‘American Idol': Alabama-Based Garbage Man Charms With Rascal Flatts Cover
American Idol rolled into 2020 with its season premiere on Sunday (Feb. 16), seeking the latest in talent via the judges' panel of R&B legend Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry and country singer Luke Bryan.
This show has been going on for quite some years, and there is always one contestant that comes out of seemingly nowhere, This season's first such representative showed up early on in the season premiere. "My name is Doug Kiker. I'm 27 years old," said the contestant, who showed up looking (to put it gently) unpolished. "I live in Mobile, Alabama, in the Grand Bay area."
The judges asked his backstory. "I'm a garbage man. I work on the back of a garbage truck,” Kiker admitted. When the panel asked him how much experience he had, Kiker was nothing but honest. "I have some experience now," he blurted out. With some prodding, he told the judges that he was auditioning for the sake of his 2-year-old daughter, Elianna Elizabeth. "I'm trying to show her, like, if you put your mind to it, there's nothing you can't do."
Admirable as that was, Kiker made things a bit more awkward, as he couldn't stop gawking at the judges, particular Perry. "I'm sorry, you're really pretty," he sputtered, several times.
To that, the panel enlisted host Ryan Seacrest to take Kiker down the block to “get warmed up" before his official audition. Seacrest rose to the occasion, taking Kiker outside and enlisting the crowd outside to have him try out his pipes before some actual ears.
So, then properly warmed up, Kiker went back in front of the judges and, about one degree less nervous than before (which isn’t a lot), gulped and threw himself into an obviously unpolished but octane-fueled version of Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road.”
After he finished, Perry urged, “Show us your range.” To that, Kiker admitted, “I don’t know what that is.”
Bryan decided to help things sat down at the piano and began to play the song. “Help is on the way,” he assured, guiding Kiker through each line. As the young singer worked through the tune, his obvious talent started to shine through.
"I’m a fan of the garbage man," said Bryan, when he finished.
"You just stay who you are and you're gonna go so far," marveled Perry. "And you're gonna take your daughter with you to all the highest heights."
"I want us all to let you know you're a hell of a man,” Richie added, and did the honors of handing him a golden ticket to Hollywood.
As for Kiker, he was filled with wonder at the "pretty" judges who so quickly embraced his budding talent. "They shook my hand and hugged on me, made me feel like one of them," he marveled.
We'll be following American Idol all this season right here, so be sure to check in each week to see how your favorites are doing.
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