NARBERTH, PA — In the third season of ABC’s American Idol, a young man from the Main Line is having his dreams come true.
Louis Knight, 19, of Narberth, will hit the national airwaves Sunday night when the show premiers at 8 p.m.
For Knight, the opportunity was unexpected and one he could not pass up.
“It was completely unexpected,” Knight said of the chance to audition. “It fell out of the sky.”
For those in the know, most contestants do not get invited to audition. Typically, musicians are selected through a public casting call. But Knight got a call asking to give it a shot. He said he thought the call was a joke. But now, with the premier nearly here, he says it finally feels real.
“It’s been getting more and more real every day,” he told Patch Friday.
Knight, who moved to Narberth from England about nine years ago, has been gigging in and around Philadelphia, which fits the plan he set to start playing shows on the east coast.
“I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t take the opportunity,” he said.
And it turns out that decision was the right one.
In a promo posted to the American Idol Facebook page, country megastar and judge Luke Bryan tells Knight he “might be the biggest star we’ve ever had” during his audition in front of fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, the latter being a major influence on Knight’s music.
Regarding this audition, Knight says he basically blacked out.
“I was so nervous,” he said. “I walked in and was practically shaking.”
But, the singer-songwriter who wrote his first song at 14, gave a performance of his original song titled “Change,” which he wrote after a friend took his own life.
“As soon as I sat down, instincts took over and I did the thing I love to do.”
Performing such an emotional song in front of the judges was an incredible moment, he said. Knight was also featured in a TV spot for the new season, singing Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” on a tour bus with fellow contestants, who Knight says are all supportive of one another.
“Everyone is so lovely and supportive of one another,” he said.
The experience has made some contestants friends for life, despite the show’s competitive nature. And as for family and friends, Knight says the support has been unbelievable.
“The support I get from my family and friends is incredible and I’m so grateful,” he said. “I’ve been getting so much support over the last few days.”
In fact, The Great American Pub in Narberth is hosting a watch party for Sunday’s premier. The pub will show the premier on all its TV while offering drink and appetizer specials. The pub is located at 101 N. Narberth Ave.
As for Knight, he says his friends are going to film his reaction to the audition. While he’s hitting the national stage on one of the most storied talent search programs, Knight still has local gigs on his calendar. He is set to play a full set with his backing band Feb. 25 at Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia.
“American Idol” season three premiers at 8 p.m. Sunday on ABC.