Fans Call This ‘Idol’ Audition, Contestant a ‘Breath of Fresh Air’

Aaron Westberry American Idol

ABC Aaron Westberry

ABC’s “American Idol” returned for season 20 on Sunday, February 27, 2022, and the second episode of auditions is set to air on Sunday, March 6. The first round of the competition sees judges travel around the country looking for the next big thing. Laid-back contestant Aaron Westberry is one of those contestants.

Ahead of his audition, Westberry tells the cameras that he didn’t know he was a good singer until he sang in front of a friend who happened to be a girl and she told him he was talented. When pressed, he laughs shyly about her being “just a friend.”

When asked what he wants people to know about him, he couldn’t think of an answer for the producers.

“My mind is blank right now trying to answer this question,” he shared.

Westberry Impressed the Judges

WOW! Could Aaron Westberry Be The Most Unexcited American Idol Audition EVER!? – American Idol 2022This produce stocker from South Carolina gives a wonderful performance of Sam Hunt's "2016" but the judges are left underwhelmed by his energy. See more of American Idol 2022 on our official site: Like American Idol on Facebook: Follow American Idol on Twitter: Follow American Idol on Instagram: AMERICAN IDOL, the…2022-03-05T14:00:10Z

Westberry is a 20-year-old singer from South Carolina. He told the judges he works at a grocery store where he stocks produce for a living.

He sang “2016” by Sam Hunt while playing the piano for his audition. Katy Perry said that she was reminded of Owen Wilson by his demeanor, but she was shocked by the voice that came out of him when he started singing. All three of the judges were impressed with him when he was performing.

“You have a heartbreak tone, man,” Luke Bryan told him. “You can sing some stuff and it pulls us in. Like, ‘Oh my God,’ this kid’s breaking our hearts. You’re doing that with that tone you just gave me.”

Perry agreed.

“It’s wild,” she said about his voice.

Lionel Richie then asked if he has a “passion” for the produce department at the store before asking if he really wanted to be on “American Idol.”

“Understand, passion is the key here,” Richie said.

Perry and Bryan both compared his tone and voice to Owl City or James Taylor.

“You’re so raw it ain’t even dead yet!” Bryan joked.

Fans Loved the Audition & Laid-Back Tone

Fans immediately took to the comment section when the video was posted to YouTube to express their adoration for Westberry following his audition.

“He’s a breath of fresh air… no sob story or fake shtick or nerdy persona and clothes,” one person wrote. “He’s very young so not knowing James Taylor isn’t a sin, though I do hope he investigates. He’s quietly confident, comfortable in his own skin and really talented. I like him.”

Another person commented, “Good candidate. Finally somebody without a backstory to hit us with over and over! Of course they can now focus on his shyness over and over.”

One person called him “an absolute legend.”

“People can expect him to be super excited and off the charts emotionally but that’s just not who he is he doesn’t change for anyone or anything. Super humble dude he deserves this,” they added.

“American Idol” airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on ABC. Later in the season, the show will air on both Sunday and Monday nights.

READ NEXT: ‘American Idol’ Viewers Call for Judge’s Replacement

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