Screengrab of Luke Taylor's American Idol audition
Screengrab via YouTube

'American Idol': TikTok Star's Johnny Cash Cover Wows Luke Bryan, Divides Judges


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Auditions for American Idol season 20 are underway and TikTok star Luke Taylor is among the hopefuls to earn a Golden Ticket to Hollywood week.

The 20-year-old college student from West Chester, Penn. stunned everyone, from host Ryan Seacrest to Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, with his deep voice and unique cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire."

When Taylor, who has 2 million followers on TikTok, launched into the country classic,  Richie noted that "he sings lower than Cash."

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Bryan interrupted Taylor's performance to make another request, asking Taylor to sing "Frosty the Snowman." The country superstar even handed Taylor his phone so he could read the Christmas song's lyrics.

"If my wife sends something to this phone I want you to get out of it real quick," Bryan joked.

Read More: 8 Country Stars Who Were Rejected By 'American Idol'

Following Taylor's rendition of "Frosty," Bryan noted that while he didn't want Taylor to become a "novelty Christmas song singer," his vocals should be heard.

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"Voices like you have, there's always a place for them," Bryan said.

While Bryan voted to send the singer to Hollywood, Perry and Richie were hesitant.

"I think it's cool but if you don't give us those other notes, it's just one gimmick," Perry said. "So I'm a little bit worried that it's just going to be funny but not seriously able to compete."

Richie, though impressed by Taylor's unique voice, said that while he doesn't see Taylor going "all the way" in the competition, he wants to see him continue on to Hollywood.

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"I don't think this is going to go all the way. On other hand, Hollywood week is an interesting week," Richie sayd. "It's going to be a yes from me.

Perry voted no, calling the singer "impractical" for the competition. But Bryan and Richie's votes were enough for Taylor to continue.

"I'm headed to #hollywoodweek and I couldn't be more excited!!!" Taylor wrote on social media.

Other recent contestants to earn a ticket to Los Angeles include Mike Parker, who impressed judges with a cover of "Strawberry Wine," and Christian Guardino, who performed Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You."

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Season 20 of American Idol premiered on Feb. 27. This season, the singing competition introduced the Platinum Ticket, which allows contestants to bypass the first round of Hollywood week. There are only three Platinum Tickets for the entire season. In order to get one, the judges must vote unanimously for singers to receive the ticket.

Kenedi Anderson, a 17-year-old singer, recently earned a Platinum Ticket after impressing the judges with her version of Lady Gaga's "Applause."

 

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