Vote for Douglas

Gentle readers,

This semester has been a busy one for my students. I’ve attended performances of Dreamgirls, the All-School Black History Production, the spring dance concert, and senior shows of all sorts: recitals—vocal and piano, art exhibitions, creative writing performances featuring film and spoken word and my student the Houston Youth Poet Laureate. So many shows. I only wish I could attend them all. When I receive a personal invite, I’m there. The kids consistently blow me away.

Inside the classroom, students brought their talents and presented their understanding of Macbeth. They acted, danced, sang, performed original scripts and songs and parodies, made videos, designed sets, created visual art, poems, letters, modernized texts, and alternate endings. They connected it all to the tragedy. These kids rise to the challenge over and over.

Then there’s Douglas. He has become a national phenomenon. When American Idol saved his audition for the end of their two-hour show a week ago Sunday, I knew they had saved the best for last. Sure enough. He gripped my heart with Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” and then squeezed. My tears were unstoppable, his performance iconic. I texted with my mother-in-law and my daughter. I wasn’t the only one. They felt what I felt.   

Tonight kicks off Hollywood Week on American Idol (ABC), 8 Eastern / 7 Central. When the time comes, if you’re inclined to watch the show, vote for Douglas.

With love,

His English Teacher

for Douglas

33 thoughts on “Vote for Douglas

  1. How wonderful for Douglas! However, I wish I could have observed your students reenact Macbeth with their understanding and interpretation. That classroom performance must have been Oscar-worthy.


  2. Crystal,
    I watched that live (on television). He was so incredibly great. Not only is his voice outstanding but his choice of song that made him so emotional was fantastic and not normally done by singers his age. It was so great. I haven’t watched American Idol in a few years, but I will try to watch this year. Please tell him for me how incredible I think he is, and regardless of how it turns out, make him promise never to give up. The American Idol experience usually turns away so many great singers for stupid reasons. I am a huge fan. I cannot imagine how proud you are to know him and have taught him.


    1. Hi Shay! I haven’t watched American Idol in years either. When I watched for two hours and realized they saved him for the end of that show, I can’t even explain the excitement. I’ve been counting down until the next show. He’s sworn to secrecy.


  3. Oh my, Crystal. Just…oh my.

    Amazing on so many levels. Naturally, there’s Douglas’s incredible performance. Extraordinary talent, extraordinary poise, extraordinary presence.

    Then, to think, you’re among those who nurtured it and encouraged it. You and that remarkable school of yours will be up there with him on the stage.

    Take a bow.


  4. Thank you for sharing!!.. again you have shown the words of Kahlil Gibran; “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” (Kahlil Gibran) and no doubt serve as an inspiration for many… I believe those kids look up to you and are grateful you are a part of their world!!… 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)


      1. “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” (Emily Dickinson)… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t watched Idol for a long time but just happened to catch his duet performance this week. Since he got through and is “one of yours”, I’ll continue to watch. Wish I had caught his promo during this tryout show but I will try to find it.


    1. Last Monday night, he didn’t make it into the top 24, but he has had a great attitude about it and loved the experience and started making money with gigs at home. It’s all good.


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