I remember the day Munfarid Zaidi first walked into the choir room during the middle of the school year. He was quiet but he had to be full of talent if he was in the Varsity Mixed Choir class on his first day of attending Clements High School. Just for those who did not attend Clements High School, they have one of the most prestigious choirs who bring home first place solo, ensemble, and choral awards every year. Students have to prove themselves and audition in order to be place in the Varsity Mixed Choir. Personally, I had been in the school choir for 5 years and had to undergo an audition to be placed in this choral group.
As the semester went on, Munfarid began t o open up and everyone saw his true talent. He started to perform solos during our spring shows and it was amazing to see someone, who was so shy, burst out loud with a soulful voice. To be honest, everyone in Clements choir had incredible talent, but only a few of us went on to pursue a career as singers.
Check out Munfarid and other Clements Choir alumni perform an a cappella rendition of “Somebody That I Used To Know” at the Clements Choir Spring Show in 2012:
Fast forward to two years later, Munfarid is now the most memorable contestant on the 13th season of American Idol. He made his first impression at the Austin auditions, where he studies at the University of Texas as a pre-med major. The judges weren’t expecting someone with his style and talent. As many contestants favored Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban out of the three judges, Munfarid showed immense admiration for the lesser known judge, Harry Connick, Jr. After blowing away the judges, Connick cradled Zaidi like a baby as he performed “Noone” by Alicia Keys. Since then, Munfarid has been given the nickname “The Cradle Kid.”
Munfarid has since then went to Hollywood for the next round and left the judges in awe once again. Check out the video and the commentary from his Dad!
Follow Munfarid Zaidi’s journey on American Idol. It comes Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX!