This ‘American Idol’ Contestant Returned Golden Ticket, Said ‘No’ To Hollywood

Kohlton Pascal Auditions For 'American Idol'

American Idol begins every contestant’s journey the same way. There’s an audition in front of the judges, a few critiques, and for the lucky ones, a “golden ticket” to Hollywood. That’s American Idol code for moving on to the next round with a couple of hundred other fledgling musicians. This year, one man who got his golden ticket ended up giving it back.

Kohlton Pascal was featured on the program, along with his backstory as a hitchhiking musician who often slept outside. His performance of an original song was enough for judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban to give him that golden ticket to the fabled Hollywood. CarterMatt had this to say about Pascal.

“An original in his own right. He’s a little bit of a nomad. His voice is very deep, dark, and full of growl. We’re not entirely sure that he is a tremendous singer, but he could be very interesting to watch if he makes it far enough.”

It turns out he won’t be going any further. Pascal decided not to go to Hollywood after trying out for the show as a lark. He and his cousin had been hitchhiking from Utah and when they arrived in Reno, ran into the American Idol audition bus. From that original audition, he eventually ended up in front of the judges in Kansas City, Missouri.

As Pascal described in an interview with the Auburn Citizen, he decided to turn down his American Idol opportunity after a series of personal events.

“What happened was, I ended up catching a DWI — my first one. I’ve never had any other charges. I got arrested, came out, decided to deal with that before going down. That and I had a lot of family things going on. It wasn’t the right moment for me to leave my home. It wasn’t the right time. They ended up getting a hold of me and saying, ‘So what’s the deal? Do you still want to do the Hollywood week thing?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I can’t right now. I gotta wait. I gotta come back next year and do it, if that’s all right with you.’ And they said ‘Yeah.’ ‘See you next year,’ basically.”

The Idol experience was still good for Pascal, who received expressions of good wishes online and a series of gigs that will keep him busy for the next little while. Pascal comes from musical roots — he has opened for his uncle Dusty Pascal in gigs around New York. Four years ago, Dusty gave Kohlton a guitar. He’s also given his nephew some advice.

“Keep a level head and don’t lie. Keep pushing your truth. Sing the songs you want to sing. It’s your music. It’s your name. It’s your voice. It’s your truth. Be real. Remember yourself and don’t get a big head.”

American Idol airs Wednesday on Fox.

[Image: American Idol/Fox]