The “American Idol” judges — Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie — are used to seeing all kinds of singers during the audition process.
But they were caught off guard by 20-year-old TikTok star Luke Taylor’s deep bass voice. “Puberty really hit (you),” joked Katy Perry. The Westchester, Pennsylvania native has 2.5 million followers on TikTok and is perhaps best known for singing the bass line for the viral sea shanty “The Wellerman.”
Taylor did the voiceover introduction for his own audition in a classic narrator voice. Ryan Seacrest told him he could “make some dough” doing voiceover work. The 20-year-old sang “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash for the judges.
Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan both said “yes” to Taylor but Katy Perry worried that his voice was a “gimmick” and that it would be “impractical” to join the competition with no versatility of style. She voted no, but he still progressed to Hollywood week.
Watch Taylor’s full audition below:
Perry Said She Wants to Hear Christmas Songs from Taylor
After Taylor performed “Ring of Fire,” Luke Bryan asked him to perform “Frosty the Snowman” and even pulled up the lyrics for him on his phone.
“We don’t want you to be a novelty Christmas song singer dude but voices like you have, there’s always a place for (them),” Bryan told Taylor. Perry said, “I want to hear Christmas songs forever from you,” but ultimately didn’t think he was a good fit for “American Idol.”
Lionel Richie told Taylor he doesn’t think he’ll go all the way in the competition but wanted to throw him “in the soup” of Hollywood week and see how he does.
Taylor posted a picture with his golden ticket to Hollywood on Instagram. “Well I made it!!! Wish my accompanist played a bit faster but I’m headed to #hollywoodweek and I couldn’t be more excited!!!,” he captioned the photo.
“Don’t let the accompanist see this😳,” one fan commented. “💯 don’t dis them publicly!,” another agreed.
Perry Dropped a Truth Bomb About Her Song ‘Firework’ on ‘Idol’
On the March 6 episode of “American Idol,” Luke Bryan teased Perry by singing a few bars from her song, “Firework.” Perry then revealed that Bryan, and most of the world, have been singing the wrong lyrics.
“It’s not ‘up up up,’ and it’s not ‘ah ah ah,'” she said. “Well what is it then, because I’ve been dying to know all these years,” Bryan replied. “It’s ‘awe awe awe.’ ‘A-W-E,'” Perry said. “It’s ‘awe awe awe’ everybody, get it right!”
Perry posted about the moment on Instagram and included a screenshot that showed that the lyrics were inspired by a Jack Kerouac poem. The poem reads, “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time. The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”