Shelby County fans support local American Idol finalist

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Chief and Luvie Kund spend many evenings watching Fox News or other news channels.

It may be awhile before they catch &uot;The O’Reilly Factor&uot; or &uot;Hannity and Colmes&uot; on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, though. They have a new favorite show now-&uot;American Idol.&uot;

The Kunds recently came from their home in Philadelphia to visit daughter Rosemary Bogan, who lives in Helena. They spent last Tuesday watching &uot;American Idol,&uot; and hometown hero Bo Bice.

By that evening, the Kunds were calling in their votes for Bo.

&uot;We programmed the number in (Mr. Kund’s) phone last night,&uot; Bogan said. &uot;We weren’t getting through, but we kept trying.&uot;

Even though the results were thrown out due to voting errors, the three fans were among several dozen at Helena hangout Incahoots last Wednesday, watching a re-broadcast of Tuesday’s performances.

&uot;I loved every minute of it,&uot; Luvie said.

Chief also had high praise for Bo.

&uot;Great. I just wished he’d get a haircut,&uot; he half-quipped.

Bice learned Thursday he made the final 10, once again easily advancing to the next round. The next round of performances took place Tuesday. The results will be announced Wednesday at 8 p.m. on WBRC Fox 6.

Bice reached the next round by singing Jim Croce’s &uot;Time in a Bottle.&uot; He chose the 1973 song because it was a favorite of his mother, Nancy Downes of Atlanta.

While the softer song may have disappointed those who like Bice’s rock edge, he did earn praise once again from the Idol judges.

&uot;Every time I see you perform, it’s like I’m seeing someone who’s already made it.&uot; Simon Cowell said.

Randy Jackson praised Bice for showing his &uot;sensitive side.&uot;

MSNBC even praised Bo, giving him an &uot;A&uot; for the performance.

&uot;Beginning the performance sitting casually in front of the video screen, it was the classic ballad that wins fans and influences people. The judges and the audience loved it, and Bice is still among the favorites to win this competition,&uot; MSNBC stated.

Fans at Incahoots were equally impressed.

A large crowd gathered at the restaurant last Wednesday, even though the results for last week’s competition were not announced. They cheered as Bo talked with show host Ryan Seacrest, and let the nation in on the newest Idol scoop-he’s not going to cut his hair. That drew more cheers and chuckles from the audience.

The Incahoots crowd-not surprisingly-was pro-Bo.

&uot;He’s going to the top,&uot; long-time Incahoots hostess Jane Sears predicts. &uot;He’s real good, and he seems to be able to do any style&uot; of music.

Sears had one problem Wednesday. She missed much of Bo’s performance because she was busy working.

Helena resident Brian Edwards knows Bice from when the rocker worked at &uot;The Guitar Gallery.&uot;

&uot;He’s represented the area well,&uot; he said. &uot;I think he has a chance to finish in the top three.&uot;

Edwards said Bice’s southern rock and retro style is a nice change from other competitors, who tend to be more pop-oriented.

&uot;That’s the reason he might win,&uot; he said.

Church support

Incahoots wasn’t the only place rocking for Bo last Wednesday.

The Bice Squad was in force Wednesday at New Hope Presbyterian Church, where Bice attends church and plays in the praise band.

About 30 members gathered in the sanctuary for a midweek Bible study, led by pastor Donny Acton. He offered the benediction prayer at 7:55 p.m. – five minutes before the show came on, and approximately 25 minutes before Bice performed. The performance was shown on the sanctuary’s big screen.

While the crowd was smaller than Tuesday, when the Bice Squad regularly meets to watch him perform, it was easy to spot their support. Several banners and homemade posters on the wall offered messages like &uot;Go Bo Go&uot; and &uot;We Love Bo.&uot; A table to the side held Bo Bice magnets that were on sale.

Bice came to the church approximately two years ago, after Acton asked him to visit, and play some of his music.

&uot;Ever since he came that first time, everybody fell in love with him,&uot; Acton said. &uot;People just appreciated the songs, and his talents. One thing he told me was it was good that people actually listened to his stuff.&uot;

Bice would occasionally lead the praise band, and has played everything from lead guitar to bass and even the harmonica. According to Acton, he often &uot;bo-izes&uot; the music.

&uot;Whatever is in his heart, he just puts it to music,&uot; Acton said. &uot;We love playing with him.&uot;

Bice is an equally nice guy, according to Acton. On occasion, Bice would join Acton to minister at Oak Mountain High First Priority meetings. He even put off a holiday trip to his mother’s house so he could perform at the funeral of an infant.

&uot;That’s just Bo,&uot; Acton said