Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ole Miss’ Michael Simeon Is An ‘Idol’

Photo by Alex Edwards of The Daily Mississippian as featured on
Photo by Alex Edwards of The Daily Mississippian as featured on

There was a familiar face to many at American Idol’s premiere last night: Michael Simeon, Lumberton native and a junior electrical and computer engineering major at University of Mississippi. Regulars at Rib Cage remember his nights singing there, and the students at Ole Miss recognized his potential last year when he won Ole Miss Idol. Last night, he struck fame when he slow danced with Jennifer Lopez to Keith Urban on the guitar and Harry Connick Jr. on the piano to tune of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” as Simeon crooned to her.

“I’m a great wife and girlfriend — I just pick the wrong f—ing guys!” J.Lo joked to Urban and Connick Jr. after Simeon exited the room with his ticket to Hollywood fame. The dance exploded on Internet via #IdolSlowDance.


There was even a Twitter account made by fans of Michael Simeon.


A cursory glance at Simeon’s bio on his website reveals a lifelong dedication to music and brushes with fame. At the Purvis Show Choir Invitational in 2011 Simeon won grand champion singing “BreakEven” by The Script; Skylar Laine, a finalist on American Idol later in 2012, was in the same competition and was a runner up. In 2013 Simeon went to executive producer rounds of both XFactor and America’s Got Talent. That same year the American Idol bus arrived in Oxford where Simeon was a sophomore at University of Mississippi. His Chi Psi fraternity brothers encouraged him to audition for the bus tour and Simeon became one of 12 contestants out of over a thousand who advanced to next round. It was then that Simeon befriended Keith Sanders, a local artist with a band, Gutter Daises, in Oxford. At the next round of auditions at Salt Lake City, Utah they both received three nods from the judges to go to Hollywood. However after surviving the infamous Hollywood Week Simeon did not advance past the top 48.

That was last year. This year he’s already an internet sensation and a contestant on American Idol. The 20-year-old’s career is just getting started.

His YouTube page has numerous videos, including one of a show he put on for his classmates as the 2012 Lumberton High School valedictorian. His songs and covers can be also heard here at his SoundCloud.

Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for She can be reached at