Tyler Contestant Eliminated From American Idol - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

2/9/06-Tyler

Tyler Contestant Eliminated From American Idol

The "cocky contestant" on American Idol from Tyler got booted from the show last night. R.J. Norman, 21, first caught our attention last week at the Austin auditions. About 5,300 American Idol hopefuls turned up for that as well. R.J. was one of 12 contestants in Austin to get a golden ticket to Hollywood.

R.J.'s shot of being the next American Idol was taken away when Simon, Randy and Paula cut him from the next round. But the Edgewood native plans to "make it to Hollywood", whether it's singing or acting.

R.J., who attended T.J.C., was portrayed on the show as an overly-confident, ladies' man -- something he says is not true. "People that know me, they've contacted me saying, 'Man, you're not that bad. You're fairly confident, but you're not a big jerk like that.'" said R.J.

He says the best part of being in the competition was making so many friends, including Jason Horn, the funeral director from Longview and Austin's Ricky Hayes, his roommate in Hollywood. "Right now I'm rooting for Jason and Ricky," said R.J.

As for his own chances, R.J. says he was pretty devastated when he got cut. "I didn't bawl till I was by myself. I didn't want to do it in front of the cameras because that's exactly what they want," he said.

R.J., who works at Outback Steakhouse, says he's been getting a lot of recognition since hitting the airwaves. One guy asked him to serenade his wife. "He recognized me and called his wife and made me sing to her on the phone. He's like, 'Here. Sing to my wife. She loved you. We're from Houston.'"

This is the second year R.J. auditioned for American Idol. He says he does not plan to audition next year. He's in the process of finding an agent and wants give acting a shot.

Oralia Ortega, reporting. ortega@kltv.com

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