WATCH: ‘Maytag Man’ Warren Peay Draws Comparisons To Chris Stapleton With Impressive ‘Idol’ Audition

“Coming into American Idol, I truly feel like this is a game changer for me,” Peay shared.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 20, 2023


10:34 am

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Warren Peay; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Warren Peay, an appliance repair technician, from Bamberg, South Carolina hopes to become the next American Idol and if his audition is any indication, he just might have a shot. 

In addition to being an appliance repairman, Peay also leads worship at his local church, which he says allows him to grow as a musician. He also admitted that he is very grateful for the opportunity to showcase his vocal abilities on Idol.

“Coming into American Idol, I truly feel like this is a game changer for me,” Peay shared ahead of his audition. “I want to get out and play as much as possible….make it a career. I think my church is super proud that I’m going, and I’m so glad to have that support behind me.”

Warren Peay; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Warren Peay; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Auditioned With “To The Table”

The 23-year-old, who is also an avid duck hunter, appeared in front of the American Idol judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, and took his shot at a ticket to Hollywood with a countrified cover of Zach Williams’ 2016 song, “To The Table.”

Just before his performance, Peay joked, “I am a Maytag man.”

Perry said what everyone seemed to be thinking when she told him, “I thought you were Chris Stapleton’s brother.” 

Peay admitted, “I’ve been getting a lot of that.”


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For his performance, Peay showcased his vocals as he strummed an acoustic guitar. The judges bobbed their heads along and spoke amongst themselves in the midst of his audition.  

“His voice cuts through,” Bryan said.

“FM Radio right there!” Richie added, acknowledging that Peay’s vocals are radio-ready.

At one point, Perry threw an arm up in the air.

The Judges Were Impressed

American Idol Judges; Photo by ABC, American Idol
American Idol Judges; Photo by ABC, American Idol

He earned a standing ovation as Luke Bryan proclaimed, “Well, that was badass.”  

“A Christian Chris Stapleton. Warren Woo,” Perry gushed. ”You walked in that door and I was like, please God, please God, answer our prayers, God. This guy looks the part. Please have him sound the part and you sound the freaking part.”

Perry added, “You are authentic, authentic!

“I sure try to be,” Peay said in response to the “Fireworks” singer. 

“You know, look, I like that song a lot. Just because you love the Lord doesn’t mean you don’t get angry. So I need to hear some of that too. I want to hear some of that with paired with that texture in the voice. Woo! That’s how you get rid of that anger is sing about it.”

“Warren, I’m going to make this very brief that is about this heading down the top 10 road that I ever heard in my whole life,” Richie said before his fellow Idol judges questioned, “are you saying that he’s Top 10 material?”

“I’m telling you he’s strong and he’s top 10,” Richie replied, Bryan and Perry agreed. 

“You’re going to shake this thing up,” Bryan told him. 

After praising Warren Peay’s Idol audition, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan voted. The constant earned three ‘yeses’ and advanced to Hollywood week. 

“What an incredible experience! Tonight I performed for the Idol judges and got the golden ticket to Hollywood!” Peay wrote on Instagram. ”Praise God for this amazing opportunity, and a huge shoutout and thank you to everyone who has supported me in starting this journey. Be Blessed!”

Viewers Praised His Performance

Peay’s audition had social media buzzing as many Idol viewers took to various platforms to praise the contestant. 

“@warrenpeaymusic stopped me dead in my tracks and zoned me into his voice. Had to watch it numerous times. Best I’ve ever heard! Has my vote #godfirst #AmericanIdol winner!!!” one viewer wrote, while another added, “Warren really does remind me of @ChrisStapleton. I like his voice.”

Other Idol fans took to social media to gush over Peay’s audition saying, “Top 10 for sure. Honestly, he could go all the way” and “@warrenpeaymusic got me crying!!! He’s got so much soul ❤️❤️❤️… Definitely could win this thing.”

American Idol airs every 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 and her work being featured on 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.