UPDATE: FRIDAY, 12:58 p.m. Mayor Ryan Coonerty said Friday afternoon that James Durbin will play a concert at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as scheduled Saturday. "It took a lot of begging and pleading to get American Idol to make an exception to their rule of only letting the top three performers give live concerts," said Coonerty.
UPDATE-THURSDAY: Mayor Ryan Coonerty said Thursday night there is still a chance for Saturday's planned concert and parade. He'll have the final word Friday morning.
In another shocking turn on the popular singing contest, American Idol, Santa Cruz local James Durbin was voted off by viewers Thursday night.
Tens of thousands of people were planning to celebrate James Durbin Day in Santa Cruz Saturday with a motorcade parade and autograph signings at various locations, topped off by a free concert at the Beach Boardwalk backed by his local band, the White Album Ensemble.
The show's judges were big on James. Randy Jackson proclaimed that the contest was "his to lose," and at no point did the judges, including Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have a bad word to say about the 22-year-old local hero, who had also become a symbol for fellow suffers of Tourettes and Asbergers syndromes.
"I think we are all disappointed and frankly surprised, since he had the most talent of all the contestants," said Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty. "We heard from FOX that he won't be allowed to come here for the parade and concert. We had hoped to have it either way. Unfortunately, they won't let it happen."
Coonerty said a concert is still in the works, when the network allows it.
"We hope to have a homecoming to recognize his tremendous journey on a national and international stage," he said at 8 p.m. Thursday.
At 8:15 p.m. he said he was talking to FOX, and there is a chance the event may still take place.
"It's not 100 percent over," he said.