'American Idol' contestant receives enthusiastic send-off to Hollywood
Wareham soul singer Teddy Mathews is off to Hollywood next week, going with the full support of his community.
A send-off party for the 21-year-old was held Saturday night, giving attendees a chance to enjoy Mathews' vocal performance and wish him good luck as he heads to "American Idol."
His mom, Alicia Thatcher, said she's excited for her son to have this opportunity. She said she doesn't know many details about what Mathews will be doing in Los Angeles next week, but he was told to pack his bags until March.
Thatcher said he was also told to choose songs he can sing in a variety of genres. Mathews said he calls himself a soul singer, but that he's comfortable with a wide range of genres. His musical inspirations include Michael Jackson, Prince, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Stevie Wonder.
"I'm very excited for him," Thatcher said. "It's a dream of his."
Mathews said he's been singing since before he could talk. He took voice lessons and has always been "engrossed in the craft," he said.
"I have a ridiculous work ethic," Mathews said. "Sing until you bleed, sing until you can't sing anymore."
He's staying focused as he prepares to fly to California so he will be prepared for whatever meets him there. Mathews said his charismatic personality and how hard he has worked will help him succeed on "American Idol."
Mathews is a 2015 graduate of Wareham High School. In 2010, he performed at and won Cape Idol, raising funds for Bridgeview Montessori School scholarships.
Mathew's sixth grade math teacher, Bonnie Lasorsa, was in attendance at the party. Lasorsa is a big supporter of Mathews and was in the audience when he won Cape Idol. Now, she's ready to see him make it through "American Idol."
"I've always known he's amazing," said the Wareham Middle School teacher.
Mathews said he was touched by the support from the Wareham community for his next venture. He has to keep quiet about a lot of the details, but many people saw him in an "American Idol" ad during the American Music Awards and got excited for him.
"There was a huge push from the community to have a send-off and it's so appreciated," Mathews said.
"American Idol" premieres March 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Judges will be Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.