For contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, being the last audition of the day for American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, turned out to be a case of ‘saved the best for last.”
Harmon, the openly gay son of a Catonsville pastor, shared with the judges that he works in his dad’s church as a janitor.
Perry instantly connected with Harmon as a “PK” – ‘pastor’s kid’ – saying, “I feel you, I know you.”
Harmon remembers singing for the first time at four years-old, and that he enjoys his work at the church because “It’s usually just me in the facility, so I’m singing all the time.”
“Just mopping away, doing the trash, wiping down all the toilets and stuff – just cleaning and singing,” he added.
The 26-year-old realized he was gay when he was nine years-old, and shares that growing up a “PK” he felt there were parts of him “that do belong, and certain parts of the that don’t belong.”
When he came out to his family three years ago, he was told “this is not a path that I should follow.”
“All of my religion has been stripped down to I love you no matter what,” he added.
He then sat down at the piano to perform an original song he wrote, titled “Almost Heaven,” which he explained came from “questioning if there is a place for me and people like me in heaven.”
We can confirm there is at least a place for Jeremiah on American Idol.
The judges were duly impressed.
“You need to lose the broom, my friend,” Richie said. “When you opened your mouth and started singing, I went straight to Billy Joel. Then you kept singing and you passed Billy Joel.”
“Your range is incredible, your voice is incredible,” added Richie.
“Do you know how good you are?” Perry asked Harmon.
Needless to say, the possibly former-janitor is moving to next phase of the competition.
Watch Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon’s performance of "Almost Heaven" on American Idol below.
Local news station WMAR profiled Harmon before his American Idol appearance where he shared, “Music is my way of processing my emotional experiences, and my relationships.”
He also told the news station that he met his boyfriend working out at the local YMCA and the title of his song, "Almost Heaven," was inspired by the name of a West Viriginia bar, the Almost Heaven Pub.