Small Town, Bigger School, Biggest Stage

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Stateline, Mississippi is a small town with humble roots. However,  Diamond Walley, a potential American Idol contestant, calls it home.

Walley is a 21-year-old Senior Mass Communications major at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi. He attended high school at both Greene County High School, then transferred to Mississippi School for the Arts in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

“I loved Greene County, I really did,” said Walley. “However, Mississippi School for the Arts had Vocal Music which was a rarity for a high school to have in its curriculum at the time. I studied under Mr. Patton Rice, and it was a residential school, so I stayed there.”

After spending his final two years of high school at the Mississippi School of the Arts, Walley chose to continue his education at Alcorn State. “Alcorn offered me a full scholarship,” he stated. “It gave me the opportunity to come here and be free of the financial burdens.”

A life long fan of American Idol, Walley cites past winners of the competition series as some of his all-time favorites. “I really love Fantasia, Jordin Sparks, and Candice Glover,” said Walley. “I just love them all. Kelly Clarkson is a pioneer because she was the show’s first winner.”

For his hometown, this is a first for something of this magnitude. “Something such as this has never happened in Stateline,” he said. “So I do feel that the pressure is on to be successful.”

Although Walley cannot disclose what could happen on the show for obvious reasons, the young hopeful remains optimistic on his quest to become the next American Idol. “I’m honestly expecting to win on my American Idol journey,” stated Walley. “It’s simply a prayer which will remains in God’s hands.”

Even though he’s holding up hope, he remains objective as to what reality may bring. “If I make the show and don’t win, I feel like more opportunities will become available because of the show.”

Shocking, Walley stated of all the judges which impressed him the most it was the most hated Simon Cowell, “Simon gives me life,” he said. “I also loved Randy during his tenure with the series and Jennifer Lopez was amazing as well.”

Walley’s Ameican Idol journey is slated to begin on Tuesday, November 6, but what does that mean for graduation? The Alcorn Senior is primed to graduate in the Spring of 2019. If he does make it past the first round auditions, it’s a good chance that he’s going to be on the road with the show.

“My mom really wants me to finish my degree,” said Walley. “I totally agree with her. However, if things get going, it’s a great chance that I’m going to do online classes in order to complete my curriculum and graduate.”

American Idol is a competition that is not to be taken lightly by any means. Walley is a trained vocalist that has impressed his peers and close associates here at Alcorn and elsewhere. Whether he conquers American Idol or not, he’s going to always be an Alcorn Brave, and the proud son of the small town of Stateline.

Be sure to catch the season premiere of American Idol on Sunday, March 11th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (central time) on Fox.

De'Shane Frye is a Junior Broadcasting/Mass Communications major from Marrero, Louisiana. He will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2018-2019 academic year.

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