WATCH ‘American Idol’ Judges Urge Church Janitor To Quit His Job And Pursue Singing


Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon was a janitor at his dad’s church at the time of his American Idol audition in Season 17. His favorite part about being a janitor is that it was usually just him in the facilities so he could sing while he worked. The judges urged him to quit his job as a janitor and pursue singing full time to spread his incredible talent and message with the world.

Church Janitor Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Blew The ‘American Idol’ Judges Away

Growing up as a pastor’s kid wasn’t easy for Jeremiah who felt like certain parts of him didn’t belong and certain parts of him did. His dad has been a pastor for his entire life. Three years before his American Idol audition, Jeremiah came out as gay to his family. This shifted his family dynamic a bit and he said his parents will never fully support this part of his life.  

He sang an original song called “Almost Heaven” for his audition. The song had a very emotional sentiment and put all of his raw vocal talents on display. “You’re a serious musician,” Katy Perry said after the performance. “Those are some serious chords.” Katy also grew up as a pastor’s kid and has developed a whole singing persona that challenges some of the traditional values she grew up surrounded by.


“You need to lose the broom, my friend,” Lionel Richie said. Katy then asked Jeremiah what exactly his job entails. He said that he picks up trash all of the time. The judges agreed that Jeremiah deserves to have a full-fledged singing career and American Idol would be the perfect place to do it.

“When you opened your mouth and started singing, I went straight to Billy Joel” Lionel continued. “And then you kept singing and then you passed Billy Joel. The range is incredible, the voice is incredible.” The judges also complimented him for his songwriting skills. They voted him through to Hollywood.

He Became A Frontrunner During Hollywood Week

During Hollywood Week it became clear that Jeremiah was certainly one of the frontrunners in the competition. His performance of Carole King’s “Beautiful” had everyone up on their feet.

He also further clarified his relationship with his parents. Jeremiah knows his parents love him but will never fully accept the fact that he is openly gay. Despite this, they will always be supportive of his music career especially on American Idol. He announced during Hollywood Week that he decided to leave his dad’s church.

He was chosen to be in the Top 20 and soared through the live shows each week with America’s vote. His family actually came to watch him perform during the live shows. When he got to the top six, he sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Somewhere.” In a shocking turn of events, Jeremiah was eliminated from the competition.

If you found Jeremiah’s American Idol journey to be inspiring, check out the video below. Host Mriganka talks about several acts that shared their powerful stories on talent competition shows.

Where Is Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Now?

After appearing on American Idol, Jeremiah graduated from Towson University. He attended the college for eight years. He released an album called Namesake in 2020 after starting a public fundraiser to raise money for the album. It debuted at No. 20 on the iTunes pop charts and continued to climb.

Jeremiah and his family also took part in a documentary on YouTube that focuses on his life growing up as a pastor’s kid.


What did you think of Jeremiah’s American Idol journey?


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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