'American Idol' 2020: 3 Californians earn their way into grand finale

HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Every season, thousands of young singers dream of becoming the next "American Idol." That dream comes true this season for one of seven people heading into the Grand Finale, three of them from California.

Jonny West, who grew up in Murrieta and now lives in Studio City, says it feels great to have made it this far in the "American Idol" journey, as he starts his own quest to become a professional singer-songwriter.

"I want to be an artist. Like, I want to push the envelope with art and I'm always going to do it with passion," said West.

West says this whole experience doesn't really feel like a competition.

"As far as I'm concerned, we're all winners. And our job is to just entertain people and help them escape their reality for a bit," said West.

Francisco Martin, who lives in Daly City, says his goal is to always be genuine. He believes when you're real, people see that.

"I want to inspire other people. That's my main goal, I guess. We're all together. It's not just me," said Martin. "As long as we're spreading love and music, I don't think there's a problem here."

Dillon James of Bakersfield is in a great place right now after battling addiction and finding his way back to sobriety. The fact he's in the Top 7 is still a bit unbelievable to him.

"It's turning my life into very much dream," said James. "It is a huge honor in my life and it's something that I just really just hold to the highest standard in everything that I want to do in the future. And hopefully, this is like the starting point of everything that I could become."

Also still in the game: Julia Gargano from Staten Island, Wichita's Arthur Gunn, Louis Knight from Pennsylvania, and Harlem's Just Sam.

The next "American Idol" will be crowned Sunday, May 17th, on ABC.
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