‘American Idol’ preview: Phil Kane’s song ‘about dirt roads and girls’ gives Katy Perry chills [WATCH]

“I didn’t know you were a real person, I’ve just seen you on TV all these years,” said 18-year old Phil Kane upon meeting “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. The Belmont University student decided to put his songwriting chops to the test by auditioning for Season 21 of the singing competition on ABC. “I write about dirt roads and girls,” he revealed before sitting down at the piano and performing his original song “Osage Country” for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Watch Phil’s audition below.

The Pawhuska, Oklahoma native received a standing ovation from the judges before Katy commented, “The moment you started playing the piano, your choices on the piano gave me chills. Then the storytelling of your song — I believed every single word. It was just so real. I really related to it. I’m not even from your little town, but I want to go and visit now! Authenticity will get you so far. It’s not about notes. It’s about telling a story.”

SEE ‘American Idol’: Lionel Richie sobs while listening to Elijah McCormick’s powerful audition [WATCH]

Lionel spoke to Phil songwriter to songwriter, and said, “You checked all the boxes. Your parallels were perfect. Your hook was perfect. Your storytelling voice was perfect. And the fact that you wrote that at 18 years old, give me a break!” At that point Phil revealed he actually penned the tune at the age of 16 and it was the first song he ever wrote. “Honestly, that was dead on the money,” Lionel said.

“People don’t have it and people got it – and you got it,” Luke added before Katy warned the young artist, “Don’t try to compete with everyone else. Just try and highlight who you already are. Don’t try and be something you’re not because that’s how you’ll not win.”

In closing, Luke reminded everyone, “You know, our winner last year [Noah Thompson] was the simplest, most understated person in the competition cuz people believed him.” With that, the judges gave Phil a golden ticket to Hollywood. Watch the rest of the final auditions for “American Idol” Season 21 on Sunday, March 26 (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC).

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