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Alex Preston during a recent performance on 'American Idol.' Courtesy 

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Gov. Hassan to pick NH's Preston's song if he makes American Idol top 3


MONT VERNON — “American Idol” continues to change the game of the competition, and this time it will allow New Hampshire’s governor to decide which song Alex Preston will sing if he makes it to the top three.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is a big fan of Preston, 20, of Mont Vernon, and has repeatedly tweeted encouraging messages to him throughout the competition.

Preston is now one of the final four in the competition, and if he makes it through to next week, Hassan will pick between two songs for his performance on May 14.

“As we are coming down to our last few finalists, we are reaching out to each of the contestants’ hometowns for a bit of input into their upcoming song choice,” Danielle Stankard, associate producer of “American Idol,” wrote in an email to Hassan’s press secretary. “As a representative for New Hampshire, we would love Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to represent the state and pick between the two songs.”

“American Idol” has chosen two songs that Preston has already successfully performed on the big stage — “Story of my Life” by One Direction, and “A Team” by Ed Sheeran.

“Feel free to poll the office, family, friends and fans to help make the decision,” wrote Stankard.

On Saturday, Hassan created a poll on the governor’s facebook page to determine which song New Hampshire wants Preston to perform once again.

As of noon on Sunday, the poll had about 520 votes for “Story of my Life,” or about 77 percent, while “A Team” garnered 160 votes, or about 23 percent.

“He could sing the phonebook and make it amazing,” posted Cindy LaChance Callaghan.

The polling will end at noon today, so New Hampshire residents are being encouraged to take a minute to make their voices heard. Hassan has until 3 p.m. today to submit her decision to producers of the show.

Preston, whose real name is Alex Preston Philbrick, is a graduate of Souhegan High School and a student at the University of New Hampshire. The singer/songwriter has managed to remain out of the bottom vote-getters so far this season on “American Idol.”

“If you have a dream, well, you only live once. I know that sounds cliche,” Preston said earlier this year while visiting the local high school and performing for the student body. “Why wouldn’t you go after something you love?”

To participate in the governor’s poll, go to facebook.com/GovernorHassan and click on the graph.

khoughton@newstote.com

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