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Orange Park’s Eagan advances to Jax Idol finals

Singer just three songs away from winning competition

Posted 8/24/23

ORANGE PARK – When the Jax Idol competition started in April, Chad Eagan was one of 68 contestants, and his goal was to advance to the upper half of the survivors.

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Orange Park’s Eagan advances to Jax Idol finals

Singer just three songs away from winning competition


Posted

ORANGE PARK – When the Jax Idol competition started in April, Chad Eagan was one of 68 contestants, and his goal was to advance to the upper half of the survivors.

Now he has a different aspiration.

The stylist from Orange Park’s Beach Please Salon is one of the three finalists who will be on stage Saturday night at 6. And now he wants to win.

“I just wanted to get halfway through the competition. Now I’m so pumped up and ready to show everyone what I got,” he said. “I have all my favorites. There’s going to be no doubt I will give it my all.”

Eagan made the cut on Aug. 13 when the competition hosted Latin Hits. Eagan sang “The Prayer,” a duet with judge and reigning Idol champion Jessica Stewart. He then performed “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys, with fans dancing on and around the stage.

The show has been at Lillian’s Sports Grill in Jacksonville since it started in April, but the event’s popularity prompted organizers to move the finals to the lodge on the Duval/Clay County border.

On Saturday, Eagan must sing a song from a previous performance and one the judges picked. Then, he can finish with a song of his choice.

“I don’t want anyone to know about that song until people see the finale,” he said. “If I do, they won’t be shocked. Even the judges don’t know what I’m doing. I have totally re-done a song. I have never done anything like it before.”

Eagan was a contestant in the Jax Idol competition for seven years, but it shut down for various reasons – particularly the COVID-19 pandemic – before being revived this year. He finished eighth.

“This is a stepping stone to get you ready to move forward in your career,” he said.

Jax Idol isn’t associated with American Idol. And since he’s 35 and American Idol’s cutoff age is 29, he wouldn’t be eligible.

However, Saturday’s winner will earn cash, recording time, six selected bookings and a professional photo shoot. But for Eagan, the biggest prize will be, “As long as my music is heard, that’s enough validation for me.”

Eagan said the experience has been physically and emotionally draining and time-consuming.

“With all the practices, preparations, costumes and remembering lyrics on top of working, it’s been difficult,” he said. “I feel like I’ve grown so much as a performer that at the end of the day, win or lose, I feel like I’m already a winner. I’m proud of myself. I’ve grown more comfort and comfortable with myself as a performer.

“And I got to share my talents with a lot more people, which is a win-win.”

Admission is $15 (cash only). Food and a full bar also are available.