Brooklyn's own Ajii performs for 'American Idol' judges in season 22 premiere

ByJennifer Matarese WABC logo
Friday, February 16, 2024
Brooklyn's own Ajii performs for 'American Idol' judges in premiere
Aiji traveled to Los Angeles to audition for Luke Bryant, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- One local "American Idol" contestant will be singing in front of the judges on this Sunday's big premiere.

Ajii is 27 years old and works at the front desk at a nursing home in Brooklyn. He traveled from New York City to Los Angeles for the big audition. He says it was definitely worth the trip.

"You're chasing a dream, the fact that I got okayed to be in front of Lionel, Luke, and Katie, it's a blessing, so grateful," Ajii said.

Singing in front of the judges didn't come without nerves, but he says he did his best.

"I was shook! I was nervous, but a sense of like, you know, just everything, all the reasons why you are there hit in that moment, I'm like yeah, it's now or never, so really motivated at the same time, I feel like being nervous is just a part of it, I'd be crazy if I wasn't nervous," Ajii said.

He'll have his whole family of three brothers, parents, and cousins cheering him on from the New York-area, but also the residents and coworkers of the nursing home.

His singing is a bright spot in some of the residents' day.

"At my job there's this 10th floor solarium, there's this grand piano that sits there, so there's patients that come upstairs sometimes you know, to just enjoy that little calm vibe up there you know, you can see the city, you can see the beach from there," he said.

Ajii makes use of that piano whenever he gets a free moment.

"Sometimes during my break, I sneak in there and I'll play the piano, you know if they're there, they're quiet, they'll listen, and right at the end, they'll say the same thing my coworkers say, which is, 'What are you doing here?' Ha ha, it's a part of it, it's what you do it for, the reaction and to make everybody feel good."

New Yorkers and fans of Ajii can cheer him on in the season 22 premiere of "American Idol" this Sunday, February 18th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and the following day on Hulu.

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