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'American Idol' -- The Cowboy Deception

2/3/2011 11:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

John Wayne is not who he appears to be ... at least, he's not the innocent, never-left-the-ranch, amateur singer he was made out to be on last night's "American Idol."

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Turns out, 23-year-old John Wayne Schulz has a pretty impressive past in the music world -- a past "Idol" producers conveniently neglected to mention when they painted him as an "aww shucks" wannabe who finally stumbled off the family ranch for the first time in his life to try out for the show.

JW not only released an album by the time he was 14 years old -- one of his songs was considered for 7 Grammy nominations!!!!

The CEO of John Wayne's old record label tells Billboard.com John only recorded that one album -- explaining, "He's of Mormon faith, and he had to go on his church mission. He was gone for two years, and we just weren't able to reconnect once he returned."

020311_american_idol_video_2Apparently, it's easier to connect with the folks over at "A.I."


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113 COMMENTS

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31.

Rebecca    

I thought this would be for his performance, but like always when someone turns out to be "mormon" people jump on the bashing band wagon. I am LDS (mormon), and I Belive in Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and the Holy ghost.
MOMONISM: is the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, not The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints.
Before you start bashing on other Churchs my dear "Christians" why dont you try and do a little research.
That is all.

1272 days ago
32.

B    

His album was an independent project; not through some big producer/label. Anyone can independently record an album if they pay for it, and that's what he did. Anyone can have their albums nominated through the proper channels as well, and someone nominated his. He really is a truly good kid, he sings great, he works hard, and he deserves a chance for this like anyone else. He recorded an independent album because he has talent, and AI chose him because he has talent; isn't that what the whole competition is about? Finding talent? He did great last night!

1272 days ago
33.

Mike    

Mormons believe in a Christ that is the son of God, was born to Mary, suffered in Gethsemane to atone for our sins, is a personal redeemer and savior, died on the cross and was resurrected three days later, and lives today. Explain what is not christian in those beliefs.

1272 days ago
34.

Bubbles The Chimp    

This guy did not even sing good. His audition was mediocre.

1272 days ago
35.

Phoenix    

To Mike, post 37: Do you also believe that you can become God?

1272 days ago
36.

MP    

I don't care about the controversy, I just want to live on that ranch! 800 acres of no neighbors!

1272 days ago
37.

Lee    

Are you serious!?! David Cook, Kristy lee Cook, Lee Dewyze, and a whole lot more Idols put out albums before Idol. It's legal to do it. I guess John Wayne did have talent when he was young... that's what happens when you have a god-given singing talent like his. But, you don't always make it big... that's what Idol is, it's a spring board to showcase your talent to millions of people that you otherwise wouldn't have. Idol has never presented itself as only having "amateurs". Most people in Idol's age range didn't just fall off a truck in front of the Idol tryouts and discover they could sing. Most people with a decent singing voice will try to persue a singing career but it's hard out there and VERY hard to break into the business. It takes a lot of money and a lot of rejection. Just because he made an album when he was a kid doesn't mean squat. This is his second chance and I hope he does well. He has a beautiful voice and is not bad to look at at all!

1272 days ago
38.

Bob    

C'mon. Quite regurtitating crap some angry pastor told you.

Mormons accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

If you want to know their beliefs instead of being an ignorant hate monger (how Christian is that?) visit: www.Mormon.org

1272 days ago
39.

Ray Dockham    

Lets get over it.Let the best person win.

1272 days ago
40.

essayjay    

Mormons are an American cult started in the 1830's by a guy named Joseph Smith who had a Messianic complex and among other things believed Jesus and Satan were brothers, claiming all other churches were apostate. Ever since then Mormons have been claiming they were the "true faith" having written their own scripture and dodging theological claims believing in things like polygamy and baptism of the dead. Christian? Hardly. Men of the Mormon faith claim when they die they will be equal to god and get their own planet. Women don't unless they marry a man. this more or less make them polytheists and closer to Hinduism.

1272 days ago
41.

JR    

I'm not a Morman but we did study different religions and Mormans are christians who believe in the same JC that all the other christians believe. Granted they do some different things but what religion doesn't have "odd" things. Is their prophet any different than Martin Luther or John Wesley or the "POPE" or scores of others who deviated from the high and mighty catholic church? As to the real topic, yeah, it kind of sucks that they don't tell the whole truth about some of these amateurs. He is kind of cute but there were a lot of better singers in the tryouts.

1272 days ago
42.

lvangelbaby    

First and most important is that Mormons are Christian! Secondly as for JW as already stated he was 14 voices change so I do not see where that has any bearring on his making American Idol. Many other constants are stage performers and singing coaches too but they do not all make the cut.

1272 days ago
43.

hoov    

Mormons ARE NOT Christians, their doctrines clearly conflicts with the Christian Bible and No, God didn't have sex with Mary, and Mormons believe when they die, they become a god (how can they call themselves Christians?)

You complain this show is rigged but you still watch it, kudos for you!

1272 days ago
44.

Bubbles The Chimp    

Mormons are Christians..but most are only slightly less insane than Scientologists.

1272 days ago
45.

pat davis    

Some Mormons may be Christians but the Mormon faith is a cult. Any contestant who has signed a recording contract, now or in the past should be disqualified from AI.

1272 days ago
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