If students tuned in to “American Idol” on Thursday, they may have recognized a familiar face.
TCU 2010 graduate Tim Halperin made an appearance as a contestant on the show’s tenth season.
In front of millions of viewers, Halperin earned his golden ticket to Hollywood last week. Now he is officially in the running to be the next American Idol, said Chancellor’s Associate for External Affairs Ann Louden.
Halperin auditioned for judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler in Los Angeles, Calif. This year, more than 115,000 people auditioned for “American Idol,” and 325 were sent through to Hollywood with the chance to win the contest, Louden said.
With the restrictions “American Idol” puts on contestants, Louden said Halperin was unable to talk about the competition to the media.
“American Idol is still airing the audition rounds this week. Halperin can be seen again during the Hollywood rounds that will air Feb. 16 17. During the Hollywood rounds, Louden said the judges will choose only 165 of the 325 contestants to continue in the competition.
“He is ready for the show to keep moving on,” Louden said.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills said Halperin is a talented, well-spoken person who represents everything expected from a TCU graduate.
“Anytime a TCU alum does well, it reflects well on TCU,” Mills said.
“We hope he continues to do well on “American Idol,’ enabling him to reach his goals and TCU to shine with some reflected glory,” he said.
Halperin gained popularity when he wrote and sang the song “We Fight Back” for TCU’s “Frogs for the Cure” fundraiser to raise awareness and support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Louden said. The “We Fight Back” video debuted during halftime at TCU’s “Frogs for the Cure” football game on Oct. 16.
Halperin graduated last spring with a marketing degree from the Neeley School of Business.
“Tim is one of the most all-around talented students that we’ve had in the Neeley School,” Senior Associate Dean of the Neeley School Bill Moncrief said.
“He was an excellent student and a member of our highly selective Neeley Fellow honors group. But it was clear early on that Tim’s interest was not going to be in investment banking but more towards music and creativity,” Moncrief said.
Dean of Admission Ray Brown said Halperin worked for the admission office all four years he was at TCU. Halperin gave student tours and played the piano for visitors at the Monday at TCU program, Brown said.
On Thursday night’s episode, Halperin gained some publicity when he openly admitted to Lopez that he had a crush on her when he was younger.
“That is so Tim,” sophomore business major Molly Johnson said. “[Lopez] was like enraptured by his singing.”
“I know how hard he’s worked, and he’s really had to market himself. He is such a self-starter, and the fact that he has really gone out there and done something this big is really cool,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she has confidence in Halperin.
“Tim is not just an amazing singer and an amazing piano player, he is amazing person, and I think that’s what is going to take him far,” Johnson said.