Philip “Phil” Kane is chasing his musical dreams on American Idol and hopes that his songwriting skills will help his standout amongst the competition throughout Season 21.
Kane is 18 years old and hails from Pawhuska, Oklahoma but resides in Nashville as a student at Belmont University. He says he spends his time writing about “dirt roads” and “girls.”
Host Ryan Seacrest questioned, “In that order?
”Oh, sometimes. I mean, I guess you’ll hear in the song I’m about to play. It’s about pretty much in that order,” Kane replied.
Kane showcased his songwriting skills with an original song titled, “Osage County.” He performed the tun while seated behind a white grand piano.
As he sang the lyrics, the Idol judges watched on, bobbing their heads along to the beat.
At the conclusion of the song, all three judges stood to applaud Phil Kane’s standout audition.
“The country Jackson Brown,” Luke Bryan exclaimed. “You got it done there big boy.”
Kane humbly and graciously thanked the judges for the standing ovation and their kind words. “Thank you guys, oh my gosh,” Kane said with a big smile on his face.
Katy Perry went on to praise the Belmont student’s storytelling abilities.
“The moment you started playing the piano, your choices on the piano gave me chills,” Perry said. ”And then the storytelling of your song. I believed every single word. It was just so real and I really related to it. I, I’m not even from your little town, but I want to go and visit now. Osage County, I’m coming. I’m buying a shirt. It’s just authenticity will get you so far….not about notes. It’s about telling a story, isn’t it Lionel Richie?”
Lionel Richie had nothing but kind words to share.
“So Phil, I’m going to tell you something. Songwriter to songwriter. [You] Checked all the boxes,” he explained. “Your parallels were perfect, your hook was perfect, your storytelling voice was perfect. And the fact that you wrote that, my friend, at 18 years old, give me a break.”
“I actually wrote it when I was 16 years old. That’s the first song I ever wrote,” Kane said, clarifying when he wrote the tune.
“I got to tell you, honestly, that was dead on the money,” Richie responded. “We know who your character is. We know exactly what your sound is. That was brilliant what you just did.”
A Golden Ticket
“People don’t have it and people got it. And you got it,” Bryan gushed. “Great job!”
Before the judges revealed Kane’s fate in the competition, they shared a few final words.
“If you go to this shiny place called Hollywood. Don’t try and compete with everyone else. Just try and highlight who you already are. Don’t try and be something you’re not, because that’s how you’ll not win,” Perry told him.
“Be authentic,” Richie added.
Referring to season 20 winner, Noah Thompson, Bryan said, “Our winner last year was the simplest, most understated person in the competition because people believed him.”
Ultimately, Phil Kane earned three ‘yeses’ from the Idol judges and a golden ticket to advance to Hollywood.
American Idol airs every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.