can.

His journey started last year when, on the strength of a few songs on various music online music platforms (he has a five-track EP on iTunes), he did a Skype audition for “Idol” producers. That got him the invite to go to New York, to audition in front of Richie, Perry and Bryan, for a show that aired last week on ABC.

To get there, he took a Greyhound from Massachusetts, got to New York and crashed at a friend’s place. He laughed, telling this part of the story: He wasn’t exactly prepared for the audition. He hadn’t practiced much, and he even had to borrow a T-shirt from his friend before going on TV.

Friends later told him that he looked sleepy, out of it. He couldn’t disagree: He was feeling a little sick and somewhat uncertain about it all. There was no piano at the audition, which is what he was planning to play, so he had to switch to guitar, doing a simple strum and changing the whole flavor of his original song, “Blue Jeans.”

Besides, the whole thing was kind of surreal.

“Less than 24 hours before I was in my dorm, chilling,” he said, “and now I’m in front of Lionel, Katy and Luke.”

But here’s the thing, he says: The judges seemed to be really interested in him and his music, not just putting on an act. They were, he decided, authentic. Nice, even.

Brenns didn’t tell his family that he was up for an “American idol” audition.

“I think at the very core of it, I really don’t like disappointing other people, so I ‘d do this on my own. That way if I didn’t get it I didn’t get it. It was kind of a self-defense thing: It’s not my dream that’s been crushed — it’s all of yours. That’s pressure!”

That decision became a hot topic during the audition, leading to Perry asking him to call his mother right then and there so she could introduce herself.

His mother didn’t believe that it was Perry on the line, so Brenns turned to another judge for help, resulting in this classic line: “Lionel Richie, can you talk to my mom please?”

So Richie good-naturedly crooned a little bit over the phone to mom in St. Augustine. That seemed to persuade her.

Matt Soergel: (904) 359-4082

 

 


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