After auditioning with an original song, 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy followed his gut and took the stage with another original tune during American Idol’s Showstopper round on Sunday evening (March 28).
The South Carolina native explained that he originally planned to cover a Travis Tritt song, but decided to go with one he wrote called “When You Leave Tonight” at the last minute.
“I don’t think it’s a risk to sing an original song, because an original song is how I got here,” he explained.
“I’m proud of that performance no matter if they like it or not. I’m proud of it,” Kennedy added.
Unfortunately, Kennedy’s performance left the judges wanting more.
“Caleb, we felt like the song during the Showstoppers round was good,” Perry said, adding, “I feel like your audition song was much better.”
“Remember you’re 16, you’re going to write some good songs and you’re going to write songs that aren’t that great,” Bryan told him.
While his performance didn’t impress the judges too much, they decided to advance him in the competition.
“You’re going through. You’re in our Top 24,” Bryan revealed. “Keep fighting. Keep working for it.”
Click above to watch Caleb Kennedy’s performance.
American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday on ABC.