Update: James Durbin was voted off 'Idol' tonight. The result was in well before the show went on the air here on the West Coast. More on the vote: Santa Cruz's James Durbin Voted Off 'American Idol.'
A local favorite could make it to the American Idol finals tonight. 22-year-old James Durbin has inspired fans around the country with how he has overcome challenges, including diagnoses of Aspergers and Tourette’s Syndrome when he was a boy. But nothing beats the enthusiasm of his fans in his hometown of Santa Cruz.
One hot spot for fans is at Dale Ockerman’s Musicscool. Ockerman, a former guitarist with the Doobie Brothers, opened the self-styled "school of rock" around six years ago in the back of his friend’s guitar shop. James Durbin was one of his first students.
Ockerman says Durbin always “worked really hard."
"A lot of people think, 'Oh, he’s just a savant.' No way, he worked really hard just like these guys do. You have to practice and I think he was always ready for the big time," says Ockerman.