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Bradenton's Sam Woolf advances to Top 6 on 'American Idol'

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Sam Woolf performs on "American Idol" airing Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Credit: Frank Micelotta / FOX.

Sam Woolf told this reporter a couple months ago how he wanted to spend his 18th birthday. Now, his wish has come true. The Bradenton student will be partying Saturday in Los Angeles with cake and candles and the other members of the  “American Idol” Top 6 following the good news tonight.

About 20 minutes into the half-hour show that aired at 9 p.m. on Fox , the senior at Braden River High School learned he had received enough votes from his “Woolfpack” fan base to advance. Country music specialist Dexter Roberts was sent home.

On Wednesday, the finalists were asked to select songs for their fellow contestants. Jessica Meuse picked David Gray’s mellow ballad “Sail Away" for Woolf to sing and he accepted, impressing the judges again with his rich, controlled vocals while still not wowing anyone with his stage presence, which remains stilted and problematic.

Before his solo, Woolf and his pal Alex Preston turned in a fun performance of British singer-songwriter Passenger’s saccharine hit “Let Her Go." Despite mixed reviews from the judges Wednesday, Woolf and Preston work well together and will disappoint if they don’t sing some duets this summer in Sarasota.

As reported Wednesday, Woolf will join the rest of the "American Idol" Top 10 finalists for a tour across the country that includes a July 17 show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets are priced at $55-$105 and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 9. It's the first of four Florida dates including a July 18 show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

Next week, Woolf and the rest of the Top 6 – C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse and Preston  – will perform two songs each, one country and one rock. Watch Fox at 8 p.m. Wednesday (April 23) and follow @wtatangelo on Twitter for live updates and commentary.

For more information on tickets to the "American Idol Live!" tour call the Van Wezel box office at 953-3368 or visit vanwezel.org. For interviews we conducted, videos, photo galleries and reviews of his performances on "Idol," visit our Sam Woolf page.

For interviews we conducted, videos, photo galleries and reviews of his performances on "Idol," visit our Sam Woolf page.

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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 and writes the weekly Bar Tab column. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: April 17, 2014
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