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Meet the Mississippi native who wants to be the next American Idol

26-year-old Marks, Mississippi, native Calvin Upshaw first auditioned while on a call with an American Idol producer. He ended up in front of the big 3 judges.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Marks, Mississippi man is on his way to Hollywood. Calvin Upshaw is about to compete on ABC's American Idol. The Mid-South native talked with Local 24 News weeknight anchor Katina Rankin about the journey.

"I just need time to see where I want to be, where, where I want to be," sang American Idol Contestant Calvin Upshaw.

And where Calvin Upshaw wants to be is standing on stage as the next American Idol. So, how did this journey begin?

The 26-year-old Marks, Mississippi, native first auditioned while on a call with an American Idol producer. The song: "Where I Want to Be" by Donell Jones. Then, it was on to round two as he sang virtually for three producers. Finally, he made it in front of the big three.

"Being able to be in front of an icon, Mr. Lionel (Richie), Miss Katy (Perry) and Luke - it was like a dream come true," said American Idol Contestant Calvin Upshaw. "I told myself I wasn't going to hold back my feelings. I wasn't going to hold back my past. Everything I was going through I was just going to let it out."

Katina asked, "Were those tears of joy from the clip of American Idol when you sang before the three judges?

"It was tears of joy and pain. Why? Because the joy comes from me being able to accomplish something I Iove to do, which is let the world see my talent. And two, it was emotional because I was thinking about a lot of my past like me being incarcerated - leaving my family for 5 years, the hearts I broke by leaving. It just took a hold," said Upshaw.

And thinking about the future for his son!

"My baby boy is eight years old. His name is Calvin Junior. Right now, I'm working with him in sports. I'm like being his father/mentor for basketball and football," said Upshaw.

"She doesn't fully understand me, said I'd rather be alone than to cheat," sang Upshaw.

Calvin doesn't know exactly when he will go to Hollywood. He's waiting on a call from the producers on that. But he wants you to tune in and to vote when he does go. And, he has this message for any young person who may have made mistakes in their past.

"Dreams can come true no matter what the situation you done been through. You can overcome," said Upshaw.

"Should have left my baby girl a message said I wouldn't be coming home, I'd rather be alone," sang Upshaw.

Of course, we'll keep you updated on when Calvin does appear on American Idol. You'll be able to watch it right here on Local 24. And, we'll have much more of Calvin's story and how he overcame adversity Tuesday during Katina's Local Good News segment.

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