Singing Pirate grad headed to Hollywood


Josh Johansson performing in front of celebrity judge Keith Urban

Melanie Gibson, Staff Writer

Josh Johansson, a Pike brother, solo musician and Armstrong alumnus, auditioned for American Idol this past July. Johansson passed the first round of celebrity judge auditions and as such, will be seen participating in the Hollywood rounds through next week on Fox at 8 p.m.

This is Johansson’s second attempt at the show, the first being at the Charleston round of the 11th season. Despite repeated auditions and countless performances, Johansson says he is still nervous to perform in front of celebrity judges. He copes by remembering “they’re people just like [he is].”

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During the first celebrity judge round of the season, Keith Urban expressed that Josh’s voice was quite contrary to what he expected. Harry Connick Jr. claimed Johansson made it look effortless and Jennifer Lopez agreed, adding a third “yes” as he passed on to the next round.

Josh has always felt a love for music, creating a drum kit out of sandcastle buckets which gradually earned him his first drum set from his father not long after. His high school years at Peachtree Ridge saw a hiatus from musical endeavors due to work and sports, but the flame was rekindled during a cover of Howie Day’s “Collide” with Johansson and his fraternity brothers during his freshman year at Armstrong.

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The positive feedback on his voice that day gave rise to his musical career in college. His influences range from Zac Brown Band, to D4L, to the Marshall Tucker Band. Josh could be found performing in City Market (his favorite venue), St. Simon’s Island, Athens and nearby cities in South Carolina during his time at Armstrong and even still to this day.