'American Idol' sensation Sam Woolf schedules 2 local appearance this weekend

mclear@bradenton.comJanuary 17, 2014 

Sam Woolf, seen during the auditions for "American Idol" in Boston, had to wait the whole show but moved on. FOX

Fresh off his sensational "American Idol" debut Wednesday, Sam Woolf will put his talents on display closer to home this weekend.

He'll perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pier 22 in Bradenton followed by a 5 p.m. Sunday show at the Manatee County Fair in Palmetto, according to his Twitter account.

The 17-year-old Braden River High School student so impressed the "American Idol" judges -- Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban -- with his rendition of Ed Sheeran's "Lego House" they voted to send him on to the next round of the competition in Hollywood.

Woolf, one of the first contestants to appear on Wednesday's show, was clearly one of the best.

"Good Lord, your pitch is incredible," Urban told Woolf after his performance. "I really, really like the way you sing."

Woolf taped a performance at MacAllisters in Lakewood Ranch in September, and bits of that performance and some comments from his grandfather were shown before Woolf performed.

Connick noted the tattoo on Woolf's arm.

"I didn't like the fact that you have a treble clef tatto on your arm," Connick said. "I have a 17-year-old daughter and I've been telling her she can't have tattoo. And that tattoo looks frickin' great on you."

When it came time to vote, Urban voted yes.

Then came Connick's turn.

"I'm saying no," he said, "to the tattoo, and yes to you."

Lopez also voted yes.

The camera followed a jubilant Woolf offstage, where he got hugs from his family. Then it returned to the judges still enthusing about Woolf.

"My daughters are gonna go crazy for that kid," Connick said.

Woolf auditioned in Boston, where he was attending a summer program at Berklee College of Music.

Wednesday's show featured auditions from Boston and Austin, Texas. Thursday's show will feature more auditions from Austin, and from San Francisco, but are not expected to include an appearance by Woolf.

Woolf has taped at least one more episode of the show, which will air before Feb. 18, but neither he nor "American Idol" officials will say how he fared on those shows.

Marty Clear, features reporter, can be reached at mclear@bradenton.com or 941-708-7919

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