American Idol Competition a Dream Come True for Alumnus Jordan Sasser

Monday, February 15, 2016

Jordan Sasser’s first thought after winning UNCW’s “Dub Idol” in 2011 was that he could go on to bigger things. He did just that. Sasser became a contestant in the farewell season of American Idol.

Sasser ’11, a communication studies major, made it to the top 24 round of the hit show in Los Angeles. He was among the five singers cut from the show on Feb. 11.

Being selected for the American Idol was a dream come true, said Sasser, a Raleigh native who currently lives in Atlanta and serves as a worship leader.

“God put it in my heart so long ago. I always wanted to see what it was like behind the scenes and see how much I can learn,” he said. “It’s pretty surreal.”

The experience has taught Sasser how to better connect with the lyrics of the songs. “Sometimes I think so hard about the singing when I just need to feel it,” he said. “I want people to feel what I am feeling.”

His road to American Idol was a long one. He first auditioned for the show in 2007 and again in 2012. The third time proved to be the charm. He and his wife, Alex, auditioned for the show in June 2015 in Atlanta shortly after returning from a nine-month mission trip to Costa Rica. The judges – Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban – gave Sasser the golden ticket to Hollywood. His wife was not selected. Sasser said he appreciated the support from his Seahawk family.

“When I think about UNCW, I think ‘community’ because a lot of my best friends today are people I met at UNCW,” he said. “Even though I obviously value my academic experiences there, it’s my friends and the community that stand out the most.”

He encouraged fellow Seahawks to work hard at achieving their dreams.

“I understand having options. I think it takes a lot more courage for someone to pursue their plan A and work hard on it. I believe that getting this far was the result of people believing in me and encouraging me, alongside that I had to spend years working hard at what I do and putting myself out there,” he said. “Keep working hard and dreaming big.”

-- Venita Jenkins