A special quarantine memory was made Tuesday evening when Philadelphia-based “American Idol” contestant Louis Knight stopped by a West Shore home to sing a song for a teenage fan.
Knight, 19, had his “American Idol” experience changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately forcing him to perform at home for several weeks. He made it to the top 7 but did not earn enough votes to make it to the final rounds.
When it became clear the pandemic would force him to miss another staple of the experience, the nationwide tour, he came up with a new idea to bring some happiness to his fans.
“What if we stopped at people’s houses?” Knight said, remembering his conversation with manager Cliff Jurkiewicz. His manager already had suggested Knight join his family for a road trip to perform at smaller, socially distant venues, but stopping at people’s houses was a new twist on the plan.
“Everyone’s having a rough time at the moment,” Knight said. “During COVID, some more than others, and it’d just be really nice to meet everyone along the way and just play a few songs.”
So Knight put the word out on social media and his website, asking fans who might want their own front-yard show.
That’s when Camp Hill sophomore Claire Brosius made her move, sending him a message to ask if he would stop at her home. On Sunday, she found out she was one of the lucky winners.
“I thought maybe there was a slight chance I could get him to come here,” Brosius said. As a big ‘American Idol’ fan, she said she loved Knight’s singing since his audition and had hoped to see him on the ‘Amerian Idol’ tour. When that got canceled she was disappointed but in the end, she might have gotten something much better.
- READ: ‘American Idol’: Pa. singer has been ‘blown away’ by reactions to his viral audition
“I was shocked that he actually ended up coming here,” 15-year-old Brosius said. “It means a lot to me that he could actually come.”
Knight sang his latest song, Save a Little Love, from the back of Jurkiewicz’ pickup truck, which is hauling the camper they are using during this journey.
Tuesday was the first day of the trip, which featured stops in Pottsville, Elizabethtown, Mechanicsburg and ended with a parking lot concert outside Pittsburgh. Jurkiewicz’ family is with them on the trip, making it something of a family vacation.
They will crisscross America, hitting the West Coast before coming back and ending in Nashville.
Knight said this year was already life-changing and crazy for him, with his chance to be on “American Idol.” Now he has an unusual but important chance to connect with fans during an otherwise scary time.
“It means everything. I just can’t believe that people want to hear me sing, to be honest,” Knight said.
Brosius said “American Idol” was one of the things that brought her family together during the early days of the pandemic. To have her favorite contestant taking photos with her and signing autographs for her and her friends was something unbelievable.
“He was so nice, he was so amazing,” Brosius said. “He was so kind the whole time.”
While Knight sang from a distance without a mask, when he went to meet the girls everyone donned their masks while they took selfies together.
Knight, originally from London, was working as a pizza delivery boy in Montgomery County where he lived for eight years when he auditioned for “American Idol.”
Despite the pandemic, he is fighting to keep his career momentum going.
“Just the fact that I’m able to drive across the country and in a few cities there are some people that want to hear my music and that have been supporting me means just absolutely everything,” Knight said. “And it’s just a reason to keep doing it. Luckily, hopefully, I’m on the right track.”
Read more on PennLive:
- ‘American Idol’: Pa. finalist Louis Knight on performing during a pandemic and the day he almost quit
- Central Pa. man wins $25K with outrageous pumpkin-carving skills on Food Network