Wheaton man to be featured in American Idol auditions

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The new American Idol premieres Sunday on ABC and you?ll be hearing some Chicago area voices singing out to prove they?re ready for stardom. (WLS)

The new American Idol premieres Sunday on ABC and you'll be hearing some Chicago area voices singing out to prove they're ready for stardom.

One of them is a young man who grew up in the western suburbs, and who was inspired to follow his dreams by the original show.

"You grow up watching the show and you feel, oh man that would be so cool if I could be on that show. And then it happens to you and you go, oh my goodness, is it actually happening. It's still kind of sinking in right now," Sam Sohmer said.

On the show Sam will use his performance name Samothias. The 20-year-old's interest in music didn't blossom until high school.

"Right in the middle of high school - sophomore, junior year - I ended up quitting all of my sports at the same time and ended up doing the fall play, the show choir, the musical. So I am not sure how that happened. I don't know what drove me to do that. But it ended up being the best decision I ever made," he said.

Meeting the Idol judges - Katy, Lionel and Luke - made a big impression.

"I don't know what I was expecting. When you see people who are super famous on TV or social media you don't think about what they are like as human beings, I mean, but walking in there was bizarre, surreal, amazing, emotional, but super weird at the same time," Sohmer said.

Sam is used to high emotion, being one of nine children.

"It's weird going into other people s houses where they have one or two kids and just like walking around and it's so silent, peaceful and nice, and you come back here and it's, oh we're back home, but I wouldn't have it any other way," he said.

Even though Sam does not compete until March 19, his family is having their own Idol viewing party for Sunday's debut.

You can see the debut of American Idol this Sunday night at 7 p.m. and the auditions continue Monday at 7 p.m., right here on ABC 7.
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