From Chincoteague Island to American Idol

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Photo provided by Dalton Elliott

By Connie Morrison — Chincoteague’s Dalton Elliott is going to Hollywood.

After three nights of audience audition suspense, Elliott finally made his American Idol debut during the fourth episode of the popular singing show, which aired March 17.

Elliott chose “Boy,” by Lee Brice for his audition song, which he dedicated to his 3-year-old son, Nash.

“When I found out I was going to be a dad it kind of changed everything and put everything in perspective,” Elliott said in the introduction to his audition. “My son comes first.” Fatherhood motived him “to get a real job.” He is employed as a construction worker.

“I kind of put my music career on hold” to be near his son, Elliott told judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan when asked why he moved from the music mecca of Nashville to Chincoteague Island. “That’s really commendable,” Perry told him.

His audition earned a thumbs up from each of the three judges and a coveted golden ticket to advance to Hollywood for the next phase of the competition.

“Dalton, there are songs that you are going to be able to sing the fool out of,” Bryan told him. “I like your tone a lot, but dial your artistry in even more.”

“There are singers, my friend, and there are storytellers. You were telling that story like a master,” said Richie, who added he didn’t pay attention to the notes because he was absorbed in the story.

“You have to be a little bit more consistent, don’t overstrain,” Perry advised. “When you tried to hit some those notes your face started looking like a beet.

“You probably don’t want to watch that on television,” she teased.

Viewers checked in on Facebook after the audition aired Sunday to say they were proud of Elliott. “Good job, and loved seeing ESVA representing,” said Mandi Mears. “I look forward to seeing how far he goes. The world needs more storytellers, and he has that covered!”

“It’s nice when a young person gets a chance to follow their dreams,” said Deborah Bogush.

“Great performance. Awesome guitar. Would love to hear him sing Chris Stapleton -‘What Are You Listening To,’” said Hamilton Adam.

“Excellent! He seems so genuine and humble! ESVA Proud!” added Linda Baylis-Spence.