February 5, 2014

Management Major Earns American Idol Ticket to Hollywood

University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration senior Quaid Edwards was one of 21 contestants who received a golden ticket to Hollywood from the Omaha auditions of American Idol. He advanced to the top 186, but did not get selected to move onto the next round.

The management major kicked off the auditions in the Jan. 30 episode of the show with confidence singing, “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke – a favorite song of his that he knew he would be able to sing through nerves.

While his audition aired in January, the real auditions started in August, he said. After a giant “cattle-call,” Edwards first auditioned in front of two producers. For the second and third rounds of auditions, he showed his talent in front of 15 executives, until he finally performed in front of the judges at the Century Link Center in Omaha in October.

“You don’t realize it, but the judges only really see about 50 people,” he said.

Once he got his ticket to Hollywood, it was all a secret from there. “Hollywood week” aired Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.

Quaid Edwards

Quaid Edwards and mom talk to Idol judges after advancing

“I’m going to bring my A-game to every part of this competition no matter what they call for,” he said. “I’m going to put my best foot forward.”

As a lover of modern pop, Edwards said he hopes to become an artist similar to Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake but with his own unique twist. He grew up listening to the oldies, including Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, but said he loves music that makes you want to dance.

While he hasn’t had much exposure to being on stage and performing in front of people, Edwards said he hopes to use that to his advantage. Music has always been a part of his life, he said, but other than the excitement of the show, getting his bachelors degree is priority No. 1.

His professors have been flexible with his TV debut, he said.

“The university has been overwhelmingly supportive and cool,” Edwards said. “I feel very blessed to be going here. It’s a great place to be.”