This is Mackenzie Bourg’s biography.
Born on September 11, 1992 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Mackenzie Bourg was an ordinary teenager before his appearance on The Voice. He enjoyed video games and varsity basketball — the latter an astonishing feat due to his height of 5’6 — and often rode his bicycle around town. He discovered his talent for music entirely unprompted. Learning to play the acoustic guitar, Mackenzie Bourg began composing and writing songs for his personal use. After his appearance on The Voice, he began releasing his songs to the public. Since then, he’s released two albums: Heartbeat and Everyone’s Got a Story.
Several contestants on the fifteenth and final season of American Idol have previously appeared on the award-winning NBC television show The Voice.
His time on The Voice and Team CeeLo
Southern native Mackenzie Bourg is no different. The bespectacled crooner auditioned for The Voice’s third season with a riotous rendition of “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People. Judge CeeLo Green immediately nominated Mackenzie Bourg for a position on his coveted team. Mackenzie made a strong effort; he sang several contemporary pop hits, including “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. He also serenaded the crowd with a rendition of the classic Elvis Presley song “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. While his success was momentous for a novice contestant, Mackenzie Bourg failed to win The Voice. He did, however, release his debut single “Everyone’s Got a Story” — a reflective acoustic solo inspired by Mackenzie Bourg’s experience with chronic illness.
Illness and hospitalization
In 2012, shortly before his audition on The Voice, Mackenzie Bourg was hospitalized due to a severe virus. The ailment caused him critical organ damage — congestive heart failure — and he was forced into an induced coma to save his life. “I was watching my son, literally just passing away,” said Mackenzie’s father, “The amazing thing about it was that he made a promise to wake up before Super Bowl Sunday, and he woke up the night before.” Since his coma scare, Mackenzie has embraced life and is committed to fulfilling his dreams. “It was a miracle that everything happened the way it did,” he said, “I know if that experience never happened, I wouldn’t be here.” He has a tattoo on his wrist written in Arabic which means “life again”. On twitter he said he got the tatoo in order to be reminded everyday that life is not guaranteed and therefore he needs to make it count.
Mackenzie wasn’t finished with music. On the farewell season of American Idol, he appeared with his acoustic guitar to astonish the judges and claim his golden ticket to Hollywood. He auditioned with an inventive medley of songs originally sung by the judges. The medley included “Stupid Boy” and “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban, “Come by Me” by Harry Connick Jr., and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” by Jennifer Lopez. Mackenzie Bourg flawlessly segued between the songs and provided plenty of showmanship for the audience. “You have a sort of quiet thing about you that is very interesting,” said Harry Connick Jr. after the performance ended. All of the judges concurred that Mackenzie should progress into the next round. “I’m going to Hollywood,” shouted Mackenzie as he left the stage.
In a throwback to his tenure on The Voice, Mackenzie Bourg performed the Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for the showcase round. The sleepy solo had the crowd swaying along in time with Mackenzie. He also performed a similarly slow rendition of “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Mackenzie’s quiet crooning won overwhelming applause. The judges praised his performance. “I like that you changed the melody, but kept the integrity of the song,” said Harry Connick Jr., “Nice work.”
Mackenzie Bourg was permitted to proceed in the competition after his performance of “Roses” — an original song. “Life is life,” the song went, “and it goes so fast.” Mackenzie was clearly inspired by his near-death experience. “Roses” is a celebration of life in all its forms and it beckons the audience to embrace it while they can. The judges were totally bewildered. They couldn’t believe that Mackenzie had written and composed such a meaningful melody. Mackenzie’s composition resembles the work of Irish sensation Damien Rice — they share a soothingly somnolent voice and a penchant for meaningful lyrics.
Mackenzie Bourg has brought his own style to the forefront of American Idol. He’s not a rhythm and blues virtuoso à la Trent Harmon or a punk rock screamer like Dalton Rapattoni. Considering the dearth of male contestants on the fifteenth season of American Idol, the show boasts a wide variety of styles. Mackenzie Bourg’s gravelly crooning is a major draw for the audience. His original songs cater to his unique style; “Roses” complements both his voice and fondness for slow tempo.
To land himself a position in the top ten contestants of American Idol, Mackenzie Bourg performed the recent hit “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran. The song was originally composed for the soundtrack of internationally acclaimed film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The droning folk ballad was a popular choice for American Idol contestants; competitor Lee Jean also sang the song during his audition in Atlanta, Georgia. Mackenzie Bourg’s rendition of the popular ballad blew the audience away. He sang with uncharacteristic power and volume. The audience cheered gleefully throughout his performance. Guest judge Kelly Clarkson commented that Mackenzie, “knew exactly where he wanted to go.” When questioned on what the lyrics meant to him, Mackenzie remarked that they made him feel “passionate” and “fired up”. Mackenzie expressed his immense gratitude to be present on the show.
Mackenzie is clearly a man with a plan. He’s using American Idol as a platform to express himself. He certainly has plenty to say through music; his vast collection of original songs convey that. Mackenzie may choose to perform more of his original compositions on the show, further promoting his unique brand of songwriting. If that were the case, Mackenzie’s exposure on the show may lead to another record deal. He’s already tentatively signed to an undisclosed record label for the production of a new EP; he might end up transferring labels to Big Machine Records if he continues to perform as excellently as he has in the past.
Mackenzie Bourg finished in 4th position on American Idol season 15. He was eliminated on Thursday, March 3rd, 2016.