For Shaker Heights native Michael Conor, the journey to “Boy Band” success lies in the hands of the fans of the ABC summer show seen Thursday night at 8 p.m. on News 5.
In the semifinal episode airing Thursday night, the final eight contestants go all in a last minute push to win enough votes to fill the five slots in the boy band. All eight remaining contestants will perform solo numbers and for the first time this season.
Voting will take place for 24 hours and those attending Shaker Heights’ Van Aken Beer Garden Friday evening will be invited to help support their home grown participant.
Michael Conor’s route to even be among the first 30 contestants to the final eight is a unique one as producers on the show found him online and invited him to take part.
"I didn't really have a big following or anything I didn't know how they found me and when they said it was ABC I was like ok this is a joke, there's no way," he said in June before the show’s first episode.
Next thing you know he found himself talking by Skype with ABC and soon on his way to Los Angeles for the taping of the premier.
"I didn't really know what to expect I thought I'm a rapper mostly and this is sort of a singing competition from what I'd heard," Conor said. "But they really liked me."
In addition to being a rapper, Michael Conor is also a classically trained violinist. "I kind of use that to segue into making my own melodies and stuff," he said.
Conor recently released a music video of some of his work titled "Shine." It's shot in the Lomond neighborhood where he grew up around the elementary school where his musical talents first began to blossom.
"That school, was a very big, big place for me in shaping me I know a lot of the teachers there were very open to creativity and they encouraged us to just really be ourselves and I think that really had a big impact on me," he said.