Season 17 of “American Idol” is well underway. Thus far we’ve seen our fair share of raw talent and emotional backstories.
Ethan Payne, a teen who lives with cystic fibrosis, wowed us with his Luke Bryan-worthy vocals and determination.
Kai the Singer teared up as she talked about her childhood, but when she started to sing through those tears, we knew her voice was something special.
Now a self-taught, guitar and piano-playing, homeschooled dishwasher from Pomona, California, has raised the stakes with his killer talent.
Alejandro Aranda, 24, claims he “grew up just like every other kid,” but once you hear him sing and play, you’ll agree this man is unlike any other.
From dishwashing to playing music in the streets to standing before three judges who could change his life forever, this man has come a long way.
It’s hard to believe he’s only been playing music for 4 years, or so says his “American Idol” contestant bio on ABC.
Timid and ever humble, Aranda clearly has no idea just how much he stands out among the rest. He mentions his own awkwardness more than once on his Instagram account @scarypoolparty.
The judges saw just how special he is as he sang and played an original song called “Out Loud.” Aranda’s voice and finger-picking skills speak for themselves.
Then he got on the piano and wowed them again with another original called “Cholo Love.” Is there anything this man can’t do?
“You, my friend, are so talented. I am so inspired,” Lionel Richie said after standing, slack-jawed, following the first half of the audition.
“I just feel like I’m in the presence of greatness.” Luke Bryan added. “It was like watching my favorite movie that I did not want to end.”
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“Do you think you’re the next American Idol?” Katy Perry asked. When Aranda said he didn’t know, Perry posed a second question.
‘Why do you think you’re special?” she asked. Arnada’s answer is priceless: “I don’t really think I’m special, I think I’m just hard working.
Arnada listed Trent Reznor, Chopin and Bach as his musical heroes. “Those are my three inspirations,” he said.
Not only did Perry tell Alejandro she thinks he’s the winner, but she called him “an absolute genius.” Wow! That may just be the biggest compliment of the season so far!
“We’re the lucky ones. You have such a career,” Richie said. “And the fact you don’t know it makes it even more special. There’s nothing like you, my friend.”
“I don’t even want to see anybody after him,” Bryan said when it was all said and done. As you may have guessed, the vote was unanimous and Arnada was handed a golden ticket to Hollywood.
“I just wanted to say thank you for all the love and being accepting of my awkwardness,” Arnada wrote on Instagram. “Love y’all.”
We can’t wait to see what Alejandro comes up with next. We have no doubt he’ll be sticking around for quite some time.
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