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James Durbin getting big homecoming despite 'American Idol' exit


UPI News Service, 05/14/2011 

Officials in Santa Cruz, Calif., said "American Idol" contestant and hometown hero James Durbin would be on hand Saturday for a special day in his honor.

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Durbin was the latest rising talent voted off "Idol," but that didn't diminish his luster in the California beach town where he was raised.

"Our community is extremely proud of James," Mayor Ryan Coonerty said in a written statement.

"We're excited that American Idol made this exception to allow him to return home to a big Santa Cruz welcome."

The city said "Idol" had originally said Durbin's attendance depended on him making it to the final three field of contestants. The show agreed to an appeal from city hall and business leaders to give him the green light.

"Durbin Day" included a parade and a visit to the kids' theater group Durbin belonged to when he was a lad. The climax will be a three-song set by Durbin and his band White Album Ensemble.


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