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Friday, November 16 2018 @ 08:32 pm ACDT

Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?

North AmericaIn what could be a major boost for US Footy, Michael Johns (also known as Mike Lee), a past player at the Atlanta Kookaburras, has made it to the top 24 contestants in season seven of American Idol.

It seems that the 29 year old's talents extend beyond the footy field.

Singing the Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody at his San Diego audition, Johns has been one of the more popular contestants so far in this year's series. A YouTube video of his American Idol audition has over 130,000 views.

Johns, who moved from Perth in Western Australia to the USA at the age of 18, last played Aussie Rules for Atlanta between 2001-2002, kicking 24 goals from Centre Half Forward. He stopped playing to concentrate on his burgeoning music career. His American Idol performances and popularity may not only put his footy further on hold, but could bring the USAFL and Australian rules football much needed media exposure in the USA (where Aussie Rules is still frequenty confused with rugby) and indeed around the world.

The show is watched by over 37 million Americans. In Australia, American Idol is being screened exclusively on Foxtel, and Michael Johns continuing in the competition could also prove a big hit for the pay-tv network here.

The story has featured prominently in Perth media. Perth Now published the stories WA singer on American Idol and Michael Johns in top 24 on American Idol and news.com.au also featured the story Can Michael Johns be the first true blue American Idol ?.

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Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ? | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, February 19 2008 @ 12:14 pm ACDT

I'm not sure how footy could get much US exposure from him, unless he made a concerted effort to promote it, or perhaps through people Googling for his name.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?
Authored by: Wayne Kraska on Tuesday, February 19 2008 @ 12:38 pm ACDT

Well here in Atlanta we are certainly not pushing him to do anything, but when you see the show averages 35 million people a night, a 5 second off the cuff comment might just provide more publicity than has ever been seen before.

Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, February 19 2008 @ 01:13 pm ACDT

I'd guess that the Aussies kicking in the NFL would provide a lot more awareness (still only a small amount though). Still, if he wins Idol and has a big career, maybe he can help out down the track.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Tuesday, February 19 2008 @ 02:12 pm ACDT

Just a quick additional note. He has a fan site and online forum: http://michaeljohnsonline.com/

Would be interesting to see if anyone can dig up some photos or video of him in his playing days with Atlanta.

Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?
Authored by: Wayne Kraska on Tuesday, February 19 2008 @ 08:10 pm ACDT

Definitley no video, we have a photo of him going for a mark on the Atlanta site, only others we have are low quality team pics.

And as for the NFL punters giving more publicity, well they are still being called as doing "rugby" kicks to the millions here that watch that game.

The difference with Mike is he has come from a local team level and just maybe that might come across at some stage down the track.

Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, March 12 2008 @ 12:50 am ACDT
Presumably the Kookas got that photo to TMZ. So good to see the footy connection is being made.

http://www.tmz.com/2008/03/07/idol-michael-johns-big-ballin/

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN