Monroe singer Benson Boone wins ‘American Idol’ golden ticket

The 18-year-old charmed Katy Perry and the others on Sunday. Lionel Ritchie called him “Benson Ka-boom.”

MONROE — It was Benson Boone’s 15 minutes of swoon.

The 18-year-old singer from Monroe didn’t miss a beat during his audition on Sunday’s ABC season premiere of “American Idol.”

All three judges — Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie — stood up and gave him a “Yes.”

He got the golden ticket to advance to the next round, which starts airing in mid-March.

Boone did a back flip before taking the stage during Sunday’s show. At Monroe High School he was known for his diving skills.

He told the judges singing was a new thing for him.

“You never sang ‘Happy Birthday?’” Perry said.

“I did, but I sang it bad,” he replied.

Seated at the piano, he fiddled with the microphone.

“Have you ever used a mic?” asked Perry.

“Not really,” Boone said.

“Well, hey, the best way to test the volcano is jump in it,” Bryan said.

And he did. Boone flawlessly delivered a resonating rendition of “Punchline” by Aidan Martin.

The judges were impressed by his voice and charm.

“They’re gonna swoon over Benson Boone,” Perry said.

“Benson Ka-boom,” Ritchie said.

Bryan told him, “You’re not cocky, you’re humble. You’re still in diapers, you’re a toddler when it comes to this world.”

Boone was a high school junior when a friend recruited him to play piano for “Battle of the Bands” and asked him to sing. His voice surprised everyone, especially him.

He started singing on TikTok. He has 1.2 million followers. He is taking this semester off from Brigham Young University-Idaho to practice.

Cheering him backstage at “American Idol” was his mom, Kerry. He is the middle child of five and the only boy.

Other “Idol” hopefuls who received golden tickets Sunday included a seasoned 17-year-old country singer from Kentucky and Claudia Conway, the daughter of former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway. Miranda Kitchpanich, a Seattle blues vocalist, didn’t make the cut. Neither did the guy in red-and-white-striped Speedos and white knee socks.

This is the 19th season of the series that launched stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard, Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and Gabby Barrett.

“I see you winning ‘American Idol’ if you want to,” Perry told Boone.

He did two flips leaving the stage.

Will Boone be the next “Idol?”

We’ll just have to wait to find out.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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