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Local Sam Woolf 'Unwell' but still alive on 'American Idol'

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Local high school student Sam Woolf performing on the "This is Me" episode of the Fox show "American Idol," Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

Wednesday marked the official debut of the Top 13 on Fox's "American Idol," which, you might have heard, includes Sam Woolf, a senior at Braden River High School. "This is Me" was the theme of the episode. It found contestants revealing "five facts" about themselves in 20 seconds and then performing a song, of their choice, which, in the words of judge Jennifer Lopez, allowed the aspiring stars to "express themselves."

We had to watch through 11 contestants and and nearly the whole two hours to see Bradenton resident Woolf perform. But first, his five fun facts:

1. Afraid of spiders

2. Wears size 10 shoes

3. Once stepped on a sea urchin with one of those size tens

4. Broke ankle falling down the stairs

5. His middle name is Joseph

0226_Sam_2As for the performance,Woolf chose the Matchbox Twenty song "Unwell," which, as the title suggests, is about someone who is devastated after a busted relationship. "But I'm not crazy," the chorus goes. "I'm just a little unwell."

Woolf performed the song with pitch-perfect vocals and the judges praised him appropriately, especially Keith Urban, but the almost always spot-on Harry Connick Jr. commented that a song about being messed up should have an equally distraught vocal. Cheerleader Jennifer Lopez also offered the rare piece of accurate advice, suggesting Woolf "come alive more."

When I talked to Woolf by phone Tuesday, he acknowledged that he needs to exude more charisma.

“I definitely agree and have taken what (Connick Jr. and others) said and have been practicing a lot more,” Woolf said. “Next performance, I think it’s really going to show.”

Let's hope voters agree he has the star-power needed to become the next "American Idol" and gets voted through Thursday.

Check out our new Sam Woolf page filled with videos, exclusive photos, my exclusive interview with him, a link to voting for the singer-songwriter and more:

Ticketsarasota.com/sam-woolf

"American Idol" airs next at 8 p.m. Thursdays on Fox.



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WADE TATANGELO is the editor of TICKET + and a contributor at TicketSarasota.com. He has been an entertainment editor, reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: February 28, 2014
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