Colton Dixon originally auditioned in the tenth season of American Idol, along with his sister Schyler, at the Nashville auditions. However, neither of them ended up in the Top 24. Dixon returned in season 11, but he did not plan to audition, initially planning to merely accompany his sister Schyler to her audition. The judges implored Dixon to audition as well, where he sang David Cook‘s “Permanent“. Both he and Schyler were awarded golden tickets. Schyler was cut yet again during the Las Vegas

Dixon was placed in the season 11 Top 25. In the semi-finals, he performed Paramore‘s “Decode“. He was one of the top five male vote getters and advanced into the Top 13. Guest performer on the Top 13 Results night and runner-up of American Idol season 10 Lauren Alaina named Dixon as her favorite to win the competition. His elimination on April 19, 2012, was considered a big surprise because he had never been in the bottom three.

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