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A trip to see Lee

 

Lee DeWyze, Shawn Stoltz and Nicole Warren take a picture together with a couple of friends in California.
Lee DeWyze, Shawn Stoltz and Nicole Warren take a picture together with a couple of friends in California.

By Maddie Conway and Emmy Lindfors
Executive News Editor and Executive In-Depth Editor
“We know you!” two women gushed after spotting the then “American Idol” contestant and former Prospect student Lee DeWyze outside of a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles.”You’re on ‘American Idol!'”
DeWyze laughed and introduced himself to the two fans, who then turned to his blonde, curly-haired friend and added, “We know you, too!”
Although Prospect English teacher Nicole Warren told them that they did not know her, they insisted, telling Warren, “You’re Taylor Swift!”

This celebrity mix-up was just one highlight of the trip that Warren and her boyfriend, Shawn Stoltz, took to southern California on the weekend of May seventh to see their friend, “American Idol” Season 9 winner DeWyze, in Hollywood.
Although they traveled to Los Angeles in order to see their now-famous friend, because of his schedule with “American Idol,” there was no guarantee that DeWyze would have time to visit with them.

So while Warren and Stoltz were first in Los Angeles, they visited several well-known sites of the city, including Hollywood Boulevard, Kodak Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Ryan Seacrest’s star on the Walk of Fame.
Warren and Stoltz were able to meet up with the then “Idol” contestant on Saturday, May 7 in the mid-afternoon, when they were able to spend time with DeWyze in his apartment, go out for sushi and even meet fourth-place-finishing contestant Michael “Big Mike” Lynche.
 
Nicole Warren (left) and 'American Idol' Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze (right) pose for a picture at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles.
Nicole Warren (left) and 'American Idol' Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze (right) pose for a picture at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles.

During the time they spent with DeWyze, Warren noted the excitement that surrounded DeWyze, especially among fans of the contestant they met in the street.
“When we were walking outside, people were stopping, saying, ‘Lee, we love you, we want to take a picture with you,'” Warren said. “There were two little girls who were so excited [saying], ‘We love you! we love you!”
The girls wanted a picture, so Warren offered to take their camera and take a picture of them with DeWyze, who even signed a Playbill from the musical “Chicago,” which the girls had just seen.
Overall, Warren thought that the crowd surrounding him was “pretty respectful,” even if there were several people “filming him on their iPhones.”
Despite his new popularity, Warren said that DeWyze hadn’t changed from when she and Stoltz had known him prior to him being on “Idol.”
“He has not changed at all,” Warren said. “The only thing that I would say he’s changed … is that he’s grown up, obviously, since high school, so, dealing with people taking pictures and constantly stopping him, we didn’t know how he would act with that, but he was amazing. He was very mature and kind and willing to do all that because I’m sure that gets old after a while.”
 
Lee DeWyze (left) and Shawn Stoltz (right) take a photo together at a restaurant. Stoltz and DeWyze met in their freshman year at Prospect and have been friends ever since.
Lee DeWyze (left) and Shawn Stoltz (right) take a photo together at a restaurant. Stoltz and DeWyze met in their freshman year at Prospect and have been friends ever since.

“It was hard for us to imagine [what it was like for him to be famous] because we know Lee as friends,” Warren said. “So for people to just keep stopping him, at first we were taken aback a little bit, and we weren’t sure if we should say something like, ‘Don’t take pictures of him,’ or ‘Just leave him alone,’ and he’s like, ‘No, this is part of who I am now, and I’ve just learned to accept it.'”

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