Adin Boyer came into the American Idol audition room with a powerful message that he shared through an original song.
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“I’m auditioning for American Idol to further advance my music career and to inspire people, particularly those who are neurodiverse,” the 22-year-old music teacher from California stated confidently in front of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, getting a cheer of approval from Perry.
“I love this,” added Richie.
At the age of two, Boyer was diagnosed with autism. Growing up in an “artsy” household where his mother was an actress and his dad is a middle school band director and musician, Boyer himself became a classically trained musician during childhood at the behest of his parents, who quickly noticed his musical prowess. Boyer also shared that he has auditory sensory issues and gets “traumatized” by sudden loud noises. He almost missed going to a Coldplay concert due to a traumatic auditory experience he had days before, but ultimately decided to go, the concert solidifying his desire to make music a full-time career.
Boyer got to show off his piano-playing expertise and stunning voice for the judges by performing an original song he wrote that features such personal lyrics as you’re so kind to me / what happened? / And you have succumbed to a group dynamic I can never be a part of / Even if I try…is it the way you are or the way I am?
“I could listen to that all night,” Richie praised, awarding Boyer with a standing ovation. “That was incredible.”
“It was really cool,” Perry affirmed. “At the end, you gave us a really big surprise note. It led me to think, ‘What else can you do?'”
Bryan was also impressed by Boyer’s musicianship, saying it was “some of the best piano playing” he’s heard in the six seasons he’s been an Idol judge. When it came time to vote, Bryan admitted that he was originally going to vote “no” but ultimately changed his mind.
“If you just play that piano and keep the vocal in a really tasteful place, you’re going to do well,” Bryan advised, with both Perry and Richie also voting Boyer through to the Hollywood round.
American Idol airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless