ROMEO, Mich. (WXYZ) — The new season of American Idol premieres tonight, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. on WXYZ with the first round of auditions.
Southeast Michigan will be represented by a 16-year-old Romeo High School student, Ryan Romano.
"To be able to see such great stars have come from these shows and to think I have that opportunity for myself, that’s really special,” Ryan said.
Romano got his start in music at a young age. A performance at his third grade talent show sent the young singer on a musical journey, inspired by his favorite artists in classic rock.
“I’ve always had that musicality in my life and it’s grown over the years,” Ryan said.
Before he got his shot with the judges, the first round of auditions began at home with Ryan doing Zoom calls with producers due to the pandemic.
“You start by auditioning with a producer then you move through the stages and the group keeps getting smaller and smaller," he said. "I believe there was 50,000 people that initially started with those Zoom auditions.”
Ryan was given an in person audition, traveling to perform in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.
“They are really down to earth people honestly," he said. "Any nerves you might have had going into that room immediately alleviated."
Ryan can’t reveal what song he sang, or whether or not he made it to Hollywood, but the secret will be out tonight. As the country, and his family in Romeo, tunes in.
“We’ve got our DVR going to record it of course, and we’re just going to chill on the couch to watch it and see what we see. It’s exciting,” he said.
Ryan just released an EP called "Old Soul" that is available on Apple Music and Spotify.