Ex-NFL Player Blake Proehl Stuns American Idol Judges With Chart-Topping Country Cover

Katy Perry predicted the former Minnesota Vikings player will land in the Top 10.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 19, 2024

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Blake Proehl; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

Former NFL player Blake Proehl nearly left the American Idol judges speechless with his performance of Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know” during his memorable Idol audition. 

The 24-year-old first shared his powerful story of perseverance revealing that he was previously signed to the Minnesota Vikings, but that an injury sidelined his football career. 

Is Blake Proehl Still With The Vikings?

“I went through a really tough injury…I tore a bunch of stuff. I don’t want to get graphic,” Proehl, whose father, Ricky Proehl, played in the NFL for 17 years, shared. “They just said, ‘Hey, it’ll be a success story if you’re able to just run again in general.’” 

Blake Proehl; Photo Courtesy American Idol, YouTube
Blake Proehl; Photo Courtesy American Idol, YouTube

Visibly overcome with emotions, Proehl admitted, “That was definitely the toughest time for sure.”

He Was Unable To Walk After His Injury

After being unable to walk for “so long,” the Charlotte, North Carolina native turned to music in what was the most difficult time of his life so far. 

“That’s where music kind of came in and saved me. My grandma is the reason why I’m here. I really didn’t believe in myself at all music wise and she’s the reason why I have any confidence at all to be in this room,” he said. 

Blake Proehl; with his Nana Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Blake Proehl; with his Nana Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

Per the request of Idol judge Katy Perry, Proehl brought his nana into the audition room and sat down at the piano for his performance. 

What Did Blake Proehl Sing For His Audition?

With his nana by his side, the aspiring young singer delivered an emotional performance of “In Case You Didn’t Know.” As he sang, the judges exchanged looks of approval and shed a few tears. 

At the end of his performance, Perry and Lionel Richie enthusiastically rose from their seats to applaud the contestant, while Luke Bryan remained seated, clapping in appreciation. 

YouTube video

What Did The Judges Think Of His Audition?

Perry told his nana, “Listen, every grandma thinks that their grandchildren are great, but you are right!”

She then requested that the judges panel “get serious” to determine Proehl’s future in the competition and predicted that the contestant with land in the “top 10.”  

Bryan then took a moment to share his thoughts.

“You just did that song the right way in a very believable way, in a very innocent, vulnerable, like every girl that you sit down and sing that to, they’re going to be melted butter. Kind of like this one a minute ago, but it was just a real moment,” the country superstar complimented. 

Blake Proehl; with his Nana Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Blake Proehl; with his Nana Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

Richie then added, “I wrote one thing down here that stood out: natural. It’s just one of those things that either you have it or you don’t, and in this case, my friend…Blake, you have stepped into an oval with guts and gusto.” 

Did Blake Proehl Receive A Golden Ticket?

It was then revealed that Blake Proehl earned a coveted Golden Ticket to Hollywood. 

After his audition aired, Proehl shared his excitement on social media by posting a selfie with his Golden Ticket. 

Brett Young Reacted

Chart-topping country star, Brett Young, chimed in after as well, complimenting the singer on a job well done. 

“Great job @blakeproehl! Good luck,” he wrote. 

American Idol returned on Sunday, February 18 for its 22nd season. Airing on ABC, the season premiere introduced viewers to a new crop of rising stars. 

Idol will return next Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.