After a short run on NBC’s The Voice in 2013, Minnesotan musician Mark Andrew is currently a contestant on this season of Fox’s American Idol—and he’s doing well. His rendition of the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” landed him among the top eight male performers; Andrew’s fans are hoping that in tonight’s episode, he makes the cut to the top dozen contestants overall.
Originally from Eden Prairie, the folk/bluegrass singer-songwriter is no stranger to the Twin Cities music scene, often performing solo and occasionally with his brother Matt in the White Iron Band. Besides his music career, Andrew is a father and he works as a foreman for his family’s landscape and construction business.
Andrew gained popularity with many Disney-loving fans at his first filmed American Idol audition, when he sang “Be Like You” after the judges asked him to sing a different song than his first choice, which was the Allman Brothers’ “Soulshine.” The judges were keener with the way he got down with the soul in his Jungle Book jam.
After being praised by Shakira and Adam Levine on The Voice, Andrew has once again gained attention and feedback from celebrity musicians and judges on this season of American Idol. In recent episodes, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. remind Andrew of his “good voice” and remind him not to lose touch with that.
In a 2013 interview with Andrea Swensson, Andrew spoke of his experience on The Voice and spilled on what it was like getting feedback from Shakira, an international superstar. “It’s extraordinary…for her to take an interest was definitely something that caught my attention,” said Andrew.
“There was one note in the song that I had to go up to that was pretty much out of my range,” he remembered. “Joel Madden and Shakira were both like, just go for it. If you crack, you crack, but you’ve gotta go for it 100 percent, otherwise people won’t believe you up there, they won’t think you’re being genuine. That was pretty influential.”
On his Facebook page, Andrew promised that if he makes it through to the next round, he’ll again perform “Be Like You” as he continues his quest to be an Idol V.I.P.
Update: Though he made a great run of it, Andrew was cut from the show on Wednesday night. As a photo posted to Facebook reveals, his son was understandably bummed about it.
Anna Segner is a student at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.