Nick Merico has become a frontrunner on season 18 of ABC’s hit show American Idol. This season isn’t his first on the show, though. He made it to Hollywood week in 2017 before having to quit the competition due to family issues.
During his initial Idol audition, the 24-year-old from Miami, Florida, sang a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” impressing the judges. This year, he sang a rendition of “You Say” that only impressed Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Richie, however, wasn’t a huge fan of Merico at the time.
“I don’t like you,” Richie said. “I’ve gotta be honest with you, I don’t like you, and for some weird reason, it’s not sitting well with me.”
In the most recent episode of the show when it was announced Merico would be part of the top 20, Richie changed his tune, saying he was glad Merico had made it that far in the competition.
Merico Backed Out in 2017 Due to Family Issues
During a Skype interview with Colt Balok, Merico said he had been incredibly excited to receive a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, but he ultimately had to walk away from the show.
“Unfortunately, something happened with my family that I can’t really disclose that forced me to back out of the competition,” Merico explained. “And I hate to say that, but that’s what happened. It’s the truth, man.”
Merico didn’t go into details at the time, and when he auditioned again, he told the judges something came up and that he’d used the previous year as a kind of “boot camp” to be ready to audition for them again when the time came.
Merico Impressed Judges During the 2020 Showcase Round
During the 2020 Showcase and Final Judgement Round, Merico impressed all three of the Idol judges. He performed “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, saying he chose to sing the song for his mom because she’s a huge fan of Bruno Mars and loves the song.
When he met with the judges to learn whether or not he’d move on to the top 20, Richie asked how he felt about his growth so far, and Merico answered that he’d taken what they’d said in his audition to heart and just wanted to be great.
“I’ve got your life right here,” Richie said, gesturing to the paper in his hand. “What do you think I’m gonna say?”
Merico responded that he thought Richie would say the honest truth, leading Perry to laugh and say that was the best answer.
“I have to admit something, I didn’t think you were gonna make it this far, but something has really changed for me. I went from not liking you to appreciating you, and you’re in our top 20,” the eldest judge said. Perry added that Merico earned it and didn’t make it by on anything besides his talent.
Merico may look familiar to fans for more than his previous Idol run. He previously played the love interest on the Nickelodeon series Every Witch Way from 2014 to 2015.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Merico has been uploading regularly to his Instagram, most recently with a rendition of Harry Styles’ “Adore You.”
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