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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."


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 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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how much does american idol pay you to post about these f*ing people. They are a waste of space and no one cares.

1294 days ago


I would expect these types of comments from the close minded dolts that actually read or watch anything that is generated by this piss poor excuse of a "News Source" (for you dumb-asses, I'm talking about TMZ)
WHY !!! do you want to create trash on someone?

I know John Wayne Schulz, The man is rock solid in his faith, he is a strong family man, and one of the hardest working guys I know... He plays in little dance halls around his hometown, and once in a while ventures out to play & sing at some small time music venues.
I can't believe you want to attack his faith or his character.
Yeah he's a good lookin guy.... That can sing, That can write music, That can play guitar... and the biggest thing is.... he has something that none of you slackers ever will... Pride, Respect for his fellow man, and an honest and good heart.

1294 days ago


Re: John Wayne Schultz  Jan 2011

So now there is more than one Christ??

Yes... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints IS Christian.

By it's name and by who we worship and have faith in and while we pray to, we ARE Christian.
You CANNOT make it NOT so just by typing it.

And it seems very unkind of you to try to discount others faith without knowledge.
And JWS apparently has faith in Jesus Christ.

(are you sure YOU have faith in the 'right Christ?) :)

Long live country music!

1294 days ago


Doesn't matter -- he's HOTTTTTT !!!!!

1294 days ago


That dude can sing... and really, does his religion matter?

But since some have raised it, the official name of the Mormon faith is "The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints."

According to an article found at:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always accepted Jesus of Nazareth as testified of in the Bible: the divine Redeemer and Son of God who atoned for the sins of all mankind and ensured our universal resurrection. The church has never ceased to affirm that there is no other name given whereby man can be saved (see Acts 4:12). Another book that the church reveres as scripture, the Book of Mormon, declares on its title page that it was written "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

1294 days ago


The past always comes out online. There is no hiding it.

1294 days ago


This young man has talent. Why can't you leave him alone? Is this what David Archuleta went through? He was my favorite and should have won. He seems to be a great example of a "Christian" to me. I bought his Christmas album and loved it. He's LDS or Mormon and represented his faith well. Why do some of you have to be such haters?

1294 days ago

If sense were common everyone would have it.    


1294 days ago


Well, does that mean he's a professional? He didn't say he'd never left the ranch. He and his family didn't seem like they were on their way to a hoedown! Geesh. He was very clean and nice looking. He comes from a family of ranchers. So, he's a cowboy. Unless that "album" is a consideration to drop him, I think he was very good. Isn't that what it's about?

1294 days ago


i grew up with john, one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet..better than half of yal on here..just because he has a different faith than your accostumed to doesnt mean you can throw that in his face as a singer/ half of what he's done in your entire lifetime, then say something..grow up ppl..

1294 days ago


AGREED with Clayton.
As a friend - growing up in the same hometown as this guy, going to school with him, and watching him rise to fame - I think that everyone seriously needs to back off and and quit with the negativity. Issues such as religion shouldn't matter. He's a good person and hasn't done any harm to YOU ALL who are talking. As far as this "record" he made.....obviously most of American didn't know of "John Wayne Shulz" before last night...I'll rest at that. If a person doesn't know the ACTUAL truth, they should keep his/her opinions to themselves. Jealousy isn't cute!

1294 days ago


Did someone run something up his backside?? That pic looks like something took him by surprise - ahhhhhhhh the pleasure and the pain - OH MY!!!

1294 days ago


either way he sucks.

mormons are not christians. it's impossible to be both. people get your facts straight. mormons actually believe that jesus and god came back to solely visit joseph smith. you can't believe jesus and god visited the planet earth in the 1800s AND be a christian. christians are still waiting for jesus to visit. haha. you'll be waiting a loooong time for jesus to return because he ain't ever coming back.... he's dead.

also, i love how he claims he's religious, yet he's lying to the whole country about his past so that he can win a stupid reality show. i thought being religious was about enlightenment, honesty, humbleness, etc.

most religious people are so damn fake. wow!

1294 days ago


You know what's funny? I was always one of you people who wanted to disbelieve the sob stories and such, that American Idol "played up". However, I can tell you firsthand that John Wayne Schulz IS who they've showed him to be. I've known him since he sang with my sister as little children. He has ALWAYS been a great person, no matter what you may all think. He does not have a mean bone in his body, is always super polite, and loves his family and his friends. Why do people always feel like they have to bash people. So he had a record deal at age 14...whoopee. He wasn't even 1/100th as good a singer then as he is now. He has worked really hard to be where he is today...and I say "good for him."

1294 days ago


"An article from Texas A&M University newspaper The Battalion that interviewed the then-14-year-old about his album is dated Apr. 22, 2002. While the article also states that “Ropin’ Dreams” received seven Grammy nominations, BSW president and CEO Frank Willson, clarifies that this was not the case: the album received enough votes to make it into seven categories in the first-round Grammy nomination ballots, but was ultimately not nominated after the final round of voting." Gosh TMZ, get your facts straight!!

1294 days ago
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