, Muskogee, OK

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Local News

January 16, 2008

Muskogee teen going to Hollywood

A Muskogee teen who has been singing since he was a toddler has been selected to compete in the American Idol VII television talent competition.

Colton Swon, 19, sang “Boondocks” by Little Big Town to impress judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell in auditions last summer in Dallas.

The audition tape and announcement of American Idol finalists from the audition, was aired on television Wednesday night.

Swon and his family have known the judges’ decision for several months but were sworn to secrecy because of restrictions in a contract Swon has signed.

His father, Kelly Swon, still had little to say about the show even after the selection tape aired.

“We can’t say anything — anything,” he said. “I wish we could. I don’t want to even know everything. He’s under contract with them.”

Competing in the American Idol series will be a good opportunity for Colton, Kelly Swon said.

“I thought his performance was good to sing a cappella,” he said.

So did the judges. All three were complimentary.

“Hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot of me,” Colton Swon told the judges as he left the audition room, yellow letter of approval in hand, to be greeted outside the door by his parents, Kelly and Tammy Swon.

Tammy bounced with delight as Colton showed the letter that gave him the nod to proceed to the competition in Hollywood.

Colton, a graduate of Hilldale High School, first started singing in public in church, Kelly Swon said. He began appearing on stage when he was about 6 years old, singing in a variety show with his parents, brother Zach and several adults in a group called the Westwoods. The show ran several summers at Wagoner’s Civic Center.

He and Zach have appeared in many venues since then and have had their own show — the Swon Brothers — for the last several years in Wagoner’s Christmas concert series.

Besides singing, the Swon brothers also have written a number of original songs.

The American Idol contest continues, with contestants being eliminated along the way until only two contestants remain. Those finalists compete for a recording contract.

Swon is not the first area resident to participate. Carrie Underwood of Checotah won season four of the show and has gone on to a successful recording career.

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