It was “Celebrity Duets” week on American Idol, and the talent competition saw 6 contestants eliminated as the show heads towards opening up the voting to the public next week.
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, the openly gay son of a Maryland pastor, had the good fortune to be paired with Tony/Grammy/Emmy Award-winning actress (The Color Purple) Cynthia Erivo for a luscious, show stopping performance of Cyndi Lauper’s classic hit, “Time After Time.”
Side note: Erivo’s performance in the Broadway revival of Color Purple was a transformational experience – easily one of the most powerful star turns this writer has ever seen onstage. She deserved every accolade and honor for her gut-wrenching turn as “Miss Celie.”
And now, back to American Idol…
The song was an inspired choice that played to both singers’ strengths. With complicated runs, obvious chemistry and effortless high notes, the performance definitely impressed the judges.
Katy Perry: “It’s like you guys’ souls were singing to each other…It was a spiritual moment for me.”
Luke Bryan: “It was incredible. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat going, ‘Please go for the big note;’ and you did it, and you just knocked it outta the park. Great job.”
Lionel Richie: “That was glorious. Glorious…We just witnessed a masterful performance.”
In a recent interview with Out, Harmon shared that American Idol hasn’t quite told his story as honestly as he’d like.
Thus far, his narrative has been one of rejection by his family after he came out.
“I’ve never said that my parents have rejected me, or don’t accept me as me, their son,” Harmon told Out. “And that in combination with my parents not being able to make it to the first couple performances and [not being] featured on the show yet, you know, it’s easy for people to take that and run with it and say, ‘Oh, Jeremiah’s parents are these monstrous, abusive people,’ which in reality, they’re just trying to integrate this experience and they’re processing it in their own way.”
Racking up strong performances like “Time After Time,” plus previous turns with “Landslide” and an original song, “Heaven,” Harmon’s family will have more time to “process” the experience as Harmon advanced to the Top 14 and will continue his AI journey.
Watch Harmon and Erivo make musical magic with “Time After Time” below.