Cherry Hill’s Zach Birnbaum dishes on American Idol experience

Zach Birnbaum has a full plate of local performances on the horizon, from the upcoming Cherry Hill High School West production of “Grease” to playing with his band, No Commitment, who recently released an album on iTunes and Amazon.

The 16-year-old Cherry Hill resident was seen battling it out in the Hollywood auditions on season 12 of American Idol on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

“It was really, really cool,” Zach said.

He breezed through the first round of Hollywood, but was stopped in the, as Ryan Seacrest narrated, “notorious” group round, “where boys become men.”

His group had just a few hours to ready themselves for the song on barely any sleep.

It was “go, go, go,” said Zach.

He performed during the all men Hollywood week of the show.

“I always watched American Idol,” he said. “Why not go out and do that, and try my best?”

The first auditions began last summer in New York with a high-energy crowd cheering on the competition.

“That was really thrilling,” Zach said.

But, once reaching Hollywood this winter, everything became “even more real.”

“It was definitely intense,” he said.

Even his mom, Edith Birnbaum, felt the intensity from the East Coast. Her husband, Mark, accompanied Zach to the audition.

“I’m very proud of Zach,” she said.

The thrill for Edith was seeing Zach on television, doing what he loves best.

“It was very surreal to actually watch your son on TV,” she said. “He’s just a great kid all around.”

Zach is not deterred one bit by the outcome.

He plans to try his chances at becoming American Idol again next year, he said, full of excitement the morning after the showing.

“I definitely want to come back,” he said, citing his experience as positive.

In the meantime, his band of two and a half years is active, and he exudes his love of theatre.

“I have a few things lined up,” he said.

Follow the action of American Idol by visiting www.americanidol.com or watching the show on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.

“I want to thank American Idol for giving me such a great opportunity,” Zach said. “I just can’t get enough of the whole entertainment industry.”

Follow Zach’s band

No Commitment is surely committed to the Cherry Hill community, with performances to include a stint at the Fourth of July event in the township.

Follow the band on Facebook by liking http://www.facebook.com/nocommitment?fref=ts.

Look for their recently released album, “Hiding What is Underneath,” on Amazon.com and iTunes.