Miami native a contestant on 'American Idol'

Emmanuel Zidor got a huge ego boost from the judges on American Idol. One in particular. “I used to be insecure about my voice, I was bullied when I was younger,” says the 24-year-old contestant, whose stage name is J Zidor. “When I told Jennifer Lopez my story she had tears in her eyes, at least I think she did. It was great to be vindicated.” But the R&B singer, who was born in Liberty City and went to Toussaint Louverture Elementary and Miami Central Senior High School, was most intimidated by J.Lo’s fellow judge, Harry Connick Jr. “He’s a classically trained pianist,” he says of the pop jazz singer who’s a newcomer to the tables at AI, whose 13th season premiered Wednesday. Zidor will be seen on the Fox show’s second part starting at 8 p.m. Thursday. Zidor, who now calls Atlanta home, knew what his profession was going to be pretty quickly. “I told my mother when I was 5 that I wanted to be a singer. She said, ‘Oh really?’ ” Inspiration comes from all over. His favorite singers are Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Beyoncé, who “just embodies what an entertainer is.” Zidor says he has more than 400 songs on his playlist, from Aretha Franklin to Tupac Shakur. “I love all kinds of music. I’m not a one-trick pony.”