Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! Those are the words American Idol judge Katy Perry used to describe standout contestant Michael J. Woodard during his audition. "I hope I don't make a fool out of myself in front of the judges," he admitted before performing a rendition of Ed Sheeran's "Make It Rain. "I'm feeling like every emotion, but I'm really awkward and really cringey and don't know where to direct those emotions. But, hopefully, it gets aimed in the right path, you know what I'm saying?" Since the first moment Michael took the stage, he's been a fan-favorite contestant on American Idol. Now that the front-runner has made it to the Top 7 in the competition, let's learn a bit more about the 20-year-old.
Who is Michael J. Woodard?
Michael J. Woodard is a contestant on Season 16 of American Idol. He's originally from Philadelphia, but now lives in Los Angeles and works as a bowling alley attendant. During his audition, he scored a yes from each judge and made it straight to Hollywood. When he first came out on stage, he was noticeably nervous, but Lionel approached him and literally shaked out his nerves. You can watch Michael J. Woodard's American Idol audition below.
During his April 1 performance, Michael performed "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret and not only received a standing ovation from Katy, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, but Katy also flipped her chair in excitement.
"Where the heck did he come from?" the "Bon Appétit" singer kept repeating. "Are you kidding me?" Lionel asked. "I'm so happy for him." Katy added, "That was the best thing I've seen in a long time… I feel like a star was born right there."
"I was… I like shocked myself," Michael revealed. "I don't know what the heck just happened on that stage, but it was something else. All I know was I turned and the judges were on their feet."
Viewers were just as impressed by his performance. "OK now listen!!! I NEVER tweet about music shows and such, but I just witnessed a STAR tonight! @MichaelJWoodard just slayed my life! Someone write a play for this guy so that he can star in it right now!!! I'm just… whew! Wow! Wow! Wow!" one fan tweeted. Another added, "You gave me chills young man and you are a bright light!! So sweet. I hope you go far. America likes people such as yourself."
But what the judges, fans, and most likely Michael didn't expect was that the Philadelphia native had only scratched the surface of his talent. Most recently, he blew everyone away when he performed "Beauty and the Beast" for Disney night. You can relive the magic in the clip below, but prepare to feel all of the feels.
Is Michael J. Woodard going to win American Idol?
Right now, Michael has successfully made it into the Top 5, so he's closer than ever to taking home the gold! We're wishing him the best of luck in the competition.