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Watch party set for Giraud's next 'Idol' performance

April 16, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A special viewing of the next "American Idol" telecast is planned for Tuesday, April 21, in the Western Michigan University Student Recreation Center, and watchers will have plenty to cheer about after WMU alumnus Matt Giraud survived a close call April 15 to continue his role in the popular Fox television national broadcast.

After being voted off the show by the audience Tuesday night, "American Idol's" panel of four judges voted to rescue Giraud and allow him to continue in the competition. Judges are only allowed to save one contestant in the final round.

Judge Simon Cowell expressed some reservation about whether Giraud could go on to become the next "American Idol," but then, in announcing the judges' verdict, told Giraud, "Matt, it's good news."

The special WMU viewing is being held as part of Finals Finish activities at the recreation center. Coca Cola has partnered with event organizers and will provide drinks, including Vitamin Water, Vault and Coke Zero for students.

"We hope that students will come out to support our WMU alum," says Amy Seth, director of University recreation. "We have a cable line set up in the multipurpose gym with a large screen to view 'Idol.'"

Giraud, 23, grew up in Ypsilanti, Mich., and is a 2007 WMU graduate. He sang for two years with GC II, an offshoot of the School of Music's acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company. In 2007, he and fellow WMU student Gerald Mattei won an award from DownBeat magazine in the 30th Annual Student Music Awards.

Giraud's continued good fortunes have generated a wave of excitement in Kalamazoo and across Michigan and prompted a phone-in campaign spearheaded by Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and supported by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to get Giraud elected the next "American Idol."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
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