Raised mostly by his grandparents, CJ was introduced to music by his grandfather when he was 6. He is also close to his mother despite her having spent time in prison when he was a child.
CJ later tried out for both The X-Factor and The Voice, not making it on either show. He had even tried out for season 9 of Idol but didn't get past the first round of auditions. He cites former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker as well as Usher as some of his musical influences.
CJ tried out for the show in Salt Lake City, singing "Soulshine" by the Allman Brothers Band. Impressed by his strong vocals, he got three yeses from the judges and made it to Hollywood where he did well enough to make the top 30 and then the top 13.
For "This is Me" week, CJ sang "Radio" by Darius Rucker, which got him a good reaction from the judges. He made it to the next week.
For "Home" week, CJ sang what would be the first of two John Mayer songs, "Waiting on the World to Change". His bluesy rendition of it earned him praise, but he was reminded that he needed to watch his pitch because he tended to go off key a bit. He still made it to the next week.
For "Songs from the Movies" week, CJ sang "Can't You See" by the Marshall Tucker Band. The song, first released in 1973 and later featured in the 2001 film Blow, earned CJ praise, but he was again criticized for his pitch. He managed to make it to the top 10 where he secured his place on the 2014 American Idols Live tour.
For "Billboard Top 10" week, CJ sang "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes. He again got criticized for issues with his pitch, which was becoming more and more problematic with almost every performance he did. CJ ended up in the bottom 3 but survived elimination.
For "I'm with the Band" week, CJ tried to redeem himself by singing "If It Hadn't Been for Love" by The SteelDrivers. However, his pitch again became a major issue even though Jennifer Lopez did praise him for singing with emotion. CJ again wound up in the bottom 3 but was declared safe while Sam Woolf received the "judges' save".
For "Back to the Start" week, CJ sang his audition song, "Soulshine" by the Allman Brothers Band. While praised for singing it better then when he did in his audition, he was again called out for his pitch and his tendency to sing off key. He then teamed up with Dexter Roberts on their version of the Darius Rucker song "Alright". Still, CJ was the bottom 3 again but made it to the next week.
For "Songs from the 80s" week, CJ took on the Tom Petty hit "Free Fallin'", but despite giving it his all, he was again ripped for singing off key despite both Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban doing their best to encourage him. He then teamed up with Malaya Watson on the Aretha Franklin/George Michael hit "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me". However, both of them wound up in the bottom 2. CJ was declared safe while Malaya was eliminated.
For "Competitor's Choice" week, Caleb Johnson chose "Gravity" by John Mayer for CJ. This time, his pitch wasn't much of a problem, and the judges did give him praise and even praised Caleb, who called it "bad to the bone", for picking the song for CJ. He then teamed up with both Dexter and Jessica Meuse on the Lady Antebellum song "Compass".
For "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'N Roll" week, CJ took on "American Woman" by the Guess Who as his rock performance and "Whatever It Is" by the Zac Brown Band as his country performance. Despite the judges praising him for giving it his all on both songs, they would end up being his last as he was eliminated on April 24, 2014, finishing in 6th place.
|Episode||Theme||Song Choice||Original Artist||Result|
|Audition||Choice||"Soulshine"||The Allman Brothers Band||Advanced|
|Hollywood Week, Part 1||A Capella||"Trouble"||Ray LaMontagne||Advanced|
|Hollywood Week, Part 2||Group||"Too Close"||Alex Clare||Advanced|
|Hollywood Week, Part 3||Choice||"Bring it On Home to Me"||Sam cooke||Advanced|
|Top 10 Guys||Choice||"Shelter"||Ray LaMontagne||Advanced|
|Wild Card||Choice||"Bring it On Home to Me"||Sam Cooke||Advanced|
|Top 13||This is Me||"Radio"||Darius Rucker||Safe|
|Top 12||Home||"Waiting on the World to Change"||John Mayer||Safe|
|Top 11||Songs from the Cinemas||"Can't You See"||The Marshall Tucker Band||Safe|
|Top 10||Billboard Top 10 Charts||"Invisible"||Hunter Hayes||Bottom 3|
|Top 9||(I'm With the) Band!||"If It Hadn't Been for Love"||The SteelDrivers||Bottom 3|
CJ was a part of the American Idols Live tour, which kicked off in Binghamton, New York on June 24, 2014. He even got to perform with one of his idols, singer Darius Rucker, at the Grand Ole Opry on May 31, 2014.
|Caleb Johnson ·Jena Irene ·Alex Preston ·Jessica Meuse ·Sam Woolf ·CJ Harris ·Dexter Roberts ·Malaya Watson ·Majesty Rose ·MK Nobilette ·Ben Briley ·Emily Piriz ·Kristen O'Connor|