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American Idol Relents, Allows James Durbin to Perform, Celebrate in Santa Cruz

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Written by Maria Gaura

La Vida Local

SANTA CRUZ (May 2011) – The show will go on! Even though Santa Cruz rocker James Durbin failed to make the top three on last night’s American Idol, the show’s producers have agreed to let him take a break from his Idol obligations and appear in a grand homecoming celebration in Santa Cruz tomorrow.
While details of the day are still being worked out, Durbin will visit Louden Nelson Community Center, participate in a public procession to the Main Beach, and perform a concert on the Beach Boardwalk’s outdoor stage.
 “Originally, American Idol indicated that James’ return to Santa Cruz for Durbin Day depended on him making it to the final 3 because of obligations to the show,” said Kris Reyes, community relations director for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. “After the results last night, we made a strong appeal to the show that he be allowed to attend his Santa Cruz homecoming as planned. Idol ultimately agreed.”
Durbin’s unexpected elimination from American Idol sparked an outpouring of reaction from fans worldwide, and calls and emails have been pouring into City Hall, the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council, the Beach Boardwalk and the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce.  
Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty immediately sent an email alert informing city residents of the change of plans. 
"I am happy to report that in a stunning turn of events, after an appeal last night by the City and Boardwalk, American Idol has agreed to allow James to return for his Santa Cruz homecoming tomorrow!," Coonerty wrote. "This is the first time American Idol has allowed the Idol in James’ position to make a hometown visit so quickly after elimination. Indeed, we were told not to expect him to return for his homecoming until the fall.  
James will start his day at the Louden Nelson Center at 2:30 p.m. for a rally with the kids involved in youth theater followed by a marching procession to the beach.  James will then perform at the Boardwalk’s bandstand at 5 p.m.
If you can, please come out to support James and let your friends and neighbors know as well."