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Amory resident Zachariah Smith discusses ‘American Idol’ journey

Photo courtesy of Zachariah Smith/Twitter.

Amory resident Zachariah Smith has started his journey through ABC’s American Idol after receiving a golden ticket during the season premiere last month.

Smith, a former Indiana native who works as a fry cook at Bill’s Hamburgers in Monroe County, garnered the attention of all three judges during his cover of John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good.”

“Go back to Amory, get your damn apron, get a little lighter fluid, and burn the apron,” judge Luke Bryan told Smith after his audition.

Smith explained during an interview on Good Things with Rebecca Turner that he thought Bryan was sending him home at first, but was thrilled when he received three votes from the judges.

“To hear that I wasn’t going to have to be making burgers anymore, I was ecstatic,” Smith said. “I’m just so thankful for each and every single one of them for finally giving me that ‘yes’ that I’ve awaited all of these years.”

According to the 19-year-old, he had originally chosen to perform “Old Time Rock & Roll” by Bob Seger but went with another song just minutes before his audition.

“15 minutes before my audition, they had asked me, ‘Why don’t you try this song?’ and so I did,” Smith explained. “They were like, ‘Would you be comfortable doing this for your audition?’ and I was like, ‘Well, if you think it’s going to get me that golden ticket, then yeah.'”

Smith continued, saying that he unsuccessfully auditioned for the show in 2018, but knew that he had what it took to make it through this year.

“I thought I’d give it my all then, and I was obviously too young to make it through,” Smith said. “This year, I just kind of had a spark in me and I just felt like it was in me, it was meant for me to do it this year.”

Now, Smith will be heading to Hollywood for the next round of the competition, which will kick off on Sunday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. CT on ABC.

To see the full interview, continue watching below.

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