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One Aynor High School junior hit the stage with an unforgettable voice that he took to the American Idol tryouts.
Emory West was featured last year as a Student Spotlight, and since then he took his voice and guitar talents to the next level and tried out for this year’s American Idol.
“In a water tower town, everybody waits. The church doors are the only thing open on Sunday," sang West, using the opening lines of a Scotty McCreery for his tryout.
His inspiration for choosing that song? His hometown.
“Aynor is just a water tower town, just a small town, one water tower," West said. "We are a small golden town. I consider us the gem of South Carolina and Horry County.”
At just 16 years old, West never thought he’d have such a low voice.
“Last season when they rebooted it (American Idol), I was like I have to," he said. "This is what I wanted and it’ll get me started on what I want to do, and that’s music.”
From Aynor, he traveled to Orlando, Florida for tryouts.
"We went to the ESPN complex. It was a huge stadium. They had 10 panels of judges at each table. I was the second one to go and I went up there and they asked my name and where I’m from and asked a lot about me,” he said.
West’s idols are not a surprise.
“My all-time favorites are Scotty McCreery, Josh Turner or Randy Travis or George Strait, any of those greats I consider,” he said.
West had to get through two rounds before meeting the celebrity judges. That didn’t happen, but his spirits weren’t dampened.
“Sadly I didn’t go through, but I guess it just wasn’t God’s time yet,” he said.
His advice for other performers?
“Never stop trying. If it’s meant to be, its meat to be,” he said.
When asked if West will try out for American Idol again next year, he simply said - “Yes, definitely.”