Courtesy of Fox
When “The X Factor” auditions began in early summer, Columbus resident Josh Krajcik had kept it a secret that he made it through to the next round and would be going to Los Angeles for the live show.
Although the show did not air until late September, Krajcik was back in Columbus, living life as normal with family and friends.
He returned to work at the downtown burrito bar Cinco’s, until he would have to go to Los Angeles. He also went to one of his favorite local bars, Victory’s, located in the Brewery District, where he had performed for several years with his band, The Josh Krajcik Band.
Since then, he has been on “The X Factor,” competing for a $5 million recording contract.
Now that the show is in its final weeks, Krajick has earned his place in the top five remaining finalists and has gained both local and national support.
Last week was dedicated to Michael Jackson and Krajcik sang a rendition of “Dirty Diana.” He played his guitar and delivered a “show-stopping performance” as described by judge Paula Abdul. Other judges, including Simon Cowell, said it was not his best performance.
“It was one of your weakest performances,” Cowell said.
But his mentor and judge, Nicole Scherzinger, said she was very proud of Krajcik and his performance.
The results show revealed the top five finalists as Krajcik, Melanie Amaro, Rachel Crow, Marcus Canty and Renee Edwards.
With only two performance shows left of “The X Factor,” Krajcik will need all the support he can get and here in Columbus, his friends and family have started to spread the word.
Supporters have gathered at Victory’s Bar every Wednesday to watch Krajcik take the stage. Wearing their “Support Josh Krajcik” T-shirts, local fans sit in to watch the show on projectors and big screens.
Friend Jackie Teny-Miller said she did not think much of Krajcik when she met him over the summer. He told her that he would be on a show similar to “American Idol” and that she should watch it sometime. She has been following Krajcik since and is excited that Columbus is being represented well.
“To me, he is the best singer. He is talented and has a great voice range and I love his music,” Teny-Miller said. “I think he is doing awesome and it’s just a bonus that he’s from Columbus.”
With that, Krajcik has left an impact on the community.
“Support Josh Krajcik” T-shirts were the idea of Traxler Tees owner Zachary Traxler, and Krajcik’s friend, musician Russell Boiarsky.
Together they wanted to find a way to help Krajcik and his family pay for their expenses. Traxler created a design and quickly began producing the shirts and selling them on its website.
“The whole idea kind of came up from an organic feel and because we all know Josh as a friendly guy and he is not very mainstream,” Traxler said. “We took a screen cap from ‘The X Factor’ show and manipulated to the point where it wasn’t really recognizable and that we could use for print.”
Soon they found out that they were prohibited by the show to give proceeds from the T-shirts to Krajcik.
Traxler and Boiarsky said they were not looking to make profit off the shirts and decided to use the money and give it to local charities Krajcik would support.
“Josh is a friend and the thought never came to mind to make money off this,” Boiarsky said. “It was purely to get his name out there and to support him as best as we could.”
Boiarsky said Krajcik is a big supporter of music and military and said he knows Krajcik would be very happy to find out money is being raised for these groups.
“We picked two charities we thought were nearing to the types of interests Josh has,” Boiarsky said.
The proceeds made for the shirts will be given to Operation Buckeye, an organization that send boxes to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to Music Loves Ohio, a nonprofit organization that helps children learn, perform and record music. Students are also loaned new and refurbished musical instruments.
A total of $800 has been raised for both organizations.
If Krajcik wins the competition, many hope he comes back home to perform. But drummer, band member and close friend, Corey Gillen, said he hopes The Josh Krajcik Band will keep working together. The blues rock band has released two albums since its formation: “Ghosts” and “Atavistic.”
Gillen said that he would be happy with the work his friend has done and whatever the future has in store for him.
“The ideal situation would be Josh wins the competition and we get a call to play with him, continue recording and support him on the road,” Gillen said. “If he doesn’t win the competition, which I think he will (win), he will have a lot of doors open for him.”
Krajcik was not available for comment.
This week’s episodes of “The X Factor” are scheduled to air on Fox at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.