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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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harvey kenneth    

whether he is a christian a mormon or any other religions
it does not come he was accepted to audition
when he had already done some professional job as a singer
before?i must say he is not that good.maybe the 3 judges
were not listening during the audition and they were more
focused into his looks....thanks

1362 days ago


Who really cares what he did at 14 years old...obviously things happened and he had to quit. Now he's ready to go for it again and he sounds awesome. People get a grip and stop hating cause you can't sing like him. John Wayne my daughter loves your eyes she says they skwint and are very pretty, and keep going forward with your dream and sing on cause I look forward to listening. loves from Georgia :)

1362 days ago

harvey kenneth    

it does not matter whether a person is a mormon,a catholic,
a christian or a protestant etc......i just hope the people
behind AI most especially the 3 judges will be more serious
in judging the people who are auditioning and not to dwell
on their looks....and to those who are auditioning also please
if you know you are not good enough just stay out of AI you
are just wasting the time of the judges and viewers.and please
to those auitioning -wear nice clothes and be presentable.

1361 days ago


Mormons ARE Christians. That's why the name of their church isn't "The Mormons." It's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Get your facts straight before saying stupid things.

1361 days ago


osama bin laden is lovin this this "Christian" HATE wake up America! You sounded awesome bud!

1360 days ago


I think that JW will make it all the way. He has a marvellous voice. Religion should not play a part in this competition. Politics and Religion are dangerous subjects.

1360 days ago


TMZ you are incorrect! Anyone can make a CD! His family paid for that CD to be made & he sold them at singing engagements! Not unlike a lot of kids and singers that aren't signed! Get over it already! John is a good guy who has always wanted to sing and write music!

1360 days ago


I read more about this with other contestants here:

Sounds like he's hardly the first Idol to have a professional resume, and I highly doubt he'll be the last.

1359 days ago


LDS are not Christian. The church teaches that God is not supreme and God come from other gods with no supreme being. They believe the Trinity to be THREE separate Beings. They also believe men will become gods after they die in the afterlife. I know. I was LDS for 35 years.

1358 days ago


Just because the LDS Church puts Jesus Christ in the name of their church does not make them Christan. Once and for all when you define Christian, the LDS Church is NOT in the definition. The LDS church falls more under man made Cult.

Cindy in Utah

1358 days ago


It’s a shame that Americans have become so judgmental when it comes to people of faith. Mormon or Christian is irrelevant; John Wayne Schulz is an amazing young man and he comes from the type of family that all Americans should aspire to be. I have known John’s parents for over 25 years and they have raised an amazing young man who is honest, kind, caring, hardworking, strong in both mind and spirit and someone of great integrity. Apparently those qualities are hard to find judging from the article & posts in TMZ’s judgmental website.
My granddad always told me, insecure and devious people always try to draw attention away from themselves by demonizing those who they could only aspire to be….. Guess TMZ and some of the individuals posting on this site tend to resemble that remark.
John, you are a very “true to heart” and talented young man. Regardless of what small minded individuals around the country think, YOU ARE OUR HERO and the type of young man any mother would be PROUD to call son. We Love YA! May God bless you and Keep you … ALWAYS!

1358 days ago


Okay, who cares what his faith is, the boy is good. And Whamo, country did not lose its soul. There are many great artists still putting out amazing music and this kid has got it! I hope he makes it and becomes as big as Carrie has!

Now for all of you that thought AI contestants could NEVER have a contract before, you need to go back and watch past seasons. Many have made it on the show that had a career and albumn before...but they just didn't make it. That only shows you how hard it is to climb the ladder in the music industry. They are trying again through AI, with the help of publicity, stylists and hopefully a BIGGER label this time out...maybe they can make it to the top.

I will say this, I don't think any winner has been a former signed artist. Not positive, but it just goes to show you HOW NOT RIGGED it is. A career before doesn't guarantee a win!

1358 days ago


Mormons are Christian. We believe in the same Christ as Christians do- Jesus Christ, who was born of the Virgin Mary, who atoned for our sins, who died for our sins and who rose again from the grave. This is the Christ we believe in, and I'm pretty sure that's the Christ all Christians believe in.

1357 days ago


Just let him do his thing!!! DAMN PEOPLE!!!

1357 days ago


For the record...

Chris·tian [kris-chuhn] –adjective
1.of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
2.of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.

Regardless of what you believe or don't believe... Mormon doctrine teaches of Christ and his teachings. Therefore they are Christian by definition. If they believe in Christ and his teachings, they are Christian.

I don't think religion should make any difference in politics, performing artists, or professional success. Judge others by who they are, not by their religion.

1355 days ago
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