02/18/14 — Goldsboro songbird Majesty York takes to the 'Idol' stage tonight

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Goldsboro songbird Majesty York takes to the 'Idol' stage tonight

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 18, 2014 1:46 PM

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Majesty York

Majesty York is getting pumped for her national TV debut tonight, as "American Idol" launches its first live shows of Season 13.

The Goldsboro native auditioned in Atlanta and has been among the hopefuls who received a golden ticket, made it through Hollywood Week and last Thursday was named to the Top 30, among the Top 15 girls.

"I was really shocked," she said Monday evening. "I was sitting there with my mouth open the whole time (judge) Harry Connick Jr. was talking. I was in shock."

In the days since, the show's production schedule has been hectic, getting ready for three nights of shows that begin tonight. This evening's "live" show is actually tape-delayed and airs on Fox TV from 8-10 p.m. The Top 15 girls are slated to perform on the brand-new stage, with the Top 15 male finalists to do the same on Wednesday night.

Immediately following both shows, America gets to call, text or go online and vote. But rules this year have changed and instead of unlimited voting, there is a limit of 50 votes per person.

The first results show will be on Thursday at 8 p.m., when the field of 30 gets winnowed down to 10 -- five guys and five girls -- and the judges' three wild card picks round out the Top 13 finalists.

In addition to pre-show rehearsals, Majesty said she has been practicing a lot -- in the mirror, dancing around the house -- to get her energy up for the show.

"The song I'm doing is really upbeat," she said. "I have to be really active with the audience."

A representative from the show said contestants are not allowed to reveal what they'll be singing beforehand, and Majesty complied.

"I want it to be a surprise," she said.

She did, however, share what went into the song choice.

"I definitely want to stand out," she said. "So I picked a song that's popular right now and it's a song that expresses who I am pretty much.

"It's a straight-forward song that everyone will understand, any genre of people will understand. I think it was a good choice."

This season also features a new twist, with former judge Randy Jackson returning to the show as in-house mentor along with two former contestants who fared well in the competition -- Adam Lambert, runner-up to winner Kris Allen in Season 8, and Chris Daughtry, who came in fourth place in Season 5. Daughtry is also a North Carolina native, hailing from McLeansville.

"It was really fun," Majesty said of the two-day workshop. "I know that 'American Idol' hasn't done that in the past."

She said she was "really grateful" for the experience, which provided a lot of help getting the contestants better prepared for the show.

"They told us how to select a song, the trends in music, how to become successful beyond 'American Idol,'" she said. "We'll never get that kind of experience again."

She had an opportunity to work with Adam Lambert, whom she called "fearless."

"He really inspired me to be myself, not look at anybody else," she said. "He really inspired me to do my best."

The workshop also included interviews, photo sessions and a chance to ask lots of questions of the former contestants, both of whom have gone on to successful recording careers. Majesty said she also enjoyed being able to talk with Jackson one-on-one.

"It was really laid-back. It was chill," she said. "I liked it a lot."

One thing that has remained consistent throughout the whirlwind process is her faith.

"Definitely before I left (home) to come to Rush Week, I prayed a lot with my family and friends," she said.

She said the prayer support was a big part of preparing to head out to Hollywood for the reality show. It's what will keep her grounded and strong in her faith, she said -- "to be solid here and not change who I am."

The groundswell of support from her hometown is growing, with at least one viewing party announced for this evening, at Logan's. The 2010 graduate of Eastern Wayne High School also has a following at Wayne Community College, where she was in the college transfer program through last spring and was a member of the Student Government Association.

She appreciates hearing that, she said.

"I just want to say thank you to all my people in Goldsboro," she said. "I'm just really happy that all the people that I have met and served with in Goldsboro, that they remember me and are supporting me. I'm really happy."