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February 28. 2014 8:14PM

Mont Vernon native makes it into top 12 on 'Idol'


Alex Preston Philbrick performs recently at Souhegan High School in Amherst before returning to Hollywood as an “American Idol” contestant. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/Union Leader Correspondent)

MONT VERNON — Far from his little hometown of Mont Vernon, Alex Preston is making a big name for himself in Hollywood as his quest on “American Idol” continues. This week, Preston survived elimination on the television reality show and is now one of the top 12 contestants seeking the title of American Idol for season 13.

The 20-year-old student at the University of New Hampshire, and a Souhegan High School graduate, took the stage on Wednesday performing Jason Mraz’s “A Beautiful Mess.”

Although celebrity judge Harry Connick Jr. urged Preston to sing in tune, the remaining two judges had words of praise for Preston, whose full name is Alex Preston Philbrick.

America was pleased with Preston’s live performance, voting to keep him in the competition this week.

“We loved Alex’s performance … simply beautiful,” posted his father, Paul Philbrick, on a social media site earlier this week. “I love how he can walk out and in seconds hush the crowd and pull us in with just his voice and guitar.” On Thursday during the live results show, contestant Kristen O’Connor said farewell.

Preston will take the stage next week as the remaining 12 competitors will choose songs with the theme “Home.”

“Whatever happens, happens. This is the best experience I’ve ever had. I am having a blast,” Preston tweeted to his fans prior to the results show on Thursday where former season 13 contestant Jill Jenson was there to support him.

Also in his cheering corner were Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, the season three winners from “The X Factor,” a separate television music competition.

Preston is a self-proclaimed band nerd who plays 11 instruments and was a member of the local band Undertow.

During a visit last month to Souhegan High School, Preston told the New Hampshire Union Leader that his Idol experience has been amazing, describing it as an educational opportunity of a lifetime.

“You get to meet all of these people who are doing the same things as you and have the same dream as you,” he said, admitting it has been a little overwhelming and even more tiring.

“It is one of those things that is all worth it in the end,” Preston said before returning to Los Angeles, thanking his support network and fans in New Hampshire.

“Hopefully I can keep it going and make everyone proud,” he said at the time.

khoughton@newstote.com


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