02/28/14 — Cheering her on ...

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Cheering her on ...

By John Joyce
Published in News on February 28, 2014 1:46 PM

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Majesty Rose's fellow church members, Lillienne Umar, Sherry Rogers and Sharon Warren, celebrate as Majesty survives the cut on "American Idol" during Thursday's viewing party at the Goldsboro YMCA.

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Members of Majesty Rose's family, sister Precious Grant, mother Lori Grant and guardian Sandra Chapel, watch the "American Idol" broadcast.

Precious Grant, 14, is the spitting image of her big sister.

They are the same size and share everything including clothes, she said.

Her mother, Lori Grant, wears a single rose in her hair. Neither of the women could contain huge smiles after the '"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest made the announcement -- "Majesty Rose, you are safe."

The second floor of the Goldsboro Family Y began to rumble and quake.

OK, maybe the facility is too well built to be rattled by the more than 100 family and friends and Wayne County citizens stricken with Majesty Mania.

The Y hosted the first of what it hopes will be many American Idol viewing parties Thursday night. Fans gathered from all across the county to see if Majesty Rose, the former Family Y preschool teacher, would make it to the next round, which she did.

And Precious, Majesty's little sister, was not surprised.

"I'm ecstatic, of course," she said, smiling big but quickly regaining her 14-year-old cool. "I pretty much already knew she was going to be famous somehow, I mean, she was always singing ... always."

Precious, too, is gaining notoriety around town in the wake of her sister's weekly triumphs on 'Idol.'

An artist and animator, Precious attends Goldsboro High School and is routinely stopped in the halls by the other students asking if she really is Majesty's little sister.

"They ask how she's doing and can I tell her they said good luck," she said.

Majesty's mom, meanwhile, was busy dancing in the hall and posing for pictures in front of a poster bearing her daughter's image.

"I'm subject to breaking down into tears," she said.

Ms. Grant, a music teacher, said she has known all along Majesty was going to be different.

When she was 4 years old, Majesty attended a piano recital with her mom and another sister.

"Majesty wanted to play as soon as she saw her sister start playing," Ms. Grant said.

She was able to hold Majesty off until after the show and the instructor said it would be all right.

"Majesty walked right up to the piano and started playing "Away in the Manger," she said. "She never had a lesson, not one lesson," Ms. Grant said.

A special group of friends, among the throngs gathered to witness Goldsboro's own rising star, stood in a row in the back of the room while the viewing went on.

Derek Limbaugh and Joey Guevremont are Majesty's best friends. They have known each other for years and go way back to The Bridge, the church where they all first met.

"It's nerve-wracking to watch, but we all saw it coming. We have prayed about it a lot," Limbaugh said.

Guevremont went with Majesty to her very first "American Idol" audition in Atlanta back in October 2013.

Not everyone in the room was on pins and needles Thursday.

One slender young man in the back row simply knew Majesty Rose would hear her name as one of the finalists.

John Birdman, 24, is Majesty's boyfriend of two years and her biggest supporter.

"We met four years ago and were just kind of acquaintances, seeing each other here and there," he said.

Now he and Majesty are texting daily and speaking a couple times a week.

"She say's it's really long, and she has to do a lot," he said.

Birdman describes Majesty as a genuine person with a big heart -- as evidenced by the love manifested in all the handmade artwork supporting her made by her 4- and 5-year-old preschool students.

After the announcement that she had made it to the next round, Birdman had to collect his thoughts and accept congratulations from all over before he could comment.

"I'll text her later and tell her she did a good job," he said, pausing another beat. "Oh, and I'll tell her she looked pretty."