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3 singers with Boston ties advance to ‘American Idol’ all-star duets

From left: Brennan Hepler (whose stage name is Beane), Grace Kinstler, and Colin Jamieson have made the Top 24 on "American Idol."
From left: Brennan Hepler (whose stage name is Beane), Grace Kinstler, and Colin Jamieson have made the Top 24 on "American Idol."Eric McCandless/ABC

Singers with Boston ties are crushing it on this season of “American Idol.”

Three locals have made the Top 24, and will now compete April 4 and 5 by duetting with stars. Berklee College of Music student/powerhouse vocalist Grace Kinstler will perform Sunday with Joss Stone, according to “Idol.” Brighton’s Brennan Hepler, stage name Beane, will sing Monday with Josh Groban. Boxford’s Colin Jamieson will also compete Monday, duetting with Tori Kelly.

Also, viewers can vote online for the first time this season starting Sunday. The Top 16 will be revealed on the April 11 episode.

After Beane’s March 7 “American Idol” audition, judge Katy Perry told the 2019 Berklee grad and Club Passim server/brunch manager: “I see something very special in you. You are a walking pocketful of sunshine.”


In his more recent performance, Beane — also known for performing at weddings in the area with Silver Arrow Band — earned a standing O from Perry and judge Luke Bryan for his cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

Kinstler’s voice has moved judges to tears and chills. In an episode early this season, Kinstler shared the story of losing her father before performing Gladys Knight & The Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,” made famous by Aretha Franklin. “[T]his is the first time in four years that just someone singing made me cry,” Bryan said.

More recently, Kinstler performed a heartfelt rendition of “Father” by Demi Lovato. She said afterward she had “second-guessed” the song choice. But, she added, “I really miss my dad.”

“Take all that pain and use it,” Perry advised her afterward. “Let it be the fuel. Get it out of you. Sing it out of you.”

Jamieson, meanwhile, talked earlier this season about his time in the area boy band Kik-It. “My early teenage years, I was in a boy band. I was in that band for about five years. It was just a blast.”


When it ended, he recalled thinking: “All right, how can I invest in myself now? And that’s really when I fell in love with music for me, not for other people.”

Jamieson earned high praise for his rendition of “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy. He started the song on keyboard before standing up and grabbing the mic, causing Perry to stand up and cheer. At one point Jamieson pulled the elastic out of his hair and let his bun fall. He prowled the stage with confidence, ending with a grin.

“When you pulled out your hair, you were just ice skating,” Perry told him afterward. “Colin, you took a big risk … Before last night, you weren’t totally on everybody’s radar. We fought over you. We did. And you won.”



8 p.m., Sunday and Monday

Learn more and vote at idolvote.abc.com.

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twiiter @laurendaley1.