PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Michael J. Woodard, 20, from East Falls has made it to the top 5 on American Idol - our last local contestant!
And this Sunday, Mother's Day, his mom, Wanda, will be in the audience for the very first time.
Michael shares a special bond with her and the other special lady in his life.
"She's the most amazing person you will ever know. I am so grateful to have her as a mom. She's everything to me," said Michael.
Wanda Woodard says she knew her firstborn had a special gift before he could even speak
"He would sit at my church at rehearsal and hold his mouth like he was singing, but nothing would come out," she recalled.
But when he did learn to speak and sing?
"He had such a strong voice, it was so angelic and beautiful," she said.
As a single, working mom in East Falls, Wanda relied on hard work, family, and faith.
"I just had the mindset that I may be a single mom, but we can make it," she said.
It's those sacrifices and that love that created a special bond between Michael, his mom - and his mom-mom, Little Martin.
He calls these two strong women his best friends and he's not embarrassed to tell you they talk multiple times a day.
"We laugh, I cry. She cries. It's amazing - everything a best friend does shes that for me," said Michael.
They say Michael came this way, warm and always smiling.
"He was just a child with compassion, a lot of compassion. That's what makes you love Michael because the way that you see him is the way that he is," said Little.
When Action News asked Wanda what it's like watching her little boy up there on that big stage, she gets emotional - reflecting on the road that brought them here.
"If I had to go back, I would do it all again the same way because God gave him to me, so I had to make sure they are nurtured and fulfill their dreams in life. I know, I am trying not to get all choked up," she said.
And that's why Michael makes sure you know that this dream is also theirs.
"I'm doing this for my mom, so that all of the work that she has put in, now I can finally give back to her and say 'Mom, you don't have to worry anymore.' I can say, 'Mom, I got you - everything is going to be okay.'," said Michael.
And now, there's just one show between Michael and that American Idol finale.
This week's episode is a Mother's Day tribute and Wanda can't wait to show her support in person.
American Idol airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on 6abc.
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Local Idol Michael J. Woodard shares special bond with mom
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