It was a short-but-sweet ride.
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the first show of American Idol's Season 12, Newsome High School graduate Dan Wood was voted off by judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.
But the 22-year-old Apollo Beach resident said he has no regrets.
After all, he pointed out, he got to meet Mariah Carey.
Wednesday was Group Night on the show. The male contestants were asked to perform in groups of four.
Wood's group, calling itself Last Minute, prepared to sing One Direction's "You Don't Know Your Beautiful."
"We sound good," said Wood just before going on stage. "We have some good harmonies."
Wood said he was nervous but optimistic as he stood before the judges, dedicating the song to Carey and Minaj, saying, "You're both beautiful women."
However, the performance didn't go as well as the rehearsals. The group members botched the lyrics, a fact that didn't escape the judges.
"If the word wrongest can be used," said Urban, "it was the wrongest song for you guys."
All four judges voted them off the show.
Back at his job at Circles Bar & Grill in Apollo Beach, serenading patrons on their birthdays, Brown said his short stint on American Idol was a positive experience.
"It was my first time going to California and it was a great opportunity," he said. "I learned a lot, met a lot of nice people and developed more confidence."
And the 2008 Newsome High School graduate isn't discounting the possibility of trying again next season.
"We're so proud of him," said Wood's mother, Cindy. "He's shown so much determination, and he'll never have the regret of not trying to follow his dream."
Singing Server to Perform on American Idol Tonight
Newsome Grad Selected as American Idol Contestant