Plano Musician Ron Bultongez to Appear on “American Idol”

"American Idol" auditions // courtesy Ron Bultgonez

When the reboot of “American Idol” returns to television on March 11, a Plano musician may be seeking your votes. Local singer/songwriter Ron Bultongez has confirmed he auditioned in front of the celebrity judges, but cannot say how far along in the competition he got. He traveled to L.A. on Jan. 21 for the TV show and is still there, performing in local venues. Tonight he was finally allowed to announce his big news on social media.

Ron has been performing live throughout Plano and DFW for the past few years. Planoites might recognize him from recurring performances in our Downtown Plano Art & Wine Walks. He cites his biggest musical influences as Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, James Bay, John Mayer, Aquilo and Kanye West, and he released his “Thank You Plano” EP at the end of 2017.

Ron Bultongez performing at his “Thank You Plano” concert in Oct. 2017 // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ron immigrated to the U.S. as a child. Due to a turbulent home situation, he was separated from his family and placed in the care of City House, a Plano-based nonprofit that provides residential services to youth in need. He has shared often with Plano ISD schools and students his story about how City House saved his life.

“City House played one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, helping me stay off of the street. There’s absolutely no way I’d be able to do what I do now without the role they played. Every aspect of the organization – the staff, the donors, the volunteers, and the other residents – everyone played a role.”

Ron is now helping to raise his younger brothers and his own infant son, and he feels like no matter the outcome of the show, there is something he can teach them from his experience.

“This is an opportunity for me to show my brothers and my son what can happen if you push through adversity and follow your dreams. I intend on using this platform to tell people that life is tough, but you don’t have to go through it alone.”

Ron’s son, James // courtesy Ron Bultongez

Ron can confirm he will make an appearance on “American Idol” when it airs at 7 p.m. on March 11. Viewers will have to tune in to see what the judges thought of his audition. After a two-year hiatus, the show is moving to ABC for Season 1, with celebrity judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan and returning host Ryan Seacrest.

Get tickets for Ron's Birthday Show > Thank You Plano EP >
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