Waterford native is new American Idol music director; worked with Katy Perry

Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 17:55:53-04

American Idol is back! The reboot features a man behind-the-scenes who is from Metro Detroit.

"There are incredible voices on the show this year," said Kris Pooley.

Pooley is the show's music director. He left Waterford and moved out to California at the age of 24.

Pooley plays the keyboard and got his big break touring with Jane's Addiction. He became Katy Perry's music director and that led to the show.

"Arranging and working with the contestants and I put the band together obviously, really the music department runs through me. I work with the vocal coaches."

The new and improved American Idol focuses on talent and the judges seem to have a softer approach than previous years.

While Pooley's focus is on the music, even he and the American Idol band cant help get emotional during touching moments. He recalls one particular moment when the band shed tears.

"We couldn't look at each other because we were all trying to be tough and professional. It was funny because the whole band was looking up trying to drain tears back into your eyes." 

Catch American Idol on WXYZ Sunday and Monday nights.