ABC’s American Idol returned Monday evening (April 5) with an exciting second round of celebrity duets, featuring a number of superstar artists including Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Jewel, Incubus’ Brandon Boyd and more.
Country hitmaker Jason Aldean also guest starred on the show and was on on-hand to duet with Top 24 contestant Caleb Kennedy. Their duet took place following Kennedy’s solo performance of “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band.
Aldean and Kennedy teamed up for a performance of the country superstar’s 2012 hit, “Fly Over States,” which was released when Kennedy was in Kindergarten. The performance perfectly showcased Kennedy’s vocal abilities and earned praise from all of the Idol judges.
“You know, Luke Bryan actually told me something about country folk. You’ve got some country listeners that are more mainstream, then you’ve got your AM and your FM,” Katy Perry told him. “You are so country – you gonna get the AM, the FM and the mainstream because you are so authentically yourself.”
This performance marked the first time Kennedy performed without a guitar. Luke Bryan applauded him for stepping outside of his comfort zone.
“I would say The Allman Brothers thing may of showcased you a little bit better than ‘Fly Over States.’ Man, what’s the most promising thing about you Caleb is you sound like you no matter whose music you’re doing,” Bryan said. “I mean, that’s just what you sound like.”
“You have been possessed by a very old seasoned country man,” Lionel Richie added. “You’re going to learn as you go who that person is so that you know as time goes on. 16-years-old, you have so much promise, so much promise in your career. I just can’t wait to see where you go with this.”
The 16-year-old singer previously impressed the Idol judges with performances of two different self-penned songs that truly impressed Idol judges, especially Luke Bryan who praised his gritty country vocals.
Fans can vote for Caleb Kennedy by using the official American Idol app, visiting AmericanIdol.com/vote or by texting 22 to 21523. Please note, fans can vote 10 times, per contestant, per voting method.
American Idol returns on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Click above to watch Aldean and Kennedy’s performance.