Romeo Diahn on American Idol: From Refugee Camp to Hollywood

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A total of 45 Golden Tickets were handed out in Portland last night, as American Idol made its first-ever stop in this Pacific Northwest city.

But one contestant made an impression above all others who were granted access to Hollywood: Romeo Diahn, a Liberia native who fled that country in the 1990s during its civil war and ended up in a refugee camp in Ghana.

As Steven Tyler notes in the following audition, Diahn literally sang for his life during his time there, and the result - as J. Lo puts it - is a unique "vibe and flavor" unlike anyone else the judges have seen.

It's an incredible story and we'll be keeping our eye on Romeo in Hollywood.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]