David Luning (courtesy of Will Bucquoy)

NOTE: For the next two days we will follow David Luning’s Idol journey.

Forestville’s David Luning cleared two more steps on his musical journey Wednesday night on season 13 of American Idol – one expected and another unexpected.

Luning, a Summerfield Waldorf School graduate, had passed the show’s audition phase earlier and now was in the Hollywood portion of the show, or so he thought.

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“I flew down to L.A. from Sonoma County Airport and the next day they didn’t tell us where we were going after we got on the buses,” Luning said of the show that was taped last December. “But we arrived at this airport hangar (Barker Hangar in Santa Monica) and I was thinking to myself, ‘Is this where they are going to host the Hollywood auditions?’”

Not quite.

“So, they opened up the hangar and had us sitting on these big boxes in a circle and then the judges came in and sat down in front of us. They proceeded to call out names. And at one point JLo (Jennifer Lopez, one of the three judges on the show) says for those of you who didn’t have your name called you are free to go home.”

They hadn’t called out his name and the 27-year-old Luning had cleared the unexpected hurdle without even getting any airtime on the show. And that proved to be an omen. The next day, portions of which were shown Wednesday night, was the real Hollywood segment.

And Luning did an a capella cover of “My Babe” by Little Walter, which wasn’t aired, and he made it over another hurdle.

“There were lines of 10 contestants and I felt like I was really ready to sing it, it was upbeat. Afterward none of the judges said a thing. That was intense. They said they were going to go over it and they would call us back. When we came back out on to the Dolby Theatre stage I was asked to step forward along with some others and they told us we were advancing.

“We went up to the Golden Room and watched other people perform. And then we all split into groups about 9:30 that night for the group rehearsals.”

And with the 75,000 who initially tried out for Idol now down to less than 125, that is where tonight’s (Thursday) show picks up.

The winner will be crowned in May.

You can visit Luning’s website at davidluning.com.