‘Idol’s James Durbin: Tourette’s Doesn’t Affect My Performances

James Durbin – the “American Idol” contestant often compared to Adam Lambert for his high-pitch scream and love of rock – is excited to be in the top 13 for two reasons – one, to get to show America what he can do, and two, to show the world that having Tourette’s syndrome doesn’t have to hold you back.

It’s not often that we get an “Idol” with such an important platform. “Absolutely,” he told us at the “American Idol” top 13 party last week. “From day one when they showed my audition, I’ve been getting emails and fan mail and people posting on my wall on Facebook and tweeting about how much of an inspiration I am for them and their families and children. It’s so cool. It’s broadening the horizons for people what people with Tourette’s and Aspergers and Autism or ADD, ADHD or any mental disorder can do.”

“American Idol” Top 13 Announced:

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While we may see the occasional facial twitch, a common symptom of Tourette’s, when Durbin talks, his condition doesn’t seem to affect his performances one bit.

“Tourette’s hasn’t affected me whatsoever in my performances. It goes away completely when I’m signing,” he explains.

“When I’m done singing and I’m getting it out, it kind of comes out. But when the music is playing and I’m singing, I have not a care in the world. I’m at home on the stage. I feel so comfortable. When the crowd has their fists pumping in the air and Judas Priest is playing and I just get to tell the world, I may be this guy with Tourette’s, but there’s no telling what I’m gonna do next, and America — you got another thing coming!”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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