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Two Marylanders to appear on 'American Idol'

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, a 26-year-old Catonsville native, will appear in this coming season of American Idol.
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, a 26-year-old Catonsville native, will appear in this coming season of American Idol. (ABC/Nicole Rivelli)

Expect a double dose of Maryland this season on American Idol, when two contestants with ties to the Charm City area are expected to appear.

Catonsville native Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, a 26-year-old former janitor who works in administrative support, will be featured on the March 10 episode when he auditions for the judging panel of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Dimitrius Graham, a Baltimore resident, will appear later this season on the singing competition on ABC, a spokeswoman for the show confirmed. Graham could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Harmon described a grueling daylong audition process that began at 7 a.m. last fall in New York City.

“I was one of the last ones to audition,” he recalled, adding that he passed the time talking to other contestants, playing his guitar, reading and talking to his boyfriend. “I didn’t wind up leaving until midnight.”

Harmon said he was most intimidated by Perry. He also said he received the best feedback from the pop star.

“She’s always presented herself as a daunting character,” Harmon admitted. “I didn’t know what she was going to say about my music.”

For his audition Harmon played the piano — he also plays the guitar — and sang a song he wrote called “Almost Heaven.”

Harmon said he also connected most with Perry.

“I’m a pastor’s kid. She said she was a pastor’s kid. We connected on that level,” said Harmon, who is the second oldest of four children. He said he comes from a musical family.

Harmon describes his voice as a mix between Jeff Buckley and Billy Joel. He said he’s been influenced by the likes of Elton John and Paul Simon. But he’s mostly been inspired by Buckley.

“I love his voice,” he said Wednesday night while waiting for choir practice to start at Babcock Presbyterian Church in Towson. “I love the way he expresses himself.”

Harmon promises a lot of vulnerability this season.

Harmon, who is gay, came out to his family in November. He’s been in a relationship with his boyfriend, John, for the past year.

“I sort of opened up about my experience coming out and coming from a conservative Christian family,” he shared. “I’m still in contact with them.”

Harmon said there’s been “mixed support” from his parents during this “American Idol” experience.

“My parents would like to see me finished college,” he said, noting that he’s studying vocal performance at Towson University. Harmon was homeschooled through high school.

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In addition to vulnerability, Harmon promises a lot of “soulful performances” some where he gets to show off his piano and guitar skills.

“It’s been an exciting journey,” he said.

But don’t expect Harmon to watch himself on screen.

“It just triggers me watching myself in TV,” he said. “Once it’s done, it’s behind me.”

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