A contestant on the latest season of American Idol has host Ryan Seascrest drawing comparisons to country superstar Chris Stapleton. On the March 19 episode of the show, Warren Peay’s audition captivated and astonished the judges. However, fans were split in opinion because they noticed nothing that made him stand out from other country artists.
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Warren Peay, a 23-year-old from South Carolina who worked as an appliance repair technician, took the stage for his American Idol audition. The judges were eager to find out if he had the potential of being another Chris Stapleton. On the surface, this was in large part because he sports the same beard, hair, hat and threads. Warren has the same rough-and-tumble charm of Stapleton, and he’s earned his musical chops through leading worship at his local Baptist Church.
The Idol hopeful is passionate about his work as an equipment repairman and loves living in the cozy little community. Every Sunday, he can be found joyfully attending church services and even leads prayer at the local Baptist Church. Although content with what life has given him so far, he dreams of one day becoming a musician. Seacrest saw the Stapleton connection and shared an image of the pair on Twitter.
See the resemblance? #AmericanIdol @warrenpeaymusic pic.twitter.com/3EZs0IfOiX— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) March 20, 2023
The judges couldn’t get enough of Warren Peay
Katy Perry drew a comparison between Warren’s look and that of Chris Stapleton, and it isn’t far off; his style is quite comparable. He sings country songs with an immense amount of emotion and sentimentality.”It cuts through,” Lionel Richie pointed out. His performance earns rapturous applause from the judges, standing in ovation to salute his exemplary talent.
Luke Bryan approved, calling the performance “bad-ass.” Meanwhile, Katy dubbed Peay an “authentic Chris Stapleton.” Peay passes the audution to make it to the next round.
Some ‘American Idol’ fans weren’t so impressed with the Stapleton lookalike
However, many American Idol viewers weren’t so impressed. One fan tweeted, “No to warren.. feel like we see dozen of these singers.” Another person noted, “Warren sounds like every other country person… where’s the personality.” Meanwhile, one fan just wanted something more original. “Looks and sounds like him. Where is the originality.”
Another Idol viewer couldn’t help but think of when all of 90s rock was going for the Seattle sound. “A thought while watching #AmericanIdol : 90% of the country guys end up sounding like Chris Stapleton. Not a terrible thing, necessarily, but it’s like every lead singer in the 90s trying to be Eddie Vedder.”
Poking fun at the judges for dubbing Warren a Top 10 contender, a fan joked, “Everyone on tonight show is top something..” Another fan seemed to be fed up with the entire genre of music. “Sick of country.” American Idol Season 21 drops Sunday night at 8 pm ET on ABC