Remember this name: John Wayne Schulz.
The Texas native and contestant on the final season of American Idol could just become the next superstar of country music.
John Wayne, who first appeared on Season 10 of the show, delivered what the judges called a “perfect, succinct performance” of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance” during Thursday night’s audition episode. The song surely means a lot to John Wayne, who lost his mom to cancer a few years ago.
“I decided to come back because this is the last season of American Idol. I love music. I love singing,” the country traditionalist told the camera before performing for the judges. “I’m definitely back with a fire inside of me to do the very best that I can. I feel this is a great way to honor my mother’s memory and also reach for my goals.”
During Season 10, the Marine Corps flight instructor was eliminated when the judges decided to instead keep Scotty McCreery, who went on to win that season.
Watch John Wayne’s season 15 audition and find out which Lady Antebellum song became the soundtrack to his segment below.
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.
Cody Alan is the host and executive producer of CMT After MidNite, CMT Radio Live and CMT All Access. A respected veteran personality, producer and programmer in the broadcast industry, Cody's shows originate from Nashville and are broadcast on stations across America. Cody's shows feature the biggest names in country music and entertainment, and his wit, energy and charm shine with big star guests and live interaction with listeners. He brings fans unprecedented access to all things current in country music and entertainment in an environment that's genuine, unpredictable and fun. Dierks Bentley says, "Cody's show always feels fresh and current. Cody cares about country music's past and future, and has always worked to make his shows exciting, interesting and personal."
Named the Academy of Country Music's "National On-Air Personality" in 2013 and 2010, Cody also hosts CMT's weekly Hot 20 Countdown and #1 Music and a Movie, in addition to co-hosting CMT's annual red carpet special live from the CMT Music Awards.
After gigs in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Cody made it to the major leagues at age 23 when he landed in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. He's been honored at the Grand Ole Opry, featured in USA Today, GQ Magazine, People Country and Country Weekly; and has been seen on E! News, as well as HLN. Cody has been named Radio and Records Music Director of the Year five times, while Billboard magazine and the Radio Music Awards honored him with the annual title as well.
When not on radio or TV, Cody loves working out, running, watching reality shows, superhero movies, listening to all kinds of music, relaxing in the mountains, eating Mexican food and spending time with family and friends.