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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Quintin Richardson aims to be next ‘American Idol’ or ‘The Voice’ winner

  • With a viral music video, “More than Just,” under his belt, local R&B singer Quintin Richardson now hopes to showcase his angelic voice on reality TV.


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  • With a viral music video, “More than Just,” under his belt, local R&B singer Quintin Richardson now hopes to showcase his angelic voice on reality TV.
    In late June Richardson was among 6,000-plus Idol-hopefuls at the Prudential Center in New Jersey auditioning for the upcoming 12th season of “American Idol.” But not wanting to put all his eggs into one basket, Richardson, 25, of Smyrna, will also audition for season 3 of “The Voice” at the Izod Center in New York City this Saturday.
    Celeb status
    Though fate hasn’t revealed whether Richardson will become a reality TV star, the singer’s Facebook photo of him posing with “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest has already garnered him celebrity treatment.
    “After the Ryan Seacrest picture, girls were hitting me up,” said Richardson, a garden sales associate at Home Depot in Dover, who’s happily in a relationship with his girlfriend, Katie Craig. “Girls were asking questions like: ‘What are you doing [tonight]? You can come down to my beach house and party and sing and play for us.’ These are girls I haven’t talked to since high school that I really thought were da’ bomb.” 
    Behind the scenes of ‘Idol’
    For his Idol audition — which was before two Idol producers on the stadium floor — Richardson threw producers a curve by singing Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up.”
    “I knew when people looked at me they were going to think of Bryan McKnight or Ne-Yo,” explained Richardson of why he chose to sing the song. “You know, they were going to look at me and think ‘Boyz II Men, this guy’s going to sing this.’ So I wanted to be kind of unpredictable.”
    Unlike the Idol auditions that air on TV, where singers perform solo before a beloved Idol judge like Randy Jackson, Richardson says his experience wasn’t anything like that. He was paired with three other singers and they were each given “15 to 20 seconds” to wow producers.
    Producers would then select one singer from the group to advance to the second round, in which the advancer would receive a golden ticket, reminiscent of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factor,” but without a sugary treat. Then the contestant would be informed of their second audition date, which is held once the Idol team has finished hosting auditions throughout the country for its first round of auditions.
    Out of the 6,000-plus auditioners, producers would then cut the group to approximately 100 people, said Richardson, who added that’s the same recipe for how business is conducted at the other Idol audition sites. After the second phase of auditioners have been trimmed down, the remaining contestants advance to the third round, where they perform before the illustrious Idol judges, Richardson said.    
    Page 2 of 2 - Considering “American Idol” is pre-taped, auditioners are prohibited from mentioning whether they’ve advanced to the next round, in which Richardson is no exception.
    What’s next?
    Though the R&B singer would love to become a reality TV star, he developed a backup plan in case things don’t pan out.
    Richardson — who has generated more than 100,000 views on YouTube for “More than Just,” which debuted in September and was directed by Patryk Depa (whose resume includes music videos for notable rappers like Meek Mill and Gillie Da Kid) — is interested in returning to Wilmington University to earn a bachelor’s degree. He’s currently a junior majoring in exercise science, but says he intends to switch to criminal justice this fall.
    Around that same time, Richardson also plans to send his demo CD to various record labels including RCA, with the intentions of receiving a distribution deal. In addition, he’s aiming to drop a new album, but hasn't set a date for its release.
    Whether or not we see Richardson grace the upcoming season of “American Idol” or “The Voice,” we’ll certainly hear more tunes from the R&B singer.
    And who knows, one of his forthcoming songs could also go viral.
    “I don’t want to think negative,” Richardson said of his chances of being selected for “The Voice” or “American Idol.” “My goal right now is just to get my album out.” 

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