American Idol Hopeful Cole Hallman Talks Audition, Stone Pony, and Surfing on 1071 The Boss

The new season of American Idol kicked off last Sunday on ABC, and New Jersey has a reason to be excited.

For Stone Pony employee Cole Hallman of Manasquan strapped on a guitar and auditioned for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for a touching audition that included a duet with his sister, Katie, on The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” earning a Golden Ticket to Hollywood and winning the hearts of viewers touched by his story.

Hallman joined midday host Michele Amabile for an interview that touched on his audition, his band The Orange Blossoms, where exactly you might have seen him at The Stone Pony (Summer Stage-bar stage left), his love of surfing and how it was to sing with his sister, who has a chromosomal deletion, which affects her IQ and causes behavioral issues.

“I love CCR,” he told Michele of his decision to audition with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lodi.” “It feels weird trying to sing Fogerty, because he’s the best, but that’s such a good song I had to do it.”

As for facing the judges, Hallman was most excited to get feedback from Richie.

“I probably look up to Lionel the most because he is a legend and he’s been in it for so long and has written so many good songs, but they are all equally nerve wracking,” he said.

How did he feel when his sister rejected Perry’s offer to sing a duet?

“That was pretty funny when Katy Perry asked her to sing, and she was like ‘no, I’ll sing with Cole,” he said. “That moment was really special and she loved it, so that was the coolest part.

Not so cool was Bryan calling out Hallman for his “out of tune” guitar, but the 22-year old college graduate was diplomatic.

“I totally agree because it WAS out of tune,” he said. “It wasn’t a mean thing for him to say…You have to walk outside before you walk into the judges room and everybody who plays a guitar knows that temperature can make your guitar out of tune.”

Listen to the interview below, which explores how Hallman was discovered on Tik Tok and what’s next for his career.

Hallman will return for a gig at the Stone Pony April 16 with Dogs on a Pile. Follow him on Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook at ColeHallmanMusic.

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