After 20 years of American Idol audition we can’t recall ever seeing a contestant less excited to be moving on to the Hollywood round of the competition. Despite his lack of energy and excitement, 20-year-old Aaron Westberry moved the judges with his cover of Sam Hunt’s “2016.”
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Westberry, a produce stocker from Greenville, South Carolina, spoke to producers prior to his live audition and confessed that he had only “sang in front of somebody, like, live only once.”
“The first time that I realized that somebody liked when I sang was when I sent a video to a girl of me singing and playing piano and she liked it,” Aaron said.
Westberry made his way to the piano after introducing himself to the judges, and as he began to play and sing Sam Hunt‘s “2016” the judges were clearly impressed by what they were hearing.
“You’re really good,” Katy Perry told the singer. “Your voice makes us melt.”
Lionel Richie attempted to stir up some emotion from the singer by asking him if he really enjoys stocking produce, to which Westberry replied with a calm no. Richie asked him again and he replied with a little bit more enthusiasm. Richie then asked if he wanted to be on American Idol. Westberry replied with a calm “Yeah.” Richie said, “No…I’m gonna ask that again…Understand that passion is the key here. You got it?”
Luke Bryan was more blunt with his feedback saying that the singer was possibly one of the most limited that they had ever sent to Hollywood and also said that Aaron was “so raw it ain’t even dead yet.”
Bryan added that Westberry’s delivery was “right up there with James Taylor,” a comment that induced a blank stare from the contestant who admitted that he didn’t know who James Taylor was.
When it came time to vote, all three judges agreed to send the singer on to the next round of competition, but not before Luke Bryan called Westberry “walking melatonin. ”
“But, man if you’ve got that character and somehow you can give us a little more vocals, you will melt hearts,” Luke said before giving the singer a hearty “yes” vote.
Any excitement Westberry was feeling in the moment was well-hidden as he meandered to the board of golden tickets, with his hands in the pockets of his sweatpants, and quietly said, “Thank you very much.”
Luke snuck in one more light-hearted jab when he told the singer, “You better fly a day early or you’re never gonna get there.”
We look forward to seeing what the competition holds for Aaron Westberry as he brings a new dynamic to the stage along with his heart-melting voice. Watch his American Idol audition in the video below.