When Scott Dangerfield first sauntered into the "American Idol" audition room on the Milwaukee episode, I pegged him as a frontrunner straight away. Obviously this cutie would be a hit with female viewers--he'd in fact already made out with a girl while waiting to try out (and had her telltale lipstick on his face to prove it), and his sweetly soulful Amos Lee cover was impressive enough to make Jennifer Lopez declare, "You might be the best I have seen so far."
And so, Scott was off to Hollywood, and probably even the top 24. Or so I thought.
When Hollywood Week arrived, my eyes scoured the screen searching for Scott's floppy hair and geek-chic classes. But...nothing. He was nowhere to be found. I never saw Scott on "Idol" again, and no explanation was given for his mysterious disappearance. At the time, I assumed he was cut early in Hollywood Week, and was just the victim of lazy editing (by the same producers who never elaborated as to why Sarah Sellers, the Gutierrez brothers, or Molly DeWolf Swenson got the ax). But it turns out Scott never even made it to Hollywood. Incredibly, the boy with the golden throat gave up his golden ticket to pursue his dream of being a schoolteacher.
See, when the 22-year-old student teacher found out that Hollywood Week coincided with his final semester of classes at the University of Wisconsin and his apprenticeship at a local high school, he decided to put his "Idol" dream on hold. "Honestly, at the time it didn't even really feel like a choice to me," Dangerfield recently told Fox News. "I've made an obligation to my students and the university, and I can't go back on that. So I just called [the 'Idol' producers] up and told them I can't continue.
"I love where I'm at right now. The high school I teach is great. I have 96 awesome students; hopefully they feel the same way about me."
Of course, not all of his students have been so sympathetic. Scott revealed to Fox that when one of his pupils learned about his sacrifice, he balked: "Man, you didn't go to Hollywood? You gave up J.Lo for this?"
According to TMZ, "American Idol's" producers have encouraged Scott to audition again in Season 11, and he's mulling it over. So maybe he'll make his students proud next year--and I'd certainly love to see him give it another try. But for now, Scott's students really ought to be grateful for what he walked away from for them. This here's one Dangerfield who should get some respect.