Jovin Webb (age 28), a full-time musician from Louisiana, gave a haunting rendition of “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers Band during the Auditions round of American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“Whipping Post” was written by Gregg Allman. The five-minute studio version first appeared on the Allman Brothers Band’s 1969 eponymous debut album. A 23-minute rendition was captured in their 1971 double live album At Fillmore East, which garnered “Whipping Post” spots on both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list and Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
American Idol 2020 judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan gave Jovin Webb a standing ovation, with Luke approaching him to shake his hand. All of them were amazed by Webb’s performance and happily gave him a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Jovin said he went through a dark time in his life after he lost his beloved mother in 2012, when he just graduated from college. His mother was his “backbone”, his everything. With tears in his eyes, Jovin said that his mother was his biggest fan, the one person that truly loved him. Devastated by her sudden demise, he said he didn’t want to live anymore and was very self-destructive. He went looking for “ways to numb the pain.”
But Jovin was saved when his son was born. He realized enough was enough and he needs to “be a man and take care of everything I need to take care of.”
Jovin Webb said he joined American Idol to show his son that anything you want, you can get it. With his mother as his inspiration, Jovin said, ” If my mom could do it, I could do it.”
Lionel Richie said, “You officially brought the barbecue sauce to American Idol, do you understand? I don’t have to say a lot except that is what BBQ sauce sounds like. That was moving. BB King told me once that it’s hard to sing the blues at the backseat of a limousine. In this case, you come up from the ground floor. That was so real. There’s nothing we have to educate you on, just bring more of that.”
Luke interjected with “It’s something only Louisiana could create. It’s amazing”
Lionel continued, “Absolute, instant identity. We knew where you were from the first note on.”
Luke commented, “I could sit and drink a lot of bourbon listening to that voice. I saw your whole life in that performance. Perfect.”
Katy said, “I got chills in my cheekbones. And I’ve had so much Botox I didn’t even know. Literally, it’s like I drank some kind of elixir and you ignited parts of me I’ve never felt before. All of your pain that you’ve been through, we believe you. We’re locked in with you because of it. I mean, it’s so true, it’s so real, it’s a God-given gift inside of you.”
As expected, Jovin got the golden ticket to Hollywood.
After Jovin went out the audition room, Luke Bryan said “Whatever bar he’s at, I’m flying my plane there.” Katy said, “I’m flying my jet to that bar.”
Outside, with a bright smile on his face, Jovin told the camera, “This is for my kid. I’ll bring this home.”
American Idol Season 18 premiered at 8PM, February 16, 2020 on ABC television and will air Sundays at 8/7c. Ryan Seacrest continues his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones returns as the in-house mentor. Despite budget cuts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie come back as judges for their third season of the series.
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