“I was so happy that I happened to be in a group with very talented singers,” said Calderon Jr. “And we all did very well.”
The group received praise from judge Randy Jackson.
“Very, very nicely done,” said Jackson. “You’re all going through.”
But Calderon Jr. is not ashamed to admit it’s been a long journey to Hollywood.
“I’m proud to say that I tried out five times,” said Calderon Jr. “I didn’t make it through the initial cattle call round the past four times. This season I made it through and lucky enough I made it to Hollywood.”
The San Diego State student grew up in a very musical family. He said his siblings were typically the singers and he played piano. These days he sings R&B and soul music and performs publicly.
“I’ve been singing a lot of local shows,” said Calderon Jr. “Performing with Pasacat, my Philippine performing arts company. They kind of built me up to be the performer that I am now.”
Calderon Jr. is already getting a lot of support from the San Diego community.
“I’m so blessed and even more lucky,” said Calderon Jr. “That I have family. I have the community. I have San Diego State supporting me. I just want to do my best for them.”
Calderon Jr. can’t reveal what’s to come on the show, but he can talk about the experience of performing on the American Idol stage.
“People crumble. People succeed,” said Calderon Jr. “Hollywood is basically the ultimate test and it was crazy.”
Calderon said, despite being in a competition, the contestants want to see each other succeed.
“They’re so nice and they’re just as passionate as you with singing,” said Calderon Jr. “So I really enjoyed it. We kind of helped each other. We supported each other and even though we were competing we rooted for each other. I think that’s why everybody got to shine, because everybody was so supportive.”
No matter how the show turns out, Calderon Jr. said he’s just grateful for the opportunity.
“American Idol gave me a chance to step on their stage,” said Calderon Jr. “American Idol is kind of described as the gold standard. It’s the top TV show and to be able to put my name out there and be associated with the show, there’s so many exciting things ahead.”