In Season 11, the Spring Hill, Fla., resident tried again with much different results.
He sang “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” by Boys II Men, then was described as a “major talent” by Steven Tyler and “good looking with a good voice” by Jennifer Lopez.
In his golden ticket interview, the then 28-year-old said last year’s failure inspired him to audition again.
Curtis told Idol he started singing in third grade. But his more recent experience comes from performing with the Haze Band back home in Florida.
It’s a classic rock cover band, according to this result article in The Tampa Bay Times about Gray’s success on American Idol.
“He does a lot of karaoke all around here, and he’s very humble when people tell him how good he sings,” said Michael Duxstad, another member of the Haze Band, in that article.
But if he’s used to singing rock, Curtis says he thinks his versatility will serve him well on Idol.
“I think I’ll able to tackle any kind of music they can throw at me,” he said during his golden ticket interview.
As for his chances of being the next American Idol?
“I’m going to work my butt off to make it happen,” Curtis said. “The dimples might help too.”
If you missed Curtis’ Idol audition, here it is.