So he played a song he wrote for his younger sister, Hazel, called “Best For You.”
“Towards my end of high school, I started struggling with some anxiety. It was some stuff that my sister had dealt with in the past,” the singer from Park City, Utah, said in a clip that aired before his audition Sunday night. “Walking into the audition with this song is important to me because I want to show who I am. It’s a story of mine and something that I feel, and I want to make them feel it.”
The song brought Pike and his sister closer together. It also impressed the “Idol” judges — Lionel Richie called Pike “a Park City James Taylor,” and the singer got his golden ticket to Hollywood.
“I want more,” Luke Bryan said after Pike finished the song, adding that Pike is the “exact spitting image” of his high school bass player. “I think you’re totally cool, totally unique, totally in your own world, in your own lane, playing your guitar in your style, in your movements. ... I’m excited you’re here.”
Although Bryan praised the 20-year-old singer’s “artistic magic,” he did say Pike would likely have to break out of his comfort zone moving forward on the show.
“Idol” judge Lionel Richie also complimented Pike for being such a unique artist.
“You are a fabulous storyteller,” he said. “Luke was right, you’re in your own lane. The only person you’re boxing with right now is yourself.”
Pike has long had an interest in turning music into a career. He was 13 when he got his first gig performing in a lift line at the base of a ski resort. But by the time he graduated high school in 2019, he was on a path to attend business school, the Deseret News reported.
At the last minute, Pike ended up dropping out of business school, deciding instead to take a gap year and focus on music — a shift that ultimately led him to “American Idol.”
So far, Pike is the fourth singer from Utah to make it on “American Idol” this season.
Ammon and Liahona Olayan, a brother-sister duo from Vineyard, impressed “Idol” judges during the second week of auditions that aired last month, according to the Deseret News. And Abby LeBaron, a 19-year-old singer from Springville, had a successful audition last week.
Additionally, Lizzy O’Very, a singer from Ephraim, Utah, whose audition did not end up airing, will also appear during the show’s next round, an “Idol” representative told the Deseret News. O’Very, Pike and the Olayans will all appear during the first Hollywood Week episode that airs on March 21.