A 27-year-old garbage man from Alabama named Doug Kiker sang an amazing cover of “Bless the Broken Road” during his audition on American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“Bless the Broken Road” is a song co-written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd, and Jeff Hanna in 1994. It was first recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1994. Many artists recorded their own versions of the song since then, but it was Rascal Flatts’ version being the highest-charting, becoming a number 1 hit on the Billboard country music charts in 2005 and earning the songwriters a Grammy Award for Best Country Song.
Doug charmed the judges with his honesty and humility, saying he didn’t know anything about music, proving to the judges that he didn’t even know any technicalities about singing. He said he audtioned only because of his daughter. But Doug’s amazing voice and cheerful personality earned him a ticket to Hollywood from American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. Katy Perry couldn’t help but cry during Doug’s audition. Watch Doug Kiker’s emotional audition, bound to become one of the most unforgettable this season.
When he first came into the audition, Doug said he didn’t have any performance background. Lionel Richie asked him to warm up before performing in front of them.
Coming back from the warm up, Ryan Seacrest said Doug got positive reviews. When asked to introduce himself again, Doug said he has some experience now, referring to his warm up, which made everyone laugh. He said he auditioned to show his daughter that “if you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
When he sang, the judges were impressed. Katy asked him to do some more and show them his range. Doug replied, “I don’t know what that is,” which cracked the judges. Luke Bryan guided him by playing the piano and Luke commented, “There’s so much in there.”
Lionel Richie said, “For a man who does not know what his voice can do, for a man who does not have an idea about what key he’s singing in, for a man who has no idea who the heck he can be, he’s here to do one thing – he’s trying to show his daughter that he’s somebody…I want us all to let you know, you’re a hell of a man.”
After Lionel’s semi-speech, all of the judges, including host Ryan Seacrest, told Doug, “You’re going to Hollywood.” All of them gave Doug a hug and Katy, after wiping her tears told Doug, “Listen, you just stay who you are and you’re gonna go so far. And you’re gonna take your daughter with you to all the highest highs.”
Before he went out the door, Katy told him, “Hey Doug, that wasn’t garbage, it was greatness.”
American Idol Season 18 premiered on February 16, 2020 on ABC television. Ryan Seacrest will continue his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones will return as the in-house mentor.
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