Thursday, February 9, 2023

Meet the East Lansing nurse competing among the top 24 on 'American Idol'

April 8, 2022
<p>Jacob Moran photo illustration by Daena Faustino. </p>

Jacob Moran photo illustration by Daena Faustino.

Whether it was competing in talent shows or singing in church with his family, music has always been a large part of life for Dansville native Jacob Moran.

It wasn’t until Moran started posting videos of himself singing on social media that he realized music could be more than something to be enjoyed in his free time. His posts gained enough attention for an 'American Idol' producer to reach out in 2019 and suggest that he audition. 

“I think that's kind of when I was like, ‘Maybe I could do something with this,' " Moran said. “If 'American Idol' is reaching out to me, and I don't have to go to an open call audition, that's pretty good.”

Moran ended up making it to the “Hollywood Week” round in 2019 before he was eliminated. Now, he’s competing on the show for a second time, and said he’s made changes that have him more prepared than before. 

“Ever since then, I've worked on myself and worked on my physical health, my emotional health,” Moran said. “I've lost 60 pounds from the first audition to this audition, and it's just been a process of learning and growing. Now I'm back, and I feel like this is more realistic and achievable than ever.”

Moran is ready to pursue a music career at all costs, planning to quit his job as a nurse in East Lansing and move to L.A. He said it has been difficult to decide to leave his coworkers and patients, but it feels necessary.

“I want to sing my heart out,” Moran said. “I want to learn how to do all the things, like the business side of music. ... I want to make this my life.”

Moran said he has been on “information overload” since coming on the show. 

“'American Idol' has taught me kind of just how cutthroat the business is,” Moran said. “You have to really, really, really want it.”

Moran is homesick for all of his friends and family in Michigan, but knows the experience will be worth it in the end.

“It's just overall been an amazing experience, I'm extremely grateful for it,” Moran said. “But my family is supportive. Everyone's supportive. I have a lot of support backing me, which is making all of this possible.”

Jacob Moran’s competition as one of top 24 contestants will air at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 10 on ABC.

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