The second night of American Idol season 20 auditions features 20 year old Aaron Westberry. The produce stocker from Greenville, South Carolina impresses the judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan with his “heartbreak” tone. However, the trio feels he lacks energy.
In his pre-taped bit in front of the “A Moment Like This” sign, Aaron confesses that he he’s only “sang in front of somebody, like, live only once!” The clip includes his interview with producers in which the edit creates the impression that he can barely string two words together.
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In the audition room in front of the judges, Aaron confesses that he hasn’t made any “big decisions yet.” Katy cracks that he’s only auditioning for American Idol.
He heads to the piano to sing “2016” by Sam Hunt. Considering Aaron’s slow speaking drawl, his interpretation of the song is surprisingly bright and poppy.
After the performance, Luke declares that Aaron “has a heartbreak tone.” He adds, “You can sing some stuff and it pulls us in…this kid’s breaking our hearts!”
“Your voice makes us melt,” adds Katy. “It doesn’t have this crazy range. It doesn’t NEED this crazy range. It’s wild.”
Lionel asks Aaron if he has a passion for the produce department, and doesn’t take a simple “no” for an answer. He tries to draw some fire out of the singer. “Do you REALLY want to be on American Idol?” Lionel asks. “Yeah.” Aaron answers. Not good enough! Lionel draws out a big “YES” from Aaron.
Luke calls Aaron limited, but raw
“Passion is the key here.” Lionel says after. “You may be one of the most limited singers that we’ve ever sent to Hollywood,” says Luke. “But your delivery is right up there with James Taylor.” Aaron, for the record, has never heard of James Taylor. “He’s so raw, he ain’t even dead yet,” Luke quips.
The panel votes, and they send the singer on to Hollywood. Luke calls him “walking melatonin” and predicts that if Aaron brings a little more vocals, “You will melt hearts.”
American Idol auditions 2 airs on ABC Sunday March 6 at 8 pm.