American Idol Contestant David Oliver Willis from Mount Dora, Florida.
Mount Dora native David Oliver Willis an American Idol hopeful.
Many know that special ode to a small town, where walking along the streets usually means hearing your name called out. For me that often means a certain voice, lilting with the joy that naturally springs from his heart, as I turn to see the giant smile of David, or as Americans will soon come to know him, David Oliver Willis.
David Oliver Willis was born and raised here in Mount Dora, currently residing nearby with his beautiful and equally talented wife, Olivia, high school sweethearts and currently Mount Dora’s pride and joy.
Not that David wouldn’t be so beloved even without the American Idol gig. We first met David about two years ago, working in one of the Mount Dora restaurants, over the months getting to know him. His frequent calls to say hello across the road equaling what so many love about living in small towns.
But what we’ve come to discover is that David is a special something. As word spread that he’d made it onto American Idol, his loyal following of local fans began to not merely grow, but try to make each of his remaining performances around town before heading off to Hollywood. As one friend-fan called out at a recent gig at Cody’s on 4th, “I’m going to get as much of you as I can before I’m paying $150 a ticket to see what I’m getting now for free!” Her comment was matched equally with laughter, hope for David, and I’m sure the realization that we just might have to start paying up to see him just like she predicted! Then again, I’m not sure too many would balk at that idea.
Media Psychology, PhD Student