Les Greene, the Key West singer who fronts Patrick and the Swayzees, made it through the first round in front of the celebrity judges on ABC’s “American Idol” in Sunday night’s episode.
Greene, 27, a Baltimore native, charmed the three judges — Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie — with his rendition of Sam Cooke’s classic “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Greene will appear this Sunday night as a contender for the “Idol” crown when the show goes to Hollywood, Calif., for the next round.
“You are in my opinion a Ferrari,” country singer Bryan told Greene after his passionate performance, before the judges rendered a unanimous decision to send Greene to Hollywood. “You’re raw, you’re rugged, you’re just full speed ahead.”
Patrick and the Swayzees, a popular Key West band that revels in the party songs of the 1950s and ’60s, asked Greene to join the band in 2015 after hearing him sing at an open mic night.
“I love your whole personal style and presentation,” Perry said, asking Greene if he ever loses his voice. Greene said if he’s doing show after show for a week and a half straight.
Richie said Greene’s voice is strong but if he could “calm it down a little bit, I think we may have something.”
“Can you stand up and do this five nights in a row and on a potential ‘American Idol’ tour?” Bryan asked. “Let’s polish it up a bit.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen