Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon returned to the “American Idol” stage during Monday’s episode of Hollywood week and floored judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan with his haunting rendition of Roberta Flack‘s “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face.” Because this church janitor’s family doesn’t support his being gay, Jeremiah admitted to mentor Bobby Bones that his home life felt “gloomy,” which is why it was so “good” being in Hollywood for the second stage of the reality TV competition. Watch Jeremiah’s latest performance video above.
With his family staying put back home, Jeremiah revealed, “It’s freeing in a way because this gives me the platform to just process a lot that’s happening. Music’s like my way of doing that.” Jeremiah’s boyfriend John, also a musician, showed his support by traveling with him to Hollywood and sitting in the audience as he belted out the Roberta Flack classic.
“He is an amazing singer,” Luke whispered to Katy and Lionel during the middle of his slowed-down, intimate performance. When Jeremiah hit his final note, the judges all jumped to their feet. “It was all kind of a blur being up there on the stage,” Jeremiah noted backstage. “But the judges stood for me and a lot of other people were standing, so I feel like it went well.”
“I know that my parents love me, but I know that they can’t accept the fact that I’m gay,” Jeremiah said earlier in the week before his “Lines of 10” performance of Carole King‘s “Beautiful.” Jeremiah auditioned with his original song “Almost Heaven,” which quickly went viral at YouTube. His rendition of “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” easily sent him through to the Top 40 of “American Idol” Season 17.
In his “American Idol” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about Jeremiah’s performance: “We finally get to see a substantial amount of the performance. He sounds fantastic, and I’m happy to see more of his singing than his sob story. When he hits the top of his range, the judges wince as if to be worried he can’t hit the notes, but he does and they give him a standing ovation.”