Dillon James reflected on his American Idol journey and the tough times that got him there during the American Idol finale on Sunday (May 17).
The “Spiritual Cowboy” recalled his past addiction struggles as clips of his previous performances aired.
“About five years ago, my life wasn’t like this, how it is today,” he said. “I lived a very negative life, I didn’t have anything really going for me. I lost myself in drugs and alcohol.”
Now with a newfound look on life, James is ready to win fans over and become the next American Idol. During Sunday’s show, James had two more chances to show off his talent, performing a song to celebrate his spot in the Top 5 and one previously performed song that would ultimately become his official single if he wins American Idol.
James’ first performance featured Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” After delivering the song from his candlelit backyard, the judges praised the “Spiritual Cowboy” for showcasing one of his best performances ever. Katy Perry said it was “effortless,” while Luke Bryan told him, “you are exactly where you need to be.”
Next up, James revisited the Bob Dylan hit “The Times They Are a-Changin,'” which he previously performed when Idol visited Hawaii. The judges continued to gush over James, with the judges praising his confidence.
“Dillon, I remember when you sang this in Hawaii, but this time I thought it was a much more confident performance. It showed off more talent vocally,” Perry shared.
Bryan agreed, also telling James that he was “inspired” by his story.
Fans who would like to vote for Dillon James can vote online or by texting 15 to 21523. The winner of American Idol will be crowned at the conclusion of Sunday’s show.