BRADENTON (FOX 13) -
His voice captivated the country. But last week, Bradenton's own Sam Woolf saw an end to his American Idol run.
The Braden River High senior made it to the Top 5 in the competition. While the curtain closed on this chapter, the mild-mannered singer-songwriter is still smiling.
"I'm excited and nervous to see who takes it for the finale. I'm excited to perform in the finale, too," said Woolf. "Usually they have us perform with another artist. Hopefully, I get to do that."
His grandparents say the show allowed Sam to come out of his shell.
"We're thrilled that he had the strength and courage to be on television shows where you know millions of people are watching," said his grandmother Jackie Woolf.
Sam's mentor, Del Couch of the Del Couch Foundation, is making sure his legacy lives on in Bradenton. They're now setting up the Sam Woolf Music Scholarship fund to help kids interested in music attend college and camps.
Sam's floored by the honor, but students say he's already inspired many of them.
"It makes me feel like it is possible to do it, rather than staying in a small town where you're performing around town. You can go out and be something," said Manatee School for the Arts student Delaney Couch.
Sam is heading home to Bradenton on Tuesday, but he won't be resting for long. He's going back to Hollywood by the end of the week to start rehearsals for Idol's finale, and for the show's tour, which begins in June.
Sam will appear on Good Day Tampa Bay on Wednesday morning during the show's 9 o'clock hour.
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