East Falls native heading to Hollywood on American Idol

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East Falls native heading to Hollywood on American Idol: Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 5pm on March 25, 2018. (WPVI)

Auditions for American Idol wrapped Sunday and several competitors from the Delaware Valley went before the judges to score that coveted golden ticket to Hollywood, including Michael J. Woodard from Philadelphia's East Falls neighborhood.

"Pretty much everything I have done in my life has led up to this moment," he said.

Woodard was raised by his mom, Wanda and grandma, Littie, in East Falls. And you might call mama his first talent scout.

"He was in the bathroom singing one day, he was 5-years-old. And I walked past the bathroom and said, Michael can sing!" she said.

And that's pretty much when his music career was born.

"That's when I started to audition and stuff like that and venture out and see what God can do with my talent," said Michael.

He sang for his church and then started writing and producing his own songs.

Michael was homeschooled and believes that prepared him for this moment

"It definitely taught me how to be independent and survive alone because in an industry like this, you got to learn how to be by yourself," he said.

And when Michael got that big chance to sing for the judges, with money tight, Michael was there - by himself.

"The producers were asking me, like where's your family at, and I was like, financially, we just don't have it right now," he said.

Cheering him on from back here at home, you can feel his family roots are deep

Now 20-years-old and a sophomore at the Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, Michael says he's seen his share of rejection in the business and it almost stopped him from going for a golden ticket.

"I was kind of like scared to go out for it, because I was like, you know, I don't wanna go through anymore heartbreak," he said.

That's when his mom came in - with a little nudge to go for his dreams.

"I know what's inside of Michael and he said that he wanted to be a professional singer. And most of all he wanted to be so big - he wants to share his music with the world," said Wanda.

"This is huge - this is the biggest platform I have ever been on in my life," said Michael.

He joins several other local contestants in Hollywood Monday night.

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday at 8 p.m. on 6abc.


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