‘American Idol’ Fans Dub 15-Year-Old Phenom Triston Harper the “New Garth Brooks”; Ex-NFL Player Heads to the Top 24

American Idol got a little wild this week with the introduction of the Idol Arena. All 143 singers gathered, with the judges cutting the group to only 56 people. Fans are still waiting to see who survives one of the biggest cuts in American Idol history. Two contestants in particular have already caught the eye of viewers: Triston Harper and Blake Proehl.

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[RELATED: Luke Bryan Comments on ‘American Idol’ Contestant’s Voice Breaking During Hollywood Week Performance]

Triston Harper Is Headed to the Top 24 on ‘American Idol’

During audition week, Triston Harper won viewers over with his powerful rendition of Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up.” He imbued every word with a wisdom and maturity that belied his 15 years. And if his stunning vocals didn’t win fans over, his heartfelt backstory definitely did. The small-town Alabama native talked about the lowest point of his life: homeless and sleeping on an Arkansas sidewalk with his mother.

Monday (April 1) was Triston’s second time to wow the crowd. The member of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians performed an original song, “Wrapped Up in Jesus,” that he wrote with his 86-year-old church friend Sister Willie Mae.

“Triston Harper is an absolute keeper!” one X/Twitter user wrote. “I think he could be on the country charts in 2024!”

Another fan chimed in, “I cry every time he’s on my screen.”

‘There’s Talent in His Blood:’ Blake Proehl is a Fan Favorite

When one door closes, another opens. It sounds cliche, but Blake Proehl has experienced it firsthand. The 25-year-old North Carolina native grew up dreaming of following in father Ricky Proehl’s footsteps. Ricky spent 17 seasons in the NFL, playing in four Super Bowls and winning two. Blake seemed on track to follow suit when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, a torn ACL injury derailed his rookie season. The Vikings eventually waived him in 2023.

Undaunted, Proehl shifted focus to his music career. Now, he’s headed to the Top 24 after a passionate rendition of Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood.” And his beloved Nana got to deliver the news.

Featured image via YouTube

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