Santa Rosa’s Anthony Guzman sees life after ‘American Idol’

Anthony Guzman, Santa Rosa’s “singing Viking,” admitted he was disappointed when he was dropped Sunday night after four appearances on ABC-TV’s “American Idol” singing competition.

“I was cordial on camera, but off camera, I was a little broody,” the 27-year-old forklift and delivery driver said. “There were seven other contestants cut that night, so we just got drunk.”

Now Guzman is back at his driver job at a Santa Rosa plumbing supply warehouse and happy about pursuing his own musical projects. He is releasing some original music he recorded with the local heavy metal band A Hero to Fall, and he also is planning some solo recordings.

His disappointment at being dropped from “American Idol” passed quickly, he said.

“I didn’t really think I was gonna win,” Guzman said. “There were some talented singers, and they were younger. It was just me and one other singer who were in our late 20s. I feel like I was too weird for that show.”

Guzman will perform an acoustic set live with guitarist Nick LaSalle at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Palooza Gastropub in Kenwood. For information, call 707-833-4000 or go to

Guzman said he has become friends with pub owners Jeff and Suzanne Tyler. The “Idol” shows were recorded in advance, and ABC prohibited any spoilers from leaking out, but Guzman made a small exception.

“Jeff and Suzanne threw a little launch party for me last Sunday. I said, ‘You should know I get cut from the show, and they said, ‘That’s OK.’”

When Guzman initially auditioned on “Idol” last month, he drew skepticism from the judges with his Viking costume, but then earned their praise with his polished version of the classic “Cry Me a River.”

Some commentary on social media suggested that the Viking gimmick ultimately hurt his chances, because the judges didn’t think he was serious enough, even though they passed him along to three more rounds on the show. Guzman appeared in more conventional clothes during the following rounds.

“I think if the Viking costume didn’t work, I wouldn’t had gotten as far as I did,” Guzman said.

Asked what he might done differently, he answered, “I probably would’ve tried to show off more.”

Guzman said he has no criticism to offer of “Idol” judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. “They had to make tough decisions,” he said.

Overall, he’s grateful for getting some national exposure.

“The whole experience was great.”

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.

Dan Taylor

Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat

Do you take fun seriously? I know I do. Tell me what you want to know about arts and entertainment in the North Bay to make the best use of your leisure time and money. As a longtime local arts journalist, I have learned where to look and who to ask.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette