Editor’s note: Kent’s Stefano Langone has made it through the initial “American Idol” round Thursday night in Hollywood. He now moves on to the next round. Stay tuned for updates to this breaking story.
He overcame a life-threatening car accident that landed him in a wheelchair and left scars on his arms and legs.
It could have either broken his spirit – or made him hungrier to live life to the fullest.
Kent resident Stefano Langone chose the latter route.
The 21-year-old Kentwood High School graduate is now about to take that drive to succeed all the way to Hollywood.
After a stellar audition in San Francisco, televised Wednesday night, Langone is now a finalist in “American Idol.”
He’ll be performing alongside the nation’s top talent 8 p.m. tonight on Fox.
Langone performed a spot-on version of Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine” in Wednesday’s broadcast to “Idol” judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson.
All three were blown away with the Kent man’s power and style.
“You’re definitely here for a reason,” Lopez said. “I think you have real star quality. You have movie-star good looks, and then on top of that, your voice has a nice tone to it.”
“Stefano, very nice, man,” Jackson said. “Very nice, dude.”
Tyler, acknowledging the accident that nearly killed Langone and his fire to succeed, broke the big news, as Langone excitedly listened.
“You survived that accident, and I’m about to tell you why,” Tyler said. “You’re going to Hollywood.”
Langone earlier had explained to the three what had transpired on that fateful day of May 28, 2009.
“I woke up to a firefighter, and I’ll never forget – he looked down at me and screamed to the EMTs, ‘He’s alive! He’s alive!
“It’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where I am.”
And now he’s going to Hollywood, hoping for the biggest break in his life.