Alejandro Aranda‘s “American Idol” audition video of his original song “Out Loud” went viral, with many calling it the “greatest audition ever.” Now that the humble 24-year-old singer from Pomona, California is back on the reality TV show in the Hollywood rounds, he’s breaking his silence on that initial performance. “The whole audition was a blur for me,” he said during Sunday’s episode. “I was kind of overwhelmed with the feeling that they embraced the song that I played for them.” For his Hollywood week performance, Alejandro took on an unlikely song choice … Justin Bieber‘s “Sorry” (watch above).
“This is something I’ve never done before,” Alejandro said while waiting backstage at the Orpheum Theatre. “The whole experience I feel like is kind of pushing me out of my boundaries. Going through this whole process I just want to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I don’t have enough confidence ’cause growing up I never had really anybody to tell me to go for it.”
Alejandro revealed to “American Idol” mentor Bobby Bones that his own self-doubt is always there until he starts playing. “[That’s when] I start getting very comfortable because it’s what I love,” he readily admitted. “When I’m on stage I feel most honest. It’s just music telling me to keep going and just push out of my comfort zone.”
For his “Line of 10” performance in front of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, Alejandro decided to take a risk by tackling Bieber’s pop song. But Alejandro made it his own, including doing his own amazing riffs on the guitar. “I could watch him all day,” raved Lionel.
Following Alejandro’s performance of “Sorry” the judges removed their jackets and threw them up on the stage in a show of support. “Thanks, y’all,” the singer remarked as his dozens of competitors all gave him a standing ovation. Later Alejandro announced, “I never would have thought Katy Perry would be throwing clothing at me. Great day!”