It was a good weekend for Fleetwood Mac fans.
On Friday, front woman Stevie Nicks stole the show when she became the first female artist twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And on Sunday, “American Idol” hopeful Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon left a similarly indelible impression with his aching cover of the band’s 1975 classic “Landslide.”
The stripped-down ballad – a wistful reflection on changing and growing older – came from a particularly personal place for Harmon, 26. The Catonsville, Maryland, native revealed at his “Idol” audition that he had only recently come out as gay to his mom and dad, who is a pastor. Until the singing competition, he worked as a janitor at his family’s church, but has since quit and moved out of his parents’ house.
“My parents have still not been able to accept me as gay,” Harmon said before his performance, fighting back tears. He recalled listening to “Landslide” one night “after having a really tough conversation with my parents. … I went to bed that night and really connected to it.”
Harmon was visibly emotional while singing in front of the crowd, and revealed afterward that he wanted to dedicate the song to his parents, who did not come to Hawaii for this week’s “Idol” round.
“I want my parents to know that I love them no matter what,” said Harmon, who was instead supported by his boyfriend, John. “I’m sorry for disappointing them and not turning out to be everything that they dreamed of.”
“Idol” judge Katy Perry, who also comes from a religious household and was a Christian artist before going pop, comforted Harmon after his performance.
When she hit No. 1 with 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl,” “it was difficult for me, because I felt very alone in what was supposed to be a very exciting time in my life,” Perry said. “It’s taken some time, but we’ve all come around to, ‘I agree to disagree.’ I just want to say from one pastor’s kid to another, I see you, and I love you, and I accept you, and I’m so proud of you.”
Harmon made the cut for the judges’ Top 20, although some fan favorites including Vietnamese immigrant Myra Tran and blind contestant Shayy were eliminated. The full list of contestants who will move on in the competition when it returns to Los Angeles Monday (ABC, 8 EDT/PDT):
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
Laci Kaye Booth
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