American Idol

Cortez Shaw

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Name: Cortez Shaw 
Bio: Returning hopeful and Dallas (Garland) native Cortez Shaw calls season 12 of American Idol his “second chance at redemption.”
The handsome singer sat down with americanidol.com for his Road to Hollywood interview to discuss his idols (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston), his Idol inspirations (Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard), and why he thinks he’s the next American Idol. As he put it, “This is my dream. This is my passion,” and he thinks all his hard work will get him there.
Life hasn’t always been easy on the 22-year-old warehouse worker and student. He grew up in a single-parent home where his mom was the breadwinner. As he said in his pre-performance package in Las Vegas, there were times they didn’t know if they were going to eat, and their lights would be turned off. “It can bring a person’s self-esteem down,” Cortez said.

Cortez had a bit of a misstep during Hollywood Week when he dared to take on a Whitney Houston song, and Nicki Minaj said she was disgusted by his shouty rendition. Since then, however, the judges have been impressed.

In Las Vegas, the nothing-if-not-courageous singer transformed David Guetta’s “Titanium” into a ballad. Although there was some criticism from the judges about the way the song left him victim to pitch problems, they were blown away by his range. Keith Urban said he has a “beautiful head voice,” while Randy Jackson said he has “crazy range.” Nicki, who hasn’t attempted to hide her admiration for his beauty, simply said, “I liked you a lot. Good song choice. Sexy.”

A handsome guy with stellar vocals, Cortez has the whole package. The judges have called this a girl’s season to lose, however, so we’ll see if he can hold his own.

American Idol Season: 12 (2013)

Age: 21

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Audition: Cortez Shaw auditioned for American Idol 2013 Season 12 in Oklahoma City, OK. His audition was not shown, but he was moved on to the Hollywood rounds.

Hollywood Week A Capella Round: During the guys’ Hollywood Week, Cortez performed “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston and was selected to move on to the group round.

Hollywood Week Group Round: During the guys' Hollywood Week, Cortez’s group round performance was not shown. He was chosen to go through to the solo round.

Hollywood Week Solo Round: During the guys' Hollywood Week solo round, Cortez performed “Sunny” by Stevie Wonder. He was picked by the judges to go to Vegas as part of the Top 40.

Top 40/Las Vegas Round 4: Cortez Shaw performed “Titanium” by David Guetta in the Las Vegas sudden death rounds. The performance evoked a somewhat mixed reaction from the judges, but he was passed through to the Top 20 anyway.

Top 20/Semi-Finals Round 2: Taking what he learned from last week, Cortez attempted to recoup the judges' favor with his version of Bruno Mars's "Locked Out of Heaven" during the Top 10 guys semi-finals round. While his vocals were stronger this time around, the judges didn't think it was the best song choice for him.

- Marnie Brodersen

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