American Idol made its long-awaited return Sunday evening (Feb. 16) and it did not disappoint. The show’s season 18 premiere kicked off on ABC with beloved judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie as well as longtime host Ryan Seacrest and in-house mentor Bobby Bones.
During the two-hour season premiere, a number of talented singers had their chance to audition for a chance to move on to the Hollywood rounds after performing for the judges. Among them was a contestant named Dibesh Pokharel, who goes by the stage name Arthur Gunn.
Gunn wow’ed each of the three judges with a performance of Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country.” His unique, raspy vocals made him a standout among other contestants. After his performance, Perry requested that he try to open his eyes some more while singing and perform another song. He obliged and once again stunned the judges’ panel with a rendition of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain’” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Bryan was so impressed with Arthur Gunn, that he invited him to open up one of his concerts.
“You want to open for me in Detroit, Michigan in two weeks,” he laughed.
Bryan went on to thank him for being there as Richie gushed, “Oh my God, I am loving this discovery.”
Dibesh Pokharel was originally born in Kathmandu, Nepal. He auditioned for American Idol in Wichita, Kansas, which has been his home for the last five years. Watch his audition in the clip above.