One of our favorite moments from Season 17 of American Idol came when Army Sergeant Landen Knowlton gave the judges a taste of what it’s like to be the in the military.
After ordering around Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, Landen showed off his amazing voice. Check out the funny audition in the video below.
Landen Knowlton Auditions For ‘American Idol’
When Landen shared that he was a sergeant in the Army, judge Katy Perry said, “I know you wanna be nice to us, because you wanna possibly go to Hollywood. But can you talk to us as if we’re your …”
“In the unit?” Landen prompted. Katy agreed, saying she and her fellow American Idol judges were “just a bunch of punks.” She even put her feet up on the judges’ table. But it didn’t take long for her to sit up straight when Landen started yelling.
Landen ordered them to do push-ups. Katy and Luke got down on the ground to obey, and Landen even said Luke’s push-ups were good. Lionel, however, chose to stay standing. “When I get down there, you don’t come back up,” he said.
Landen even got up in the judges’ faces to yell at them to stand at attention. Katy Perry screamed in fright, saying, “I didn’t eat the cookies!” Eventually, he let them sit down at the table again, and started his audition.
What Did The Judges Think Of Landen’s Performance?
For his American Idol audition, Landen went on to sing “Washed by the Water” by NEEDTOBREATHE, while playing acoustic guitar. Lionel said he thought Landen’s “opportunity to scare the hell out of us” might have loosened him up.
“Towards the end of that song, I feel like maybe you were trying to blow hard, or show off maybe,” Katy Perry said. “I think, actually, you have such a beautiful, subtle texture that you don’t always have to feel like you have to compete in that way.”
Luke said Landen had a “real voice” with a lot of soul in it. The singer received three “yes” votes to go to Hollywood. Unfortunately, he was eliminated from American Idol during Hollywood Week. Last year, he released a single called “Drink With Me.”