San Marcos High School grad played his guitar and sang a soulful version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Make it Rain’
With judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry looking on, Santa Barbara resident Jackson Gillies works through his successful audition on the television show ‘American Idol.’ (American Idol/ABC photo)
Gillies was the final person to audition during the five-show tryout round.
Each of the celebrity judges — Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and former Goleta resident Katy Perry — shouted “805,” a nod to the region’s area code, when affirming that Gillies would receive a golden ticket and advance to the group round auditions in Hollywood.
“Very, very good,” Bryan said. “I am just very happy for you, very amazed with all your struggles, all of your hurdles, and to be so talented and so blessed in the vocal singing category is amazing.”
Gillies was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 3 years old, and as a teenager discovered he had a rare skin disease called hidradenitis suppurativa, which causes abscesses to form on the skin.
Gillies, a San Marcos High School graduate, has scars on his neck and chest from the condition.
“Every once in awhile God sends some reminders to all of us,” Richie said. “I had a couple things that bothered me this morning when I woke up, but I am going to go to bed now and I won’t have a care in the world.”
Perry said she usually bonds with people from Santa Barbara over food, but in this case she was bonding with Gillies because of his story and music.
“I am really proud of you,” she said. “There are a lot of male singers that can sing really good in this competition. I want you to really dig in every time and make me proud and make our hometown proud.”
Gillies played his guitar and sang Ed Sheeran’s “Make it Rain.”
“This ticket is one step closer to my dream,” Gillies said. “After all I have been through it’s amazing to see the judges acknowledge me like that.”
Santa Barbara resident Jackson Gillies advanced to the Hollywood round after a successful “American Idol” audition that aired on ABC Monday night. (American Idol/ABC photo)
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