October 11, 2004 -- PERHAPS the second time will be the charm for "American Idol" wannabe, Donnie Williams.
Williams, 20, was chosen last winter to appear on "Idol" but was arrested for drunk driving after partying the night before he was to fly to Los Angeles to take part in last season's show.
When producers learned what he had done, he was disqualified and replaced by George Huff, a likeable and talented singer who made it all the way to the finals.
But now the three judges from the popular talent-hunt show have given Williams the green light to go to Hollywood for a rare, second shot at the fame and fortune.
Williams got the second chance last week during tryouts in San Francisco when he sang "Happy Birthday" to Simon Cowell, who was celebrating his 45th birthday.
"I just decided to sing in honor of his birthday and it worked," Williams says. "Then they all told me I was going to L.A."
Cowell says it was Williams' talent, not his song choice, that landed him a slot on the show.
"Another singer did the same thing and I booted him," Cowell said. "Donnie was chosen for his singing ability."
"He took care of it," judge Randy Jackson says of the arrest. "And now he's back where he should be, he's got the whole package: great voice, good attitude."
— Post TV Staff