Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol ?

Monday, February 18 2008 @ 07:21 pm ACDT

Contributed by: Sean Finlayson

In 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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