By Reginald Allen
For The Birmingham Times
After making it to the top 24, Dominique Posey of Birmingham was eliminated this week from the popular “American Idol” reality show. He was the last contestant from Alabama.
This week, contestants participated in the All-Star Solo Round, where they were tasked with singing solos and duets.
For his solo performance, Posey sang Rufus & Chaka Khan’s hit “Ain’t Nobody”, which brought the judges to their feet. (Lionel Richie: “There’s the opening act and there’s the star attraction. My friend, that was the star attraction performance.”)
For the duets, contestants were paired with A-Listers Sugar Land, Luis Fonsi, Aloe Blacc, Patrick Monahan and Bishop Briggs. Posey teamed up with Blacc for a charged performance of “Wake Me Up!” Posey compared his partnership with the Grammy-nominated artist to that of a big brother or mentor. It also helped that the song struck a personal chord.
“The song is just about just kind of going along the journey of life, realizing that whole time that whatever you were looking for in yourself, you already had it,” Posey said of the 2013 track. “It was never something you really had to find. I equated that to my desire to perform and make music and sing. Looking for all those different ways to get out there, but all I need to do is do it and it’ll come the way it needs to come.”
Richie, who Posey jokingly dubbed “Uncle Lionel”, praised him for his smooth delivery, stating that he is “rising to the occasion.” Luke Bryan, another of the judges, added that Posey is “a world class singer.” However, with it being a competition, a bevy of compliments could only go so far.
Episodes are filmed in advance until the Top 14, where viewers can call in their votes. Posey admitted that he didn’t watch Monday’s episode. However, he did remember the experience like it was yesterday. After a night of star-studded collaborations, contestants stood side-by-side as judges slowly picked the seven that would advance. He remembered telling himself “Whatever God has for me is for me.”
Unfortunately, Posey didn’t make the cut. But for the ambitious singer, it wasn’t a total defeat. Taking the elimination in stride, the 26-year-old was appreciative of his time of on “Idol.’ If anything, the experience served as preparation for “the business.”
“There’s nothing normal about show business, and I realized even more so that I am completely abnormal,” Posey told the Birmingham Times in a phone interview. “I’m made for an abnormal life. The busyness of production and recording and filming and all those other things. Those are the things that I feel comfortable and secure about doing, so I should pursue that even more.”
Raised in Georgia, the former reality star now calls Birmingham home. After a short stint at Fort Valley State University, Posey decided that he needed a change. At the suggestion of his grandparents, he moved to the Magic City, where he’s made a name for himself as a singer. He regularly performs at Yo Mamas, Magnolia House and the Plum Bar.
Before hitting his mark on “Idol”, the Alabama transplant auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice”, but failed to advance through the show’s preliminaries. However, third time proved to be the charm when he wowed “Idol” judges with a stripped down “A Song for You” by the late Donny Hathaway.
When judges first met the Alabama transplant in Nashville, he was working at the District Attorney’s office as a legal secretary. A certain pop star even implied that his true talent was being put on the back burner.
“I don’t know if that’s your purpose,” Katy Perry said during the audition. “I think your purpose is probably to deliver some beautiful music to the world.”
The young vocalist took heed. He’s decided to pursue music fulltime, which meant leaving his job at City Hall behind. However, Posey said ditching his 9-5 was inevitable. So, what’s next?
“I’m talking with people about acting in a couple of web series,” Posey said. “Of course, I’ll still be gigging, but now I’ve set my sights on going to Nashville for a little bit just to see what the scene is like up there. So, I’ll be moving around a lot.”
Despite his short time on the popular singing competition, his airtime didn’t go unnoticed. He received a cyber compliment from the Velvet Teddy Bear himself, Ruben Studdard, who put Alabama on the map when he took home the title in 2003. The winning streak continued when Hoover native Taylor Hicks won three years later.
“I just checked my Instagram and see where Ruben[Studdard] said ‘Good luck, young sir, represent.’” Posey said. “So, I had his support.”
He also has the support of his duet partner. Two days after their duet, Blacc took to social media, commending the former contestant for his stellar performance. But it didn’t just end there. Before preparing for his show in London, the “I Need a Dollar” singer offered a chance to record with him in Los Angeles if he chooses to take it.
“On American Idol, you killed it,” Blacc said on Instagram. “That was a wonderful duet and no matter what the results, you’re a star. And I want you to show the world. Come to L.A. Join me in the studio and let’s make a song that shows the world that you’re not just an American Idol, you’re a World Idol. Alright, so when you get those tickets, fly out to L.A. Join me.”
Over the span of the season, only three Alabama contestants made it through. Brandon Elder of Arab and Pine Level’s Samuel Swanson soared through their respective auditions, but got the chop in Hollywood.
Posey’s Idol Recap
Audition Song: “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway
Top 50: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac (unaired)
Top 24: “Ain’t Nobody” by Rufus & Chaka Khan, “Wake Me Up” by Aloe Blacc and Avicii
“American Idol” airs Sundays and Monday at 7 P.M on ABC.