San Jose Welcomes Home ‘Idol’ Contestant DeAndre Brackensick

credit: Kirsten Coachman
DeAndre Brackensick being introduced to the crowd by 99.7’s Strawberry.

This past Sunday afternoon, family, friends, and fans of American Idol’s DeAndre Brackensick gathered at Eastridge Mall in San Jose, Calif. to welcome the young singer back home. Being a longtime Idol enthusiast, of course I had to go check out the celebration and support our Bay Area Idol!

The 17-year-old San Jose native and Oak Grove High School senior wow’d the Idol judges this season during his Las Vegas group performance of Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, which helped advance him into the Top 24, where he was voted by America into the Top 13. Throughout his Idol run, DeAndre continued to impress the judges and fans alike with his renditions of Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster,” and Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry.”

The homecoming event, which was MC’d by 99.7 Now’s Strawberry, kicked off with some words from Derrick DeMotta, DeAndre’s mentor. He spoke to the crowd about the young man that he refers to as “Kamele” and how he’s “been living in aloha for the last 16 years.”

The homecoming event also featured a Tahiti Nui performance, a  Polynesian dance performance by Oak Grove High School students, and a performance from the Cathedral of Faith’s Dunamis Sign and Dance Team. There was also an adorable performance by the DreDreamers, who were regulars at the local Idol watch parties. The group performed Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” and changed the lyrics to sing “DreDreamers.”

credit: Kirsten Coachman
DeAndre being presented with a Commendation certificate from San Jose City Council members Rose Herra and Ash Kalra.

One of my favorite moments of the afternoon was when members of DeAndre’s family took the stage to express their love for their boy, but to also show gratitude towards friends and fans. You could tell that the day was just as overwhelming for them as it was for DeAndre.

credit: Kirsten Coachman
DeAndre’s Aunt Oneka and his parents Scott and Dawn Brackensick addressing the overwhelming San Jose crowd.

Due to his Idol contract, DeAndre unfortunately couldn’t sing for the audience. However, he did do a Q & A with Strawberry made up of questions that fans had submitted throughout the event.

Check out video of the Q & A below! (Sorry for the shakiness; I was trying to multitask & snap pix at the same time.)

I loved seeing such a great San Jose crowd come out and celebrate one of our own. DeAndre, way to represent the Bay Area on Idol this season!

Don’t forget! Tickets to the American Idol LIVE! Tour go on sale this weekend! The Idols will be playing the HP Pavilion on July 22!

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Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an entertainment writer and editor from the SF Bay Area. Fan of live music, Shonda Rhimes dramas, and the San Jose Sharks. Follow her on Twitter: @KirsCoachman

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