The new season of “American Idol” only just began on February 16, but one audition has already ended with a judge wiping away tears.
Meet Doug Kiker, a father and garbageman from Mobile, Alabama. The 27-year-old doesn’t know much about professional singing; in fact, the only performing he’s done is belting it out from the back of his truck. But he has one thing many other “American Idol” hopefuls don’t: a killer voice.
As it turns out, this wasn’t Doug’s first attempt to get on the show. In 2019, he auditioned in his hometown but struck out when his nerves got the better of him.
“I couldn’t even figure out what I was gonna do, I kept trying to remember the words to the song I was gonna sing, and when it came out, it came out horribly,” he told WEAR ABC 3.
But Doug is determined to make his growing family proud. He has a 2-year-old daughter named Eliana and one on the way with his fiancée, Valerie. They gave him all the courage he needed to take a second shot at his dream.
Though they were a bit surprised by Doug’s lack of experience, it didn’t take the judges long to spot the man’s potential. Lionel Richie helped bring it out by suggesting Ryan Seacrest show him how to warm up. After that, Doug’s soulful voice captivated them — as did his charm.
Luke Bryan also jumped in on the piano, demonstrating how to showcase more of his vocal range. The lesson turned into an impromptu duet as the two sang Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road” together. As Doug’s confidence grew, his raw talent began shining through.
“There’s so much in there,” Luke observed, grinning. He and the other judges were all on the same page. This man was Hollywood material!
“You just stay who you are, and you’re going to go so far, and you’re going to take your daughter with you to all the highest heights,” a misty-eyed Katy Perry added. “That wasn’t garbage. It was greatness.”
“They shook my hand and made me feel like I was one of them,” Doug said afterward. “This proves that, if you believe in yourself, and you work at it, you can do anything.”
Throughout the entire audition, it was clear Doug had no idea how talented he really is. That humility has earned him a place in thousands of fans’ hearts. No matter how far he goes in the competition, he’s already become a star. Good luck, Doug!
Listen to him sing in the video below, and share his beautiful voice!
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