All day Wendy Ocasio was a nervous wreck, but who wouldn’t be in her shoes?
Her son, Jeremy, finds out tonight on national television if his dream to become this season’s American Idol advances one round closer to fruition.
“OK. Is he going home or staying?” Ocasio said in an interview March 8, hours before the 8 p.m. airing of the live results show on FOX television. “If he moves on, I’ll just move on right along with him. If he comes home, he’ll come home our American idol. Either way, it’s a great accomplishment.”
Such were the sentiments as well last night at the “American Idol” watch party at the Brandon Ale House. There, Rosado’s family and friends gathered to root on the hometown favorite.
Rosado, 19, is a student at the Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College. He works with Linda Wallace at Bay Area Infectious Disease Associates at the corner of Lakewood and Oakfield drives, and attends church with Ramonita Calderon, at the Life Changing International Ministry on Lithia-Pinecrest Road.
Does he sing at work?
“Yes, all the time!” Wallace said. “Sometimes you have to say, ‘Jeremy, please, knock it off!”
Calderon, who flew out to Los Angeles last week with Rosado’s mom, calls herself Rosdado’s “No. 1 fan.”
“His soul, how humble he is,” she said. “I hope for him to be the next American Idol because that has been his dream.”
A 2009 graduate of Durant High School, Rosado is one of two Top 13 finalists from the Hillsborough County School District, the other being Shannon Magrane, 15, of Carrollwood, a student at the Blake High School magnet program for the performing arts.
Meredith Scribner is the lead arts teacher at Progress Village Middle Magnet School. During her 20 years with the Hillsborough County School District, she has taught music at Giunat Middle School, Baycrest and Walden Lake elementary schools and at the Willis IB magnet school and Booker T. Washington magnet school.
She also is Rosado’s voice teacher.
"He has an amazing range for a man,” Scribner said. “He can sing really high, he has a beautiful vibrato and he also has the lower range. He has a range like Whitney Houston had a range and that's really rare for a man."
Rosado’s 30-year-old brother said they used to live in a townhouse, and his bedroom was underneath the second-story bathroom, where Jeremy would sing his heart out in the shower. "He would sing and yell in the shower and I'd hear it vibrate through the floor," Jesus Rios said. "I'd run up the stairs and bang on the door and say, 'Jeremy, shut up already, I don't want to hear you sing anymore!’ "
This week, though, Rios asked his brother to sing on the phone. “Oh, now you want me to sing!” Rios recounted his brother telling him. “I said, ‘Yes, and I don’t ever want you to stop!”
Tonight, the two lowest male and female vote getters will be revealed and the judges will decide which one goes home.