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May 11, 2012 11:38 PM by Shawn Kline

American Idol finalist gets Louisiana homecoming

Joshua Ledet is one of just three contestants remaining on American Idol. The local Idol has been putting in a lot of hard work in at Hollywood to become the next star but Friday night, he's back home in Westlake, he's already a star and enjoying every second.

"Hey everybody, thanks for coming out and supporting me today," Ledet said.

Those were the first words of his first big press conference in Lake Charles. It's been a long time since Ledet was home in southwest Louisiana.

"I recognized the 210 bridge and I was freaking out," Ledet said. "I was like, 'look at the 210 bridge!' And everyone else was like what?"

An exciting but emotional day for this American Idol; seeing for the first time, the many fans he has right here at home.

"You never know the support that you have until you actually come back and see everybody," Ledet said. "The support of you guys coming to the airport made me want to break out in tears."

As for his fans, they were enjoying his time home just as much as he did.

"Me and my mom and my whole family want him to win," Seven-year-old Emery Wallace said. "It's super exciting."

They're happy to see this idol, a role model to many, enjoying the place we all call home.

On Saturday, a pep rally and parade will be held in Lake Charles to celebrate Ledet's success. The parade has been moved up to noon and will start at the Westlake Multipurpose Center and continue north to the Westlake High School.

The pep rally will be at the Burton Coliseum, starting at 4:00. Other stars include some zydeco music from Joshua's cousin, Brandon Ledet and Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience.

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