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It’s ‘So Hard’ for Judges Not to Love Jairon Jackson

Jarion Jackson

American Idol‘ has come under fire for essentially seeming like a glorified karaoke contest, but Aspen contestant Jairon Jackson disproved that all by himself. The 19-year-old restaurant host performed an original song for his audition and blew the roof off.

Jackson performed a song he wrote on his own called ‘So Hard.’ He was initially apprehensive about performing the tune after receiving some worry from friends. “I had a couple people tell me I shouldn’t sing it because it’s not something that’s known,” Jackson said. We’re glad he did it anyway, and so were the judges.

Introducing himself to the panel as “Jairon Don’t Forget the Jackson,” Jackson launched into his song ‘So Hard.’ While the title evokes a danceable Rihanna track, Jackson’s tune was a heartbreaking R&B ballad. Though the name was ‘So Hard,’ the song proved judge Jennifer Lopez to be a softie.

“He’s a lover,” Lopez whispered to Randy Jackson. It was a sentiment she reiterated to Jairon once he concluded his song. “You’re a lover,” she sighed, smiling. “It was beautiful. I loved it. Yes!” Lopez said. “I think you got something special there, especially since you wrote it yourself.”

The rest of the panel concurred with J. Lo, sending Jairon screaming, jumping and dancing his way to Hollywood. He so enthusiastic that his golden ticket to Hollywood was ripped and crumpled by the time he exited the studio, and he actually shattered a statue on his way out — not that he minds.

The judges were in awe of Jairon, even after he left, proving that his reward for performing an original song was well worth the risk. “That kid is a real artist,” Lopez said. Randy agreed. “That kid is a real deal right there.” It’s unlikely that ‘Idol’ audiences will forget this Jackson for quite some time.

Watch Jairon Perform His Own Song on ‘American Idol’

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